News story

Preferred contractor for NDA Nuclear Archive

NDA Archives Ltd, an NDA subsidiary, has named Crimson as its preferred contractor to set up and manage the UK’s new Nuclear Archive when the building is constructed.

Crimson will be responsible for the safe and secure transport and storage of 70 years-worth of historic information from all of the UK civil nuclear sites.

Over the last few months the NDA has run a competition to select a company to work with the civil nuclear sites across the UK and bring their records to a new archive in Wick for long-term preservation. Crimson has been selected by the NDA as the preferred bidder for an initial contract of up to 7 years.

Records from all the UK civil nuclear sites will be relocated in the new archive. Crimson will be responsible for managing this large, unique and historic record so that the information is available in the future to support both research endeavours as well as the forthcoming phases of nuclear decommissioning. The archiving work will entail managing documents which will fill many kilometers of shelving.

Much of the information will be converted into digital format and made available for electronic research to support the ongoing nuclear decommissioning mission. More than 20 staff will be employed in Wick to manage vast numbers of records, plans, photographs, drawings and other important information dating as far back as the Second World War.

Due to a partnering arrangement with Highland Council a portion of the building will be dedicated to storage of the Caithness Archive and it is anticipated that local records currently held elsewhere will relocate to the new facility. Crimson are committed to ensuring that visitors to the facility feel welcome and public access will be a top priority. Having Crimson’s involvement during construction of the £20m building will ensure expert archiving advice is on hand as the building is kitted out.

Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross MP, Dr Paul Monaghan welcomed the announcement:

First of all, I’m delighted that the Archive is to be built in Wick. This demonstrates the NDA’s commitment to Caithness and I look forward to the industry’s 70 years-worth of documents and digital records being cared for in this cutting edge new facility. This is a genuine partnership with the site being provided by the Highland Council in return for a new modern home for the Caithness Archives. I look forward to seeing the creation of over 20 new jobs bringing new money into the community. It’s good news for Caithness and I would like to congratulate Crimson and wish them success in bringing all the records to Caithness and managing the facility in future.

Chair of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, David Flear said:

I’m very pleased that the Commercial Partner has been appointed and look forward to working with Crimson as they roll out their public engagement and socio economic programme. The Dounreay Stakeholder Group has been involved with the NDA on this project for some time now and we are very pleased to see everything we hoped for appears to be coming to fruition.

The Nuclear Archive is a priority project for the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership and part of the NDA’s contribution to sustainable economic development in the region.

Eann Sinclair, Programme Manager for the Partnership, also welcomed this step forward:

The NDA Nuclear Archive has been an important element of the CNSRP’s Programme from the Partnership’s earliest days, and it is good to see the progress being made with the Archive and the associated North Highland Archive. The appointment of a commercial partner to operate the Archive is an important milestone for us, and we look forward to discussing with Crimson how we can derive further economic benefits from this significant programme of work.