Calder Hall: Atomic Power Station

by The Heartwood Institute



Calder Hall, first connected to the grid on 27 August 1956 and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 October 1956, was the world's first power station to generate electricity on an industrial scale from nuclear energy. The Calder Hall design was codenamed PIPPA (Pressurised Pile Producing Power and Plutonium) by the UKAEA to denote the plant's dual commercial and military role. Construction started in 1953. Calder Hall had four Magnox reactors capable of generating 60 MWe (net) of power each, reduced to 50 MWe in 1973. The reactors were supplied by UKAEA, the turbines by C. A. Parsons and Company, and the civil engineering contractor was Taylor Woodrow Construction. When the station closed on 31 March 2003, the first reactor had been in use for nearly 47 years.

"back in the mists of time, such overriding concerns associated with nuclear fusion where greeted not so much in cautious negativity but in terms of dreams of its potential. Seen as a positive step for mankind as a whole and still in relative infancy its pluses and negatives hadn’t yet been assimilated, after all atomic science was at its dawn and to a world emerging from out of the gloom of war and the pursuant austerity. unlike most artists frequenting the realms of, I guess you’d collectively call, hauntology or more rightly cold war groove, there’s a tendency to look backwards with a degree of skewed nostalgia to an age – or at least a vague actuality of an age – symbolised by the threatening cloud of nuclear aggression, political intrigue, future gazing post-apocalyptic sci-fi and er…..pylons and with that the application of a musical craft dimpled in an eerie albeit wonky iciness. Not so with the Heartwood Institute, who after – what they call – a hiatus, 9 months mind, blimey they need to have a word with Radiohead about hiatus’ – return with ‘calder hall – atomic power station’ – a homage of sorts to Britain’s first commercial nuclear fusion generator. a misty eyed salute populated by a fond affection redolent of the time from an era where the old age passed into the future age and where for once mankind began to collectively dream of a new found growing hope in science as the next phase of his development. we’ve opted on this occasion for the parting shot ‘cooling towers’ – haloed in a sense of the stilled, the silent and the stately, these man made arteries, the lungs of the operation are gracefully remembered by a swirling nocturnal lullaby whose shimmering lunar pastorals twinkle with starry eyed seduction to a lilting carousel whose minimalist opines principally recall the analogue yearns of a youthful ISAN." - The Sunday Experience


released July 23, 2016

All tracks composed and realised by Jonathan Sharp, 2016.


all rights reserved



The Heartwood Institute England, UK

Hauntronica from the heart of the English Lake District.

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