The closure of Dounreay will result in major social and economic challenges for the area. Managing this impact on the local area is therefore important to the site. By 2030 only a handful of jobs will remain on the site. A significant number of the current workforce will need alternative employment after Dounreay.

In delivering the Dounreay decommissioning programme:

  • The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) spends more than £177 million a year to decommission the site. A significant part of this is spent in the local economy through salaries and the purchase of goods and services.
  • Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) employs around 1000 staff and a similar number of individuals through the supply chain.
  • It is estimated that over £125m of goods and services are purchased annually, and a significant amount of this expenditure is with companies within Caithness and north Sutherland.

The Energy Act 2004 requires the NDA to consider the socio economic impacts of decommissioning on local communities. DSRL and the Cavendish Dounreay Partnership (CDP) have contractual obligations with the NDA to deliver socio economic activities.


The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Cavendish Dounreay Partnership (CDP) and Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) work closely together, as the Dounreay Socio Economic Alliance (DSEA). The aim is to maximise the combined resources and ensure a consistent approach to reduce the impact of decommissioning Dounreay.

Those directly involved in socio economic activities are:

  • NDA: The Stakeholder Relations & Socio Economic Manager
  • CDP: A Business Support Consultant with Socio Economic Support
  • DSRL: The Socio Economic Manager with Socio Economic Support
  • Additional individuals may undertake agreed activities (e.g. secondments to organisations)

The interventions provided by the DSEA to reduce the impact of the decommissioning of the Dounreay site are:

  • Capital funding
  • Revenue funding
  • People
  • A combination of the above

In addition to direct NDA socio economic funding, £500,000 is allocated from the DSRL annual budget for socio economic interventions.

NDA and Dounreay Direct Funding:

Details of the NDA funding for socio economic projects can be found on their website.

DSRL funding enquiries can be made through

DSRL funding process procedure

DSRL Socio-Economic Plan

Project profiles on socio economics are available

Dounreay Socio-Economic Review

Dounreay Socio-Economic Board minutes:

February 2016

May 2016

November 2016