Chapelcross Nuclear Reactor

The Chapelcross Nuclear Reactor is the first commercial nuclear reactor built near Annan, Scotland. The Chapelcross Nuclear Reactor complex consisted of four nuclear reactors built between 1958 and 1960. The reactors have a 37-foot diameter with a seven-foot thick concrete reactor shield. The complex also contained eight two-stage turbines that were used to produce electricity for the national power grid. Each unit could produce 23,000 kilowatts of power. Construction began in 1955, but it was not until 1959 that the station became operational. In 1960, Reactor 4 came online, bringing the Chapelcross Nuclear Reactor to full power capacity. The Chapelcross Nuclear Reactor’s primary goal was to produce plutonium for military purposes, with the electricity generation a by-product of the heat used to produce the plutonium. In 2004, the passage of the Energy Act halted operations at the Chapelcross Nuclear Reactor. The site is being demolished, though this will not be completed until 2095. However, visitors can explore the Chapelcross Nuclear Reactor by using virtual reality at the Devil’s Porridge Museum in Eastriggs, Scotland.