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October 1956. Calder Hall Nuclear Station

Calder Hall Power Station

The opening of Calder Hall power station by Her Majesty the Queen on October 17th will mark an epoch in the history of power development. For Calder Hall is the first power station in the world to generate electricity on an industrial scale from nuclear energy.

Moreover, Calder Hall is the forerunner of a group of nuclear power stations which will constitute the first stage in Great Britain’s 10-year programme for the construction of 12 nuclear power stations by 1965.

The first group of these stations will be advanced versions of the Calder Hall design, based on the gas-cooled, graphite-moderated natural uranium reactor. They will, however, have the benefit of current technical improvements, including up-rating of the reactors.

1956 Calder Hall Nuclear Power Station

Readers' comments (3)

  • I was so excited to follow on the radio the Calder Hall opening by the Queen. Of course we didn't know at the time that it was ctually a subterfuge to produce weapons-grade Plutonium. The heat exchangers were there simply to stop the core from melting. I was not so pleased to receive a Strontium-90 dose from the later fire. Let's not ever become complacent about fission reactors.

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  • The fire was not at the Calder Hall commercial station but at one of the earlier prototype Windscale pile reactors.

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  • The race for nuclear diverted money away from the UKs space programme and killed it.
    From an analysis of the industry after official secrets were shown, we only raced for nuclear power so that we could keep up the US and the nuclear arms race.
    I wonder how much it cost to clean this up?
    I bet there are no official figures for the moneys spent on this; whole life costing that is.

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