The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has decided to provide a detailed timetable for its decommissioning of the Dounreay nuclear site in northern Scotland in order finally to kill rumours that the company plans continued operations at the site.

Dounreay is home to the UK’s fast breeder reactor programme. Work began in the 1950s and the last reactor was shut down in 1994 after the Conservative government decided to abandon fast reactor research.

Previously the UKAEA had suggested it would take a century to clean up the site. Now, however, it suggests that all radiological hazards will have been removed from the site within 25 years and that most of the site will be available for alternative use within 60 years.