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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Nuclear towers to be demolished
Sellafield towers
The cooling towers will soon disappear
Giant cooling towers at the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria are due to be demolished later this month.

Test blasts on four towers, originally part of the Calder Hall facility, took place last month.

Officials say they were a success and have named 29 September as a date for the total demolition of the 290ft (88m) high structures.

Final permission for the operation is being sought from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.

The project is part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's (NDA) plan to dismantle ageing facilities throughout the UK.

Cooling ponds

Jill Marsden, one of the project co-ordinators, said: "Weather will play a part in this. We do not want to see lightning or hurricane-force winds.

"The explosions should see the towers fall straight down into their own footprint, with debris only spreading about 15 or 20 metres.

"We do not have nuclear facilities in that area so they should just come straight down to the ground."

After the final demolition, debris from the towers will be recovered, processed and used to fill in the voids of the cooling ponds beneath the towers, making the site available for reuse in the future.

Calder Hall was the world's first nuclear reactor and opened by the Queen in 1956. It ceased operating in 2003 after almost 50 years in service.

Test explosions at nuclear plant
12 Aug 07 |  Cumbria

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