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Dounreay Nuclear Power Station
Dounreay Nuclear Power Station operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) on the North coast of Caithness in Scotland, was the world's first electricity-producing Fast Breeder Reactor.
Three reactors were built there by the UKAEA. The first was the DIDO class Dounreay Materials Test Reactor (DMTR) which achieved criticality in May 1958. This reactor was used to test the efficiency and safety of the materials that were to be used to fuel the main reactors.
The second reactor to achieve criticality was the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR), which came on-line in November 1959, producing an electrical output of 14 MW. This power was exported to the National Grid from 14 October 1962 until the reactor was taken offline for decommissioning in 1977. During its operational lifespan, DFR produced over 600 million units of electricity.
The third and final UKAEA-operated reactor to be built on the Dounreay site was the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR), which achieved criticality in 1974 and began supplying National Grid power in January 1975. The electrical output of PFR was 250 MW. The reactor was taken offline in 1994, marking the end of nuclear power generation at the site. PFR was a pool-type FBR, cooled by liquid sodium and fueled with MOX.
There are other reactors on-site, but these are Ministry of Defence projects - PWR1 (VULCAN ) and PWR2 are the test reactors designed by Rolls-Royce for use in the Royal Navy's nuclear submarine fleet.
Since the reactors have all been shut down and the decommissioning programmes have started, Dounreay has still retained much of its work-force by taking in and reprocessing shipments of spent nuclear fuel and waste.
The UKAEA hope to complete the decommissioning of Dounreay and the restoration of the site back to green field status by the year 2047.
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