Calder Hall was the first nuclear reactor and opened in 1956. It wasn’t only the first reactor in the UK, it was the first reactor in the world to contribute electricity to a civilian network. Originally thought to be opened to develop inexpensive power, it was later revealed to be a site for making plutonium for a nuclear weapons program.
A little more information on Calder hall—it was first turned on by Queen Elizabeth at 12:16 GMT on October 17, 1956, and Workington, a town 15 mile away, became the first town in the world to receive power from a nuclear plant. Four hours after the switch-on, London was receiving nuclear power. At the time, the British government estimated that they would save around 40 million tons of coal by investing in nuclear energy.
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