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Old nuclear power plant transformed into a theme park and hotel

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October 6, 2011

The amusement park features over 40 rides and attractions (image from Wunderland Kalkar)

The amusement park features over 40 rides and attractions (image from Wunderland Kalkar)

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A disused nuclear power station in Germany has been converted into the Wunderland Kalkar amusement park, following the government's decision to abandon all nuclear energy plants. Wunderland Kalkar is most likely the first of many more creative conversions to come, with approximately fifteen more power plants to be be completely abandoned by the year 2022.

Formally the "Schneller Brüter," a cooperative venture between the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, the plant was in construction from 1972 through 1991 at a cost of 4 billion Euro (US$5.3 billion). All that work was never put to use, however, due to political reasons. Since the nuclear power station has never been used, the whole complex is guaranteed free of radiation, but is filled with large ominous concrete landmarks.

The site was sold in 1991 to a Dutch investor who, leaving the reactor building in place, created Wunderland Kalkar. The proportions of the park are enormous - it takes up over 55 hectares/136 acres (the size of 80 football fields) and uses so many wires to power the the entire complex, the combined length could circle the entire globe twice! The concrete used to build the original plant alone could be used to construct a highway from Amsterdam to Maastricht (211 km or 131 miles).

Surrounded by gardens and water features, the theme park houses a 450-room hotel with several restaurants and bars. Recreation facilities on the site include a bowling alley, miniature golf, tennis courts, beach volleyball fields, an outdoor center with a unique dragster lane for karts and quads, and of course the amusement park with more than 40 attractions.

The landmark cooling tower has been fitted with a swing ride and the outer walls are used ...

The landmark cooling tower has been fitted with a swing ride, and the outer walls are used as a climbing wall. Visitors are also invited to take a guided tour, to learn about the power plant.

Future plans for Wunderland Kalkar include the addition of a rooftop swimming pool, a wellness spa and an Energy-Discovery Park that will become the largest in Europe.

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema.   All articles by Bridget Borgobello
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6 Comments

Well at least they didn't just tear it down. But if they really want to listen to the green fascists and give up nuclear power, they should have least used the facility for a different type of thermal power plant.

Slowburn
7th October, 2011 @ 12:56 am PDT

This project must be the most expensive white elephant in the world. I would not be surprised if it was built with a grant from the EU. Strange that the project was abandoned so long ago. Nothing to do with loss of confidence in nuclear power.

windykites1
7th October, 2011 @ 03:37 am PDT

Hmmm,

Sounds like a 007 film with the Master criminal using the fairground as a decoy with his evil lair in the 'defunct' reactor..

.. perhaps in tunnels under original building..??

Karsten Evans
7th October, 2011 @ 04:01 am PDT

"The proportions of the park are enormous" - 136 acres......

Um Disney world has developed 7000 acres.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas 200 acres.

Six Flags Over Texas 212 acres not including hurricane harbor.

Six Flags Over Georgia 283 acres

Six Flags Great Adventure 2000 acres

So an enormous amusement park for Europe is half a regular size one in the us and 1/50th the size of a large one in the us..

Why is this even an article Gizmag why?

They used an abandon nuclear power plant?? Why do people think abandoned or even active nuclear power plants are harmful?

Michael Mantion
7th October, 2011 @ 08:57 am PDT

That was a sodium cooled fast breeder.

Those do not even work today. Very good decision to abandon th project.

There are loads of nukes that have been stopped. Good for the tax payer.

One of the best decisions in Austria was to stop Zwentendorf. This would have been the first nuke in that country...now they are nuke free.

Marcus Heavyweather
9th October, 2011 @ 01:50 pm PDT

re; Marcus Heavyweather

"That was a sodium cooled fast breeder.

Those do not even work today. Very good decision to abandon the project."

The only problem with a sodium cooled fast breeder reactor is with the pumps, something that is unnecessary if you design the cooling loop properly.

"There are loads of nukes that have been stopped. Good for the tax payer."

Complete and udder nonsense. Spending huge amounts of money and throwing away the benefits is good for no one. And if you believe the Green Fascist lies about AGW it is doubly stupid.

"One of the best decisions in Austria was to stop Zwentendorf. This would have been the first nuke in that country...now they are nuke free."

And burning what for electricity? Coal. CO2 is the only byproduct of burning coal that I am not concerned about.

Slowburn
10th October, 2011 @ 04:45 am PDT
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