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Dounreay, Scotland


Dounreay is situated on the north coast in the Highlands of Scotland. Once the site of a castle, Dounreay has been home to several nuclear research establishments since the 1950’s, many of which have now been, or are in the process of being decommissioned.

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, the License Company responsible for the clean-up and demolition of the Nuclear Power Stations, enquired about possible flood mitigation measures to one of the power stations on site. The flood defence was to act as a last line of flood protection as the station already uses a pump system. Due to the station’s close proximity to the coast and because of a high water table, these wet wells are a vital element to the station constantly pumping out water. The current flood defences are however, powered by electricity, meaning if there were any power outages the defences would fail resulting in water entering the plant. The pumps also work on a 1 in 25 year fail rate, it was because of these reasons a requirement for a secondary flood defence solution was identified.


Passive protection would provide effective flood defence should the site lose electrical power. The first generation self activating solution, activated solely by the power of the flood water, provided the ideal solution for the site.

Manufactured locally and assembled at HQ, 25 meters of flood defence systems were constructed and installed to the front of two entrances to the vaults. As both entrances were used by heavy duty vehicles several times a day, the barriers were manufactured with reinforced components to withstand frequent heavy loads.