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First commercial N-plant demolished

Demolition experts blew up on Saturday the giant cooling towers of the world's first commercial nuclear power station.

world Updated: Sep 29, 2007 18:32 IST

Demolition experts blew up on Saturday the giant cooling towers of the world's first commercial nuclear power station, 51 years after it was opened in northwest England.



The first two of the four 88-metre (288-foot) high cooling towers at Sellafield were demolished at 9 am (0800 GMT), sending a cloud of dust over the Irish Sea before hundreds of onlookers.



Four minutes later the final pair of cooling towers crumbled to the ground in a series of controlled explosions.



The demolition of the towers is the first phase in the decommissioning of the 167,000 square metre site made up of 62 buildings.



Inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II on October 17 1956, the plant started production in 1960 and stopped in March 2003.