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Article: Press Roundup: The Nuclear Sublime

Press Roundup: The Nuclear Sublime

Press Roundup: The Nuclear Sublime

Over a period of three years, Michael Collins photographed the interiors of historic and live nuclear reactors and power stations across the UK. Documenting infrastructure spanning a period of seven decades, the photographs in The Nuclear Sublime depict the present state and future of Britain’s nuclear industry— usually hidden from public view.


Guardian -  ‘A picture of hell’: inside the UK’s nuclear reactors – in pictures

Mee-Lai Stone

Turbine Hall, Chapelcross, No 1, 2022

‘Uniquely in the UK’s power generation industry, the turbine halls in some obsolete nuclear plants remain intact. This one is similar to what the turbine hall at what is now Tate Modern would have looked like. Engineers are pragmatists – each turbine and its pipework was painted a distinct colour to facilitate maintenance – which is one reason why industrial design has such an unaffected beauty.' - Michael Collins

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The TLS -  Warning signs: The mystery and danger of nuclear power plants

William Atkins

Refuelling cavity, Reactor, Sizewell B, No. 2, 2023.

It is not in the external architecture of nuclear power stations that Collins discovers that Astonishment, and indeed horror, but in the aspect that most of us will never see: the intricate mystery of their interiors. Partly for this reason, The Nuclear Sublime feels like a tour of a single techno-dystopian labyrinth, or the guts of some colossal robot, despite ranging across the country from Sizewell to Dounreay, Winfrith, Dungeness, Wylfa, Torness, Trawsfynydd, Chapelcross and finally Oxford, site of an experimental fusion reactor.

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L'Œil de la Photographie - The Nuclear Sublime

Window No.10, Irradiated Fuel Cave, Dounreay Prototype Fast Reactor, 2023.
“Nuclear power is the incarnation of the sublime….Fear and awe course through our experience of the sublime.” – Michael Collins