Deconstructing social value in decommissioning: Industrial heritage at Dounreay, UK

Cara Mulholland, Paul Chan, Kate Canning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


In this chapter, we analyse a case of decommissioning the nuclear experimental facility at Dounreay. This is one of 17 sites being decommissioned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in the UK, and the total programme comprises projects that will last over the next 120 years at an estimated cost of around £119bn; the decommissioning of Dounreay is estimated to cost just under £3bn (NDA, 2017). We first outline current developments of the decommissioning of the Dounreay experimental site and facility (herein after known as 'Dounreay'). We review current concerns about the site closure and plans for its afterlife and the site remediation. We then go further into the history of Dounreay to argue that current developments are not new. By tracing how residents around Dounreay have coped with historical changes in the past, we identify parallels in the discussion of what matters from a social value standpoint, then and now. Finally, we take a glance into possible futures for Dounreay and argue that social value is more than just a set of quantitative metrics to show the impacts of work done on stakeholders. Social value is in constant flux as stakeholders create and improvise narratives of what they consider to be important.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Value in Construction
EditorsAni Raidén, Martin Loosemore, Andrew King, Chris Gorse
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (Print)9781138295094
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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