The 27th Day of August

The world’s first industrial scale nuclear power station 1956

Calder Hall was the world’s first commercial nuclear power station to generate electricity on an industrial scale from nuclear energy. Calder Hall in the United Kingdom was first connected to the grid on 27th August 1956 and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 October 1956.

In its early life Calder Hall primarily produced weapons grade plutonium, with two fuel loads per year. The Calder Hall design was code named PIPPA (Pressurised Pile Producing Power and Plutonium) by the UKAEA to denote the plant’s dual commercial and military role.

The world's first industrial scale nuclear power station 1956

Construction started in 1953. Calder Hall had four Magnox reactors in two shared turbine halls capable of generating 60 MWe (net) of power each, reduced to 50 MWe in 1973.

The station was closed on 31 March 2003, the first reactor having been in use for nearly 47 years.

Extra Note: On 3 September 2019 it was announced that de-fuelling of all the reactors was complete.

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