1990s to present day – decommissioning and regeneration
2008 – Almost 1.5 million sq ft of unused buildings and research facilities safely demolished and removed
Intermediate Level Waste resulting from decommissioning work being processed and stored under Active Waste Retrieval Programme.
2006 – First part of site, measuring 7 hectares, delicensed by Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, UK’s largest area of land removed from nuclear regulation. Harwell Science and Innovation Campus develops into growing community of science and technology-based organisations. Currently houses more than 100 organisations on 700-acre campus, employing some 4,500 people.
1980s to 1990s – increasing restoration role
Britain’s need for civil nuclear research reduces. Activity on site moves towards restoring the site’s environment
1990 – Closure of last three operational reactors, GLEEP, DIDO and PLUTO
1996 – Many commercial, non-nuclear research activities transferred to AEA Technology after privatisation
1996 – Harwell International Business Centre established
1960s to 1980s - diversification
Harwell at the forefront of non-nuclear research and development work including energy efficiency and non-destructive testing.
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at nearby Chilton evolves from original AERE Accelerator Physics Division.
1950s – rapid development
Research reactors, accelerators, radioactive handling facilities and laboratories built.
1954 Newly established UKAEA takes over site.
Experimental reactors constructed including GLEEP – Western Europe’s first reactor, BEPO, LIDO and DIDO and PLUTO. Early fusion experiments, including Britain’s original large-scale device, ZETA, take place.
1940s – early years
1946 – Britain’s Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) established at Harwell, previously a wartime RAF airfield. Memorial on site still marks the spot where first gliders took off for D-Day landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944.