Dounreay’s famous sphere to be demolished?

Sphere construction

The sphere during construction (image: DSRL)

Constructed some 50 years ago by the Motherwell Bridge & Engineering Co Ltd, Dounreay’s iconic fast breeder reactor is now due for demolition.

The first of its kind, the 1500-tonne steel sphere was at the forefront of British nuclear energy research and development during the 1950s and 60s. Its creation has been described as Britain’s ‘man on the moon moment‘.

The site’s Lifetime Plan, set out by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, originally proposed to leave the decommissioned sphere intact. However, maintenance would simply be too expensive. As the company’s Decommissioning Manager Mike Brown explains, “it costs £500,000 just to paint”.


The Queen Mother visits the site, 1957 (image: DSRL)

TR130 Hinton

Lord Hinton, then Chief of UKAEA's Industrial Group (image: DSRL)

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One Response to “Dounreay’s famous sphere to be demolished?”

  1. Dark knight Says:

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