Nuclear power

Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactors to release nuclear energy and thereby generate electricity.

Commercial nuclear power plants control the process of nuclear fission, in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts, and use the heat generated through this process to generate steam that then runs through turbines to generate electricity.

Merlin Reactor plate

This metal rectangular plate, one of two, each with different text, would have originally been located at the site of the Merlin reactor at Aldermaston, Berkshire. The reactor operated from 6 November 1959 until 31 August 1962 and was an Associated Electrical Industries owned and operated facility. The first plaque says, 'Merlin reactor, opened for research by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 6 November 1959'. The second plaque says, 'closed for economy without ceremony, 31 August 1962, per ardua ad nihil. Merlin was a 5MW research reactor which was Britain’s first privately-owned nuclear reactor for scientific research.