3. Dounreay Marine Exclusion Zone
Dounreay, Thurso, Caithness.
This diptych represents an attempt to question the enduring legacy of nuclear power in the marine ecosystem, which is especially significant in the post-Fukushima era. Over the period of 1963 – 1984, in excess of 10,000 particles of radio-active material were flushed out of sluice gates at the Dounreay Nuclear Power Station, and into the seabed. The particles lay undetected until 1997, when they were first discovered by a survey team. Since this time, work has begun to remediate the surrounding area and the Scottish Marine Protection Agency (SEPA) have banned fishing within a two-kilometre radius of the plant – this is known as the ‘Dounreay Marine Exclusion Zone’.
Despite the innovative use of robotic technologies designed to collect the radioactive particles from the seabed, and regular surveys of the Dounreay foreshore by manned detector vehicles, approximately two thirds of the pollutants still remain at large in the ecosystem.