Report published on particle retrieval work at Dounreay

  17 March 2016

SEPA has today (17 March) published a report into the retrieval of offshore radioactive particles by the Dounreay nuclear facility. The report has been produced by the Particles Retrieval Advisory Group (PRAG) and developed by independent experts following an extensive research and monitoring programme in 2012.

The group was Chaired by Professor Alex Elliott, former Chair of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) and included experts in the field of statistics, radioactive monitoring and hydrodynamic process.

Dr James Gemmill, Radioactive Substances Unit Manager from SEPA said:

The report has been produced by the Particles Retrieval Advisory Group, in order to assess the effectiveness of the offshore recovery program undertaken at the Dounreay nuclear facility. The report considers the extent and effectiveness of the program to reduce the numbers of irradiated nuclear fuel fragments which had been historically deposited in the Pentland Firth, offshore from the Dounreay site.

“Following the success of the program to date, the report concludes that any noticeable change in the rate, or radioactive content of fuel fragments arriving on the nearest public beach (Sandside Bay), will take a number of years to assess. In the interim, the beach continues to be monitored on a monthly basis by the operators of Dounreay and any particles which are found will be removed."

The full report is available to view here.