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29-09-2007

Sellafield cooling towers are demolished

Nuclear Fall Down

Obviously here at HISTORY, we are concerned with all things progressive, empowering and civilisation advancing. But, at the same time, we also like things that blow up. And a great big thing blew up on this day in 2007 as the Calder Hall cooling towers were detonated and utterly demolished in spectacular fashion. For 50 years the towers had provided cool water for the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, opened by the Queen in 1956. It was the first full-scale nuclear power station in the world, but by the turn of the new century, the complex was considered outdated and dangerous, so had to go. Even though the actual explosion only lasted a few seconds, it took years to plan the destruction of the 88m tall towers, using a whopping 192 kilograms of explosives. Hundreds of spectators watched as they were demolished, causing a huge cloud of dust that blew out into the Irish Sea. A sad day for chimney lovers, but a golden age for people who like things that go boom.