The building of a civil nuclear generating station in Scotland was first envisaged in a Government White Paper early in 1955. At this time no country in the world other than the United Kingdom had made proposals for a civil nuclear power program.
Calder Hall, the pioneering station in Cumbernauld, built to produce plutonium with electrical power as a by-product was still under construction and its first electricity was more than a year away.
It was a time of speculation but not a lack of confidence and the Government's bold program was based on experience gained during the design of Calder Hall. The civil stations were to have reactors of the Calder hall type, slightly advanced in design and optimized purely for generating electricity.
Of the first three stations each with an electrical output of about 300 megawatts, which set the program in motion two were to be built in England by the Central Electricity Generating Board (then the Central Electricity Authority) and one in Scotland by the South of Scotland Electricity Board.
Hunterston was chosen as the site of the Scottish Station and a contract was placed with the G.E.C - Simon-Carves Atomic Energy Group for its construction.
Work began on the site in August 1957 and the first atomic stirrings occurred within the first of the stations two reactors in September 1963. By February of this year the first reactor was feeding electricity into the Scottish grid and it was quickly followed into operation by the second reactor in July.
Now with Hunterston's output added to the supplies which come from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority nuclear station at Chappelcross, Scotland has more nuclear electricity per capita than any other country in the world.