Once there, Hinton found that the nuclear programme was running out of control, with the CEGB being expected to buy into a vastly expanded Magnox program. Understanding the limitations of the technology and likely problems in upscaling Calder Hall, he fought against it. However, the authors show that Harwell had the ear of the Government (and the relevant part of the Civil Service) at a time when all Governments were keen to find a way out of the looming shortfalls in power production. Here I can add that almost all the way through the post war era Coal Miners were periodically causing trouble, only adding to the fact that British Coal reserves were diminishing.
While accepting the pressures Governments were under, it is quite clear, from what the authors dug up in their book, that a very murky game was in progress. Key parties and individuals did not get the information they needed and were deliberately misled, while MPs and the public did not seem to count! Their chapter on the AGR saga shows that this indeed went on for years. Dungeness B, the first AGR, was approved before any sort of detailed design was offered up, with the site, as they say in the art world, being truly a “work in progress” going on for 21 years.