Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archive building will be completed in the autumn of 2016. This will become home to the archives of the entire UK civil nuclear industry as well as the historical archives of the county of Caithness. The new archive is designed to hold an estimated 20 kilometres of records in ideal environmental conditions for generations to come.
The records of the nuclear industry date back over 70 years and include plans, drawings, photographs, film, microfiche and documents. These have previously been held at various sites across the UK including Dounreay in Caithness, Harwell in Oxfordshire, Trawsfynydd in Snowdonia, and Sellafield in Cumbria. Starting in 2016 all nuclear records requiring long-term preservation will be relocated to the Wick archive where they will be processed, digitised, stored and where possible made available to industry and the public. The relocation will take several years to complete.
By way of contrast, the archives of Caithness date from the 16th century and have previously been looked after at the Caithness Archive Centre, a service provided by High Life Highland on behalf of the Highland Council. These historic collections will also be transferred to the NDA Archive, where they will continue to be made available to members of the public for family and local history research.
The Archive will provide 20 new jobs in Wick and provide archive training opportunities in future.