Dounreay’s historic plutonium research laboratory, now in the final stages of clean up, is still attracting visitors keen to see the building before its demolition.
Lady Balfour of Burleigh and her husband Lord Balfour were the first visitors to enter the shell of the facility without the need for radiological protection. They were accompanied by NDA Programme Director for Dounreay, Randall Bargelt.
Lady Balfour is the chair of the Nuclear Liabilities Fund, as well as an historian, author and successful businesswoman.
She revealed that her father, Frank Morgan, had worked at the plutonium research laboratory during his distinguished career as a nuclear scientist, before moving to Aldermaston to become vice director of AWE.
Dounreay’s research laboratory was at the forefront of Britain’s post-war research into plutonium criticality. The facility shut down in 1963.
As Lady Balfour toured the areas where internal walls have been demolished, she commented on how nice it was to visit the building where her father had once worked, and how impressive it was to stand where tanks of highly active plutonium liquor had once been.
The facility is on course for final demolition in the late summer of 2008.