Today in History – June 27, 1954 – First nuclear power plant begins operation. In the mid-1950′s, both the Soviet Union and western countries were exploring the non-military uses of the atom. However, even this non-military work was done in secret and not much was known about it in the West at the time. The Obninsk Power Plant in the USSR, was the world’s first nuclear power plant to generate electricity at 5 megawatts. Ordered by Stalin for nonmilitary purposes, this graphite-moderated and water-cooled reactor could be switched to plutonium production if needed.
Two years later in Calder Hall (England) and three years later in Shippingport two other power plants started operation.
On April 29, 2002, the Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant was decommissioned after 48 years of commercial operation.