Archives Accreditation Award: Nucleus – the Nuclear and Caithness Archive

Archives Accreditation Award: Nucleus – the Nuclear and Caithness Archive

8 January 2020

We are delighted to announce that the latest Scottish service to be awarded Accredited Archive Status is Nucleus – the Nuclear and Caithness Archive. Encompassing the national archive of the UK civil nuclear industry, Nucleus is also home to the historical archive for the county of Caithness.

Nucleus becomes the tenth service based in Scotland to achieve Accredited Status. The Accreditation Panel which made the award noted:

The Panel congratulated the Nucleus team and stakeholders on their impressive work in recent years, establishing a high-quality, risk-managed and effective preservation and access facility for the nuclear and Caithness collections. They acknowledged that there are areas of work which are still developing, but the robust nature of provision and planning, and the institutional support to address emerging challenges, gave real confidence in the service’s capacity to continue its progress.

They also discussed and applauded the service’s positive engagement with its local community, as a major local employer, supporting staff development and in its engagement with the wider population of Caithness.

Based at a striking, purpose-built site in Wick, Nucleus holds the records of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), including plans, drawings, photographs, film, microfiche and documents from the last seventy years of the UK civil nuclear industry. 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. The record relocation programme has made excellent progress over the last three years and will take several more years to complete.

Nucleus – the Nuclear and Caithness Archive © Tricia Malley Ross Gillespie

The archives of the county of Caithness date from 1469 to the present day and consist of documents in different formats including charters, minute books, correspondence, maps, photographs and plans.

Simon Tucker, Chairman and Managing Director of NDA Archives Limited, welcomed the award, saying:

“I am delighted with this news. This now completes a three year programme of accreditation that the teams at Nucleus and within the NDA should be rightly proud of. Many individuals have worked very hard since we opened Nucleus in 2017 and the successful attainment of this award, Place of Deposit status and compliance with a number of international standards demonstrates the quality of the staff, the facility itself and the work that is done there. I am looking forward to continuing to work with the Archive community in sharing best practice and providing a first-class service to all of our stakeholders for many years to come.”

Paul Lowe, Keeper of the Records of Scotland, affirmed the service’s achievement, stating:

“I am pleased to congratulate Nucleus – The Nuclear and Caithness Archive – on achieving Accredited Archive status. The Archive Service Accreditation scheme provides national recognition of excellence within the sector. It is greatly encouraging to see yet another Scottish archive successfully achieving the standard, in recognition of their good work.”

The following services across the UK have also been awarded Accredited Archive Status:

Durham University Archives and Special Collections

National Army Museum

Search Engine, National Railway Museum

Wellcome Collection

Archive Service Accreditation is supported by a partnership of the Archives and Records Association (UK), Archives and Records Council Wales, National Records of Scotland, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Scottish Council on Archives, The UK National Archives, and the Welsh Government through its Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales division.

Scottish awards are co-assessed by representatives from National Records of Scotland and the Scottish Council on Archives.

For more information on Archives Accreditation visit: