Boilers from Berkeley Nuclear Power Station move through town on their way to Sweden
THE LAST of the gargantuan boilers from Berkeley Power Station have started their slow journey through the town on their way to Sweden.
While the removal of the 310 tonne containers is nothing new to residents, dozens of people still lined Salter Street and Canonbury Street to view the impressive sight on a cold and frosty Thursday morning (February 28).
A large convoy helped move the 144-wheeled trailers from the nuclear station to Sharpness Docks including police motorbikes and patrol cars as well as a string of electrical technicians to dismantle the telephone wires crossing the route.
The large loads, measuring 21.3 metres high and 5.3 metres wide, are on their way to a metal recycling plant as part of the decommissioning of the nuclear power plant, which closed in 1989.
An expert in the field is 89-year-old Roy Brown, from Lower Berrycroft in Berkeley, who used to work as a plant operator and was involved in large-load operations.
"You have to get movement orders, you need escorts, everything has got to be organised and telephone wires taken down," he said.
"It is a fantastic movement and it will never be seen again through here."
Housewife Sandra Sherman, 52, who lives at Coach Close, next to the path the boilers take on their journey, said she had come out to see every single one.
"I have seen them five times now and there’s still a lot to see, there’s quite a lot that goes into it," she said.
"It is a bit of history in Berkeley as they were put in back in the 60s."
John Pearson, 74, from Hillcrest, said: "It is quite an occasion really, but I’ve got quite fed up with them now, I’ve seen quite a few a few of them go through the town.
"But the big boilers are quite a sight, I was down there when they put them in. Now they are taking them back."
Retired research officer James Corbett, 64, from James Orchard, used to work at the laboratory at the plant.
"It is very impressive to see them come through the town, it’s rather exciting," he said.
"It’s a big operation taking down the telephone wires and such but it is necessary rather than an inconvenience."
The last of the containers will be moved next week, on Tuesday, March 12 and Friday, March 15, to join the other boilers in being taken by barge to Avonmouth Dockyard before being melted for recycling at a processing plant in Sweden.