You appear to be using a browser that is no longer supported. You may find that you are unable to use all features on the site. We recommend upgrading or changing your browser, if possible.
Skip to main content
Search... Open this section

Atom Town (clip)

Dounreay Nuclear Power Station in the mid 1960's

  • Print All


1960s documentary on how the arrival of the nuclear power station at Dounreay impacted on the local community. The film looks at the construction of the recently opened Dounreay Nuclear Power Station and the corresponding effect on the nearby town of Thurso and its inhabitants. This clip features shots of the construction of the power station as well as interior shots of the completed control room. It also shows shots of apprentices being trained to work at the plant, views of Thurso, and the new technical college where crofters' sons and shepherds' daughters are trained for a bright new future. There are also interviews with the trainees and further general views of Thurso.

Questions & Activities


  • Where is the nuclear power plant in the film based?
  • What does a nuclear power plant do and why do we need them?
  • What kinds of work and leisure pursuits are featured in the film?
  • What was the "brain drain"€™?
  • Where do you think this film would have been shown?
  • Why was the plant built there?


Write a dialogue between a traditional crofter and a young scientist about the benefits and drawbacks of modern technology and scientific progress.

Research how nuclear power works.

Write and design the front page of the "€˜Hip Hip Dounreay"€™ newspaper mentioned in the film.

This house believes that nuclear power is a necessary development.

Research all the alternatives to nuclear energy as a power source.

Write a story set in a world where there is no electricity.

Research and create a timeline of life in the Highlands from 1960s to today.

Design a powerplant of the future.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-559-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T1126
Date 1966
Genre Documentary, TV Documentary
School Subject Social Studies, English, Science, Technologies, Expressive Arts
Who Ian Gilmour (narrator), Jack Sampson (director), Scottish Television (production company)
Where Dounreay, Thurso
Event Nuclear Power, Brain Drain, Technology, Energy
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 6:31
Film Length 26:40