Dounreay’s demolition today yields a £1 million windfall for the north Highlands.
It’s the first payment by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to a new community-led group that will invest the money in projects to sustain the area beyond the site’s closure.
Another £3 million is earmarked to come from the NDA during operation of the low-level radioactive waste disposal facility between 2014 and 2023.
As construction work gets underway, Rob Gibson, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, is due to collect a cheque for £1m from Nigel Lowe, director for Dounreay at the NDA, on behalf of the local community.
John Henderson, chair of the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund said: "We believe that this funding offers significant opportunities and can bring substantial benefits to communities in our area. We look forward to the challenge of making sure that these benefits are maximised."
The community benefit fund agreed by the NDA is one of a number of measures being taken by the industry to mitigate the economic and social impact of site closure.
Between 1500 and 2000 people are employed on the dismantling of Dounreay – equivalent to one in every five jobs in the north Highlands. This is expected to decline to a few tens of people by the time decommissioning is complete.