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Dounreay - Retiral News

11 May 2005
Royal seat of approval awarded to George
When George Linekar retired from Dounreay at the end of April his colleagues presented him with a chair, or more correctly, a very special chair! In the late fifties, the late Queen Mother visited the site, and to ensure she had her customary post-lunch nap a club-style loungue chair was specially acquired.  Since then it has adorned a number of manager’s offices. Having looked after the chair for the last number of years, it was felt that both George and chair should remain together in retirement.  George, a metallurgist, commenced at Dounreay in 1965, and since then has held a number of senior posts on site.

He was a recipient of the George Kinchin award given to people who made a major contribution to science and technology at Dounreay. George’s contribution was determining rating limitations in fuel pins, and for work on neutron induced void swelling in fast reactor materials.  Colin Gregory, head of director’s support office, thanked George for his contribution to science and technology at Dounreay. In responding, George said he was privileged to have worked in the field of nuclear technology. “I also had the honour of working with some brilliant engineers and scientists during my time on site,” said George. A poem, written by his daughter Aimee was read at the opening of the new Scottish Parliament. George and his wife Zelda live in Thurso.

Queen Mother With A Group of scientists in the late 1950's

5 May 2005
Lawson Rosie Retires
Lawson Rosie, a  native of Thurso, joined UKAEA in August 1961, and for all but three years,  spent all of his service in the Pensions Office, formerly Superannuation.  On his last day in the office, alongwith his wife May, he was met by colleagues both past and present, and was the recipient of gifts and money, the latter to be used to but a digital camera and a painting. Alan Cormack, Pension Office manager, spoke of Lawson's sterling service and the respect he was held in. "Over the years Lawson has worked with a great number of UKAEA staff both locally and from other sites and, because of the service we provide, staff from BNFL and NRPB. All have been impressed by his calm, logical and professional manner."

Brian Hughes
Brian Hughes was born in Tonypandy in the Rhondda South Wales, the son of a Welsh miner. He qualified as a metallurgist, and after for a local steel firm, joined UKAEA in January, 1965. What made him leave the famous Welsh valley for the rolling, open landscape of Caithness? "I saw at first hand what mining was doing to my father's health and many others in the community. I wanted to work in an industry that created electricity cleanly and safely and I saw nuclear energy as the perfect medium. I still think that." He began in post irradiation examination of experimental fuel for DFR and later PFR. He later joined Site Nuclear Safety Group before moving to his last posting with Environmental Monitoring. Brian said he was retiring with many happy memories of the site and in particular its compassion. Shortly after joining UKAEA there was an accident in the pit in which his father worked. Arthur Parry, who was deputy director, took Brian to the Personnel office and instructed them to find out details of the accident which were somewhat sketchy. Eventually they got through to the police in the Rhondda who confirmed that Brian's father was safe, although thirty-two miners perished. Mr Parry arranged that Brian be awarded compassionate leave and free travel home. Mr Parry, who came from a mining family and would have understood the community's grief said: "This is a day when everyone in the valley belongs to each other." On his last day at work, David Lord, Environmental Compliance Manager, presented Brian with a radio-controlled clock and a framed photograph of Sandside Beach. Brian and his wife are to remain in Caithness.

Dounreay Senior Manager Retires
Dr Stephen Cowlam joined UKAEA Harwell in 1975 and transferred to Dounreay in 1992.  He retired from Dounreay at the end of April.  Stephen, a chemical engineer, is a graduate of Loughborough University and Georgia Institute of Technology. USA. His first post at Dounreay was as a Department Manager in Plant Operations Group with the remit to ‘get the fuel plants back into operation’. Thanks to the drive, energy and teamwork of the people involved, much was achieved, including running two re-processing plants simultaneously, a Dounreay first, and making fuel products for a number of customers.  In 1999 he became the site’s Head of Business Support Group, during which time annual funding was doubled and over 300 new staff were recruited to support the planned decommissioning programme.  This work included the modernisation of staff development, streamlining management systems, and the preparation of a planning document that provides Highland Council with information on Dounreay’s forward plans. “It helps Highland Council to detail the Caithness local plan with Dounreay’s plans to decommission the site.”  Stephen and his wife Elisabeth, a piano teacher, plan to remain in Reay, where he will pursue life-long interests in astronomy and aviation.