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A very ‘unusual’ radioactive waste disposal job

Dounreay as breakers from the Pentland Firth break on the shore.
Dounreay as breakers from the Pentland Firth break on the shore.

Radioactive waste is being removed from one of the most unusual laboratories in the country.

The low level waste is in an area of a nuclear power site containing part of a scrapped World War Two battleship.

The laboratory at Dounreay, near Thurso in Caithness, has a turntable made from a gun turret taken from the Royal Navy’s HMS Howe.

Launched on the Clyde in 1940, the warship and its crew saw active service all over the world.

HMS Howe was scrapped at Inverkeithing in Fife in 1958.

Constructed in the 1950s, the Dounreay complex is now in the process of being decommissioned and the site cleaned up.

The laboratory is one of a number being dismantled as part of the overall £2.32bn decommissioning.

HMS Howe, a King George V class warship, acted as an escort for merchant vessels on the Russian Arctic Convoys.

It also played roles in the invasions of Sicily and Okinawa.

A spokeswoman for the site’s operators DSRL said:”The project team decommissioning a former laboratory has removed the first contact handleable level waste from a cell in more than a decade.

“Uniquely, the cell houses a turntable made from a gun turret which came from World War II battleship HMS Howe.

“The laboratory is one of 14 currently being decommissioned by a team of workers from Dounreay, GDES and Morson Projects.”

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