Dounreay's Dome to go as Part of 3,000 Year Nuclear Detox Plan

By Gary Cutlack on at

The historic nuclear site of Dounreay on Scotland's remote northern shores is set for dismantling, with the latest planning application for the site asking for permission to remove the familiar, menacing, awe-inspiring round reactor dome.

They've been looking at ways to clean up the pioneering facility for years, with its variety of forms of bad and not so bad radioactive material -- some dating back to the 1950s -- stored in pits close to the shore thought to be in peril from tidal erosion that could hit the site between 800 and 3,000 years into the future. Hence the need to dig some better holes to stick it all in.

The facility will go through several closure states, with the next phase being the "Interim End State" in 2018, before a full cleansing of the site leaves it safe and requiring zero intervention as a landscaped plot by around 2028. First, though, new buildings need to go up to handle the processing and repackaging of the poorly stored old waste, with the plan including a mobile Waste Retrieval Building that can be picked up and plonked where it's needed.

Pity the poor local planners having to read up on rules regarding the dismantling of nuclear reactors and judging the sea levels of the year 5,017 now, though, instead of deciding on if the new English family's conservatory is of the right size. [Highland Council via BBC]

Image credit: Wikipedia


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