DSRL is regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Important legislation under which DSRL is regulated by SEPA includes:

  • the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (RSA)
  • the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 (PPC)
  • the Water Environment and Water Services Act (Scotland) 2003
  • the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Environment picture of fisherman and lobsters

In addition, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) regulates DSRL under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 and the Energy Act 2013.

DSRL is authorised by SEPA to dispose of some chemical and radioactive waste, in liquid gaseous and solid forms. SEPA issue DSRL with authorisations, permits and licenses which include strict limits and conditions to control and minimise the:

  • disposal and accumulation of radioactive waste on or from the site
  • disposal of and polluting nature of non-radioactive liquid effluent disposed to the environment from the site
  • disposal of and polluting nature of controlled solid waste

ONR is responsible for regulating radioactively contaminated land and groundwater on UK licensed nuclear sites. SEPA also have responsibilities for assessing the impact of DSRL’s activities on groundwater

Discharges and monitoring

DSRL is responsible for managing the chemical and radiological hazards at Dounreay in a way that protects people and the environment.

As required by the RSA authorisation issued to DSRL by SEPA, we have an environmental monitoring programme (EMProg). This involves taking samples from the terrestrial and marine environment. Monitoring results allows DSRL to assess the effectiveness of the environmental control measures which we use.


Biodiversity Action Plan

DSRL has produced a Biodiversity Action Plan  which sets out actions to protect and promote flora and fauna on the site.

Biodiversity project profile

Site Specific Baseline

The NDA have produced a Site Specific Baseline for Dounreay, as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of its strategy.

It contains specific baseline information for the site and a map of the local area.

Project profiles on the environment are available