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Delivering the safe clean-up and demolition of the UK's former centre of fast reactor research on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

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Comments 11 to 20 of 31

On June 04, 2010, Dave Oliver from United Kingdom wrote:
As an ex-UKAEA employee (Winfrith site) I like to periodically see what the latest is at the various decommissioning sites. Dounreay's website is excellent, easy to navigate and always something new and interesting to read.

On April 08, 2010, Bill Mowat from United Kingdom wrote:
It is true that energy skills perfected at Dounreay will be useful to participants in marine energy; when G. Bernard Shaw first proposed Pentland Firth electricity in 1907,(Fabian Society policy pamphlet) the technology was not there; but offshore oil and gas exploitation have provided much of it, although no tidal steam device here or worwide is yet beyond the prototype stage. Nor is there accord about the best type of technology (e.g. sub-sea windmills, or ducted structure or those with polo-mint centres) to be used in harvesting the swift currents. But nothing at all wrong with 'nuclear standards'. However, it is dismaying that the illustration is of a device that it would be illegal to deploy in the Pentland Firth. Although wholly in the UK's territorial sea, the channel is an international waterway under the terms to the treaty/accord that the UK is a signatory to. This is under the International Maritime Organisation, which is incidentally the only United Nations Organisation (UNO) agency based in UK (in London). This right of free passage for all countries' merchant ships means that devices must not poke above the sea-level as illustrated, but must give a clearance of at least 23 metres, the known deepest laden draught of the biggest vessels using Firth on passage. The fact that �20 million of taxpayers' money invested in the Queen Elizabeth Pier has not given Caithness a deep-water facility that is suitable as a MAIN base for West of Shetland oil/gas operations means that this area will lose out on major 'in situ' participation in the multi-billion pound Total-led development of the 'new' Laggan Tormore duo of gas condendate/gas-fields (W. of Shetland) that kicks off in earnest this summer. The output is going to Sullom Voe and onwards to St Fergus, Aberdeenshire. I recall that it is not so long either since a new sea-bed gas-line from the Atlantic Frontier (until now) 'stranded' fields and a power station or petrochemical works at Dounreay was being held up as 'the great white hope'(early 2000s) for Caithness. Don't get me wrong: Dounreay has been extremely positive for Caithness over past 50-odd years. And the Crown Estate is to be complimented on moving to try to commercialise marine energy at a reasonably early date. But Alex Salmond talks about the Firth as the 'Saudi Arabia' of renewable energy. But Saudi had not only plenty of oil, but can produce it cheaply. It remains to be seen if the Firth's bounteous resources of kinetic energy can be generated into electricity at competitive prices; that will not be clear until at least 2015. There may be a case for commercially testing different styles of devices in Outer Gills Bay/Inner Sound, the area of the new mini-round of Crown Estate seabed leases announced last week. Of course, it lies wholly within Caithness waters in the E. Pentland Firth; but the Merry Men of Mey tide-race where winter swells of c. 8 m are not unusual on on every twice-daily ebb, will reduce the productivity of any sea servicing of the above area from the Dounreay 'airt'. (i.e., West) Regular navigation of those broken waters will not only be unpopular with engineers and operatives of marine devices, but could cause H&S issues. The same would be true to a lesser extent of the Bores of Duncansby, if this mini-lease area were to be serviced from the east side. But should this not be the area where devices to harness slower currents in the Firth's western (e.g., off Dounreay) & eastern approaches are appraised, not to mention tapping the deeper, but fastest, tidal streams of the Firth's main navigational channel. Winter experience for manpower and machines in the Pentland Firth is essential (not a luxury) before its true energy potential can be fully appraised. BM

On March 28, 2010, Michael Cowie from Saudi Arabia wrote:
This is a really useful and interesting site, and whilst it is sad that research and development in nuclear power and technology has stopped at Dounreay, it is good that time and effort has been taken to document its legacy. What may be hard to capture is the huge influence that Dounreay and those who worked and were trained at Dounreay have had on other industries spread around the World. Dounreay developed some exceptional individuals and created a dynamic and exciting educational environment in Thurso, those who went to school in Thurso in the 60s/70s had an experience that is unlikely to be matched anywhere else ever again. I spent 19 years working at Dounreay between 1982 and 2001, and am now living and working in Saudi Arabia, there is rarely a week goes by that I do not meet someone who has worked at Dounreay (either as a direct employee or a contractor).

On February 11, 2010, John Simson from United Kingdom wrote:
I enjoyed my time at Dounreay, and miss it now. It is such a pity that successive Governments have ignored the huge benefits from Nuclear Power Generation and not kept this research site working with new development projects whilst the "old" is decommissioned.

On January 26, 2010, David.Norman.Meagher from United Kingdom wrote:
The clean up is very impressive. What a pity it is that this nation's leaders have seemingly destroyed a great industry - again.We once led the world in matters of science.

On January 20, 2010, Clive Woollaston from United Kingdom wrote:
I joined UKAEA Winfrith in 1966 as a new research SO "wet between the ears" grad. Great time, pity about the short sited descision makers, that destroyed a world leading industry. I never got to see Dounreay and your well designed site has filled that gap after 43 years.

On August 31, 2009, Melanie Riley nee Murray from United Kingdom wrote:
My dad worked here in the late 50's, transferring from Harwell Berkshire. I was born in Thurso and am here on a visit to see where he worked and where I was born and spent my early life before we moved to Buckinghamshire where my dad worked at the Radio Chemical Centre (as it was known) in Amersham for the next 30 plus years, finishing his career with the Atomic Energy Authority at Cardiff International. His name was Leaonard Murray known as Len. His picture is in the Ladybird book of inventors dressed in his "Suit" on the Nuclear Power Page. We have the original photo!

On July 29, 2009, Shaun Simpson from United Kingdom wrote:
I spent a huge part of my working life at Dounreay, 26 years. Sad to see it go, after such huge achievements. Nuclear power has to be the way forward it is not dangerous if managed correctly and they are now past the laerning and experimental stage.

On May 20, 2009, green from Denmark wrote:
dangerous, we don't need nuclear power, there are other ways of making power, glad its been knocked down

On May 20, 2009, green is great from Denmark wrote:
dangerous, we don't need nuclear power, there are other ways of making power, glad its been knocked down

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