Highlands & Islands

National archive for nuclear industry opens in Wick

Nucleus Image copyright NDA
Image caption Nucleus has been constructed at a former RAF site

A national archive for the civil nuclear industry has opened on the north coast of mainland Scotland.

More than 70 years' worth of information and up to 30 million digital records are to be stored at Nucleus in Wick, Caithness.

They include papers, photographs and plans from nearby Dounreay, as well as Harwell in Oxfordshire, Trawsfynydd in Snowdonia and Sellafield in Cumbria.

Nucleus will also store local archives dating back to the 16th Century.

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Media captionThe Nucleus complex holds records, photos and film footage documenting the civil nuclear industry

High Life Highland, an arms-length body of Highland Council, is helping to manage the site.

It said Nucleus had been designed to hold records in "ideal environmental conditions for generations to come".

Construction of dome at Dounreay Image copyright DSRL
Image caption Many of the records held at the new site relate to Dounreay, an experimental power complex constructed in the 1950s
New archive centre, Nucleus Image copyright NDA
Image caption Nucleus will be used to store millions of digital records and hard copies of paperwork

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has had the facility constructed at a former RAF site.

Many of the documents, photographs and technical drawings relate to Dounreay, an experimental nuclear power complex 30 miles (48km) away from Wick.

Built in the 1950s, Dounreay is now in the process of being decommissioned and the site cleaned up.

Dounreay Image copyright DSRL
Image caption Dounreay is now being decommissioned

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