One of the world's most challenging clean-ups, removing symbols of Dounreay's controversial past, has been given the green light by planning authorities.

A processing agreement has been made between the Highland Council and Dounreay, with planning permission in principle granted for the construction of plants to remotely retrieve, package and store the intermediate level waste from the shaft and silo.

The notorious 214.5ft Dounreay shaft was used as a dump for nuclear and chemical waste between 1959 and 1977, after which an explosion forced the UK Atomic Energy Authority to seal it.

Later, investigations found that it had also been used by locals for late night fly-tipping.