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Bringin' 'em down. Or, over.
August 1, 2009 7:01 PM   Subscribe

From Sheffield, England to Yongbyon, North Korea, nuclear plant cooling towers are coming down! And pretty much without a hitch. Things didn't go quite so well, though, for an old flour factory in Turkey, which just rolled over onto its roof. D'oh!
posted by flapjax at midnite (34 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
If you hire clowns, you get comedy.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:05 PM on August 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ooooops-a-daisy
posted by goshling at 7:11 PM on August 1, 2009


Sheffield was coal, not nuclear.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:11 PM on August 1, 2009


Wow, that is one sturdy flour factory.
posted by The Tensor at 7:14 PM on August 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


What do you think was supposed to happen in the flour factory? Roll on its side and then collapse?

Or maybe was there a controlled demolition before the video starts, and only one line of the explosives went off?
posted by smackfu at 7:23 PM on August 1, 2009


Good break for the controlled demolition instructional video industry.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:29 PM on August 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sheffield was coal, not nuclear.

*smacks forehead*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:34 PM on August 1, 2009


Best advertising for a construction company ever.
posted by Static Vagabond at 7:37 PM on August 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Cankiri brickies; accept no substitute.
posted by Abiezer at 7:38 PM on August 1, 2009


It's nice! I like!
posted by punkfloyd at 7:45 PM on August 1, 2009


The Tinsley Towers were indeed part of the coal-fired Blackburn Meadows Power Station, and they were built in the late 30s, nearly two decades before Calder Hall was built (the towers of which were also recently demolished). They were early examples of concrete hyperbolic cooling towers, but after the demolition of the rest of the power station in the 1970s, the gained a new life as an icon of the city. The midland mainline railway and the M1 motorway passed by the foot of the towers, and everybody entering the city from the north, or just passing by on their way to the North, saw them and knew they were in Sheffield.

The owner of the towers, E.ON, wanted to demolish the towers citing the prohibitive cost of repairs and maintenance, but there was significant debate locally about whether they overstated the costs in order to make their case. Many people in Sheffield felt that the towers ought to have been preserved in some way, and a campaign to save the Tinsley Towers was organized, including design and art competitions to rethink their potential use. The demolition was delayed for several years, supposedly because the nearby Tinsley Viaduct needed to be strengthened to withstand the blast, but more likely it was due to E.ON just delaying because they didn't need the land immediately. However, this delay allowed time for local urban explorers to daringly scale the towers at night.

The actual demolition came as a bit of a surprise, as though E.ON said they were going to demolish in 2008, the date was announced only two weeks aforehand. Sadly, I was away from the city at the time, and didn't get to see it happen.

The Guardian gave a fuller account of the story a few months before they were demolished, and Germain Greer later used them as an example of the kind of urban conservation we should prioritize.
posted by Sova at 8:04 PM on August 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Sheffield machine smacked Mars, Ringworld and Gaea are constructed of the idea.
posted by Mblue at 8:24 PM on August 1, 2009


Whoa, Sova, talk about fleshing out an FPP in the comments! Well done!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:28 PM on August 1, 2009


Anyway, any (worthwhile) engineering project invopvles mistakes.
posted by Mblue at 8:36 PM on August 1, 2009


They don't make flour factories like that any more.
posted by GuyZero at 8:51 PM on August 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


If you the flour factory collapse very closely, you'll notice that there's no way that was a controlled demolition. In fact, the timing and the angle of collapse are more consistent with a free-rollover. We need to start demanding the truth about this sinister cover-up.
posted by univac at 9:08 PM on August 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Flour power post.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:23 PM on August 1, 2009


Aren't flour mills at risk of explosion? Would that explain why someone built that thing like 'you know who's' fricken Wolfs Lair?
posted by fingerbang at 9:57 PM on August 1, 2009


Hearing "The Human League" also makes me want to blow up stuff.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:09 PM on August 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Am I the first one to get the flour factory / d’oh / dough joke?

BTW DNRTFA
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:31 AM on August 2, 2009


Am I the first one to get the flour factory / d’oh / dough joke?

Yes. Your prize is in the mail.

BTW DNRTFA

FYI INAFAIAFVAWTFDYTAFCWYDFD*

*for your information, it's not a fucking article it's a fucking video and why the fuck do you think anyone fucking cares what you didn't fucking do
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:34 AM on August 2, 2009


implosionworld.com
posted by TDIpod at 8:26 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


They should have soaked that factory in hot water first to loosen all the caked-on flour.
posted by orme at 9:38 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll bet there were a few airplanes making u-turns in the sky when they saw those nuclear cooling towers blowing up!
posted by orme at 9:43 AM on August 2, 2009


After seeing the rolling flour factory, I wonder what kind of damage WTC 1&2 could have done if they had gone over sideways.

This reminded me of my favorite conspiracy theory about the WTC. Explosives were placed inside the structures at some point after the 1993 attack. This was done to keep tenants in neighboring building from leaving the area because of fears the towers would fall sideways if a subsequent attack was successful. In a worst case scenario, the towers could be brought straight down, doing minimal damage to the surrounding structures.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 12:34 PM on August 2, 2009


Sheffield was coal, not nuclear.

Lots of these archetypal hyperbolic cooling towers have nothing to do with nukes.

Here's one over the Ohaaki geothermal power plant between Taupo and Rotorua in New Zealand.

And here's where to get your own: Cooling Tower Depot.

Flour / Power!!
posted by Herodios at 6:49 PM on August 2, 2009


I can't believe the Sheffield towers are gone. I grew up about an hour away from there, and they were so much a part of the landscape, and quite beautiful in their way. Someone's just detonated part of my childhood, and I'm not happy.

For towers that are still functioning look at Ferrybridge Power Station, quite a startling amount of towers visible from some major arterial roads.
posted by Coobeastie at 4:42 AM on August 3, 2009


I can't believe the Sheffield towers are gone. I grew up about an hour away from there, and they were so much a part of the landscape, and quite beautiful in their way. Someone's just detonated part of my childhood, and I'm not happy.

You know, Coobeastie, watching that BBC clip, with all the cheering and happiness conveyed, I was wondering: isn't anyone bummed out about this? Now I know at least one person is. In a way I'm kind of surprised they didn't leave them up. How about, say, a design competition for painting enormous murals on them? Perhaps changing the murals every year. Seems like they might've made some sort of a tourist destination out of them if they were to do something like that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:12 AM on August 3, 2009


Seems like those towers would've made an awesome daredevil cage for a superfast motorcycle.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:20 AM on August 3, 2009


Must have been an enriched flour plant.
posted by CG at 2:46 AM on August 4, 2009


*for your information, it's not a fucking article it's a fucking video and why the fuck do you think anyone fucking cares what you didn't fucking do.

Come come. Such hostility. Let's assume that wasn't a rhetorical question...

Because, shitforbrains, if the link already clarified the d'oh joke, then you or another shitforbrains would instead be posting some whinge about me not reading the article. So I was trying to cover my ass.

Furthermore, if you hover over the link it certainly LOOKS like an article. So boo farking hoo, I called your link an article. And see all those WORDS under the video? Does that not make it an article?

Yes. You made me click on the link to check, and I ended up reading the article. You win this round.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:01 PM on August 9, 2009


shitforbrains

Real classy, hengeman.

Yes. You made me click on the link to check, and I ended up reading the article.

But you still didn't watch the video, right?

posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:33 PM on August 9, 2009


Argumentum ad hominem. You know it, baby.

I watched the video coz it automatically played, clownshoes. ;)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:37 PM on August 9, 2009


clownshoes

Now that's more like it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:28 AM on August 10, 2009


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