Bradwell nuclear power station


We went on holiday to Essex near a nuclear power station, which was obviously the highlight of the visit. Actually, it's a disused power station; the 'decommissioning' process has started (this appears to be one guy with a JCB), although it's going to take another hundred years or so before the reactors are cold enough to dismantle.

Anyway, after a painstaking struggle I managed to select only twenty-four pictures (out of several hundred). Here they are.

Here's the sign for the site. (I cheated a bit; the sign is actually supposed to be pointing down the road behind, and this road is part of a disused airfield that's now just farmland.)
1/500 at f8, 14mm, ISO200 51°44′2″N 0°53′50″E

Overall views

The power station has two reactors, which used to produce about 242 MW. The containment vessels are an older type made from steel rather than concrete, which didn't encase all the pipework for the coolant, meaning that they used to gently irradiate the surrounding countryside. (It's okay, nobody much lives here.)

Presumably the two reactors are inside the massive brick structures here.

The power station viewed from a helipad. (Heli-lawn?)
1/500 at f8, 15mm, ISO200 51°44′30″N 0°54′2″E
Back of the power station. I think the long lower grey building is probably the turbine hall.
1/1500 at f8, 79mm, ISO200 51°44′21″N 0°53′20″E
Front of the power station again, looking dark and sinister, from the beach.
1/1500 at f8, 55mm, ISO200 51°44′48″N 0°54′49″E
One end of the power station. On this end, the windows appear to be all glass rather than boarded-up (or plain fallen-out) like on some other sides.
1/750 at f8, 100mm, ISO200 51°44′23″N 0°54′1″E
Back of power station from the fields with a nice sky overhead.
1/1500 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°44′26″N 0°53′33″E
Another sinister-looking (and slightly heat-distorted) view of the front, over wheat stubble.
1/1000 at f8, 154mm, ISO200 51°44′5″N 0°54′50″E

Closer views

There are lots of interesting views and patterns in the power station, which seems to have been built using as many construction methods as possible.

Part of both reactor halls, complete with boarded-up windows.
1/350 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′41″N 0°54′0″E
Mmm, nice stains on the side of the building. (Wonder what those vents were for, anyhow?)
1/350 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′39″N 0°53′54″E
Glass, brick, corrugated metal.
1/500 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′34″N 0°53′39″E
Mmm, nice stains (#2).
1/250 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′33″N 0°54′1″E
Colour patterns.
1/500 at f8, 250mm, ISO400 51°44′35″N 0°53′42″E
Corner of the power station.
1/350 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′27″N 0°54′2″E
Part of what might be the turbine hall.
1/350 at f8, 250mm, ISO400 51°44′35″N 0°53′43″E
View down the middle of the site between what might be the reactor halls and what might be the turbine hall. (Shame Wikipedia didn't have a site plan, or I could be a bit more definitive...)
1/750 at f8, 55mm, ISO200 51°44′36″N 0°53′45″E
Back of power station.
1/1000 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′26″N 0°53′33″E
Large vat of something (probably not radioactive waste, but you never know).
1/750 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′38″N 0°53′50″E


A large structure in the middle of the river looks very sinister - maybe a place where a nuclear submarine might park up? Actually, it's the outfall for the warm-but-probably-not-very-radioactive coolant water, but it still looks good.

Ominous sign on the bank.
1/750 at f8, 55mm, ISO200 51°44′33″N 0°53′38″E
Outfall structure. (I have no idea why it's so big.)
1/1000 at f8, 90mm, ISO200 51°44′42″N 0°54′4″E
Okay, the sign wasn't really all that ominous when you lean out to see the front, although I don't know if a power danger cable is something you want in your backyard.
1/1000 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′34″N 0°53′39″E
Close-up of the central part of the outfall structure.
1/500 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′32″N 0°53′35″E
End part of structure.
1/500 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′36″N 0°53′44″E

Mmm, radioactive crops.

Sign in farm field.
1/1000 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′33″N 0°53′36″E

And finally

Let's say goodnight!

I didn't take a tripod with me and this is from miles away, so it's not very sharp, but whatever.
1/4 at f5.6, 250mm, ISO1600 51°44′27″N 0°56′22″E

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.