The National Nuclear Archive is due to be open for business by 2016, said NDA’s director for Dounreay, Nigel Lowe.
The facility will be purpose built beside Wick John O’Groats Airport, and is expected to cost in the region of £20m to build.
It will house up to 30 million digital records, papers and photos covering the history of the UK’s civil nuclear industry, including archives from UKAEA in Harwell.
It will be open just in time for the majority of the documents in the Dounreay archive to be moved offsite, as the existing building is scheduled to be vacated at the end of 2016.
Dounreay archivist Ian Pearson says that the site’s archive currently holds 250 tonnes of records stretching nearly four kilometres. Some of these date back to the early days on construction and operation of Dounreay.
The new archive will be run by a specialist contractor on behalf of the NDA, and is expected to create up to 20 new jobs.
Bringing the National Nuclear Archive to Caithness is just part of the NDA’s socio economic commitment to the area which has seen it spend more than £10m on support for local projects including Scrabster and Wick Harbours, the Caithness Chamber of Commerce and the Engineering Technology facility at the North Highland College.
Nigel Lowe said “Locating the archive in Wick is part of the NDA’s commitment to this area in the post Dounreay Interim End State era.
“History has shown that similar legacies in other industries and other areas, have always stood the test of time.”
“I feel very privileged that this has fallen on my watch.”