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Caithness News Bulletins September 2004

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Dounreay Goes To SNP Conference  - Inverness
Delegates to the SNP annual conference at Inverness heard last week how the clean-up of Dounreay is generating international interest in the skills and experience of Scottish companies.

More than a hundred companies are now involved in decommissioning the former experimental reactor establishment, leading to spin-off developments such as the trials and research centres at Janetstown and the business and technology park at Forss.

SNP leader Alex Salmond (centre) with UKAEA geologist Warren Jones (left)
and site trade union official Davie Alexander

Expertise developed locally by companies in areas such as liquid metal disposal is now being marketed in other parts of the world.   Decommissioning Dounreay is worth an estimated 90 million a year to the Scottish economy and provides direct employment for 2950 people in Scotland.

The potential for Scottish business to grow its share of the international decommissioning market was underlined by a team from the site who took a stand at the four-day conference in Eden Court Theatre.

Decommissioning Dounreay is part of a UK nuclear clean-up programme currently estimated to be worth in the region of 48 billion. Worldwide, there are hundreds of reactors and sites in need of the expertise now being developed in Caithness.

The Dounreay delegation also explained how UKAEA is committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety and environmental protection in the face of competition for the management of UKAEA and British Nuclear Group sites in the UK.

UKAEA Dounreay communications manager Colin Punler said: "We were greatly encouraged by the interest and support shown by many delegates in the potential of Dounreay and its contractors to become world-leaders in nuclear decommissioning and environmental restoration."