A water colour painting by Claude Buckle Calder Hall

View of the experimental reactor facility at Calder Hall

This painting of Calder Hall is believed to be the world’s first commercially operated nuclear power station painted before the station was built.

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

Sellafield incorporates the original nuclear reactor site at Windscale, which is currently undergoing decommissioning and dismantling, and Calder Hall, another neighbour of Windscale, which is also undergoing decommissioning and dismantling of its four nuclear power generating reactors. (Wikipedia 2014)”

Claude Buckle draws the power station from plans to make an architectural pleasing water colour of the atomic facility. The painting is dated 1956-1958 well before the date of construction.

Please note that the above is not a correct description.

This is the UK’s experimental gas-cooled nuclear reactor built in the early 60’s the WAGR. WAGR was designed to test graphite-moderated, CO2-cooled reactors, which would replace the older Magnox reactors based on the technology developed for nearby Calder Hall, the world’s first operating power reactor (although it had mainly been used to make plutonium for nuclear weapons, and didn’t become a primarily power reactor until 1964).

Created in 1956.
Photograph of Calder Hall atomic facility 1956
This is a photograph of the facility in 1956. The atomic reactor and turbine hall can be seen.