|A huge clock registered the first power to be transferred to the National Grid
Artificially 1969: FilmTheTheAA The Queen has opened the world's first full-scale nuclear power station, at Calder Hall in Cumberland.
1956: Queen switches on nuclear power
A crowd of several thousand people gathered to watch the opening ceremony, which was also attended by scientists and statesmen from almost 40 different countries.
The Lord Privy Seal, Richard Butler, described the event as "epoch-making".
He added, "It may be that after 1965 every new power station being built will be an atomic power station."
Sir Edwin Plowden, chairman of the Atomic Energy Authority, also stressed the ground-breaking nature of the new power station.
"Nothing that comes after will be able to detract from the importance of this first great step forward," he said.
Her Majesty the Queen gave her speech in the shadow of the massive chimneys of the Windscale plant, where explosives were made for Britain's first atomic bomb, and she gave a timely reminder of the moresinisterorigins of the technology.
"This new power, which has proved itself to be such a terrifying weapon of destruction," she said, "is harnessed for the first time for the common good of our community."
At 1216 GMT, she pulled the lever which would direct electricity from the power station into the National Grid for the first time.
A large clock on the wall of the power station registered the first kilowatts of energy to be produced.
The town of Workington, 15 miles (24 km) up the Cumberland coast from Calder Hall, became the first town in the world to receive light, heat and power from nuclear energy.
Within four hours, the first nuclear-powered electricity was reaching London.
The government expects to save about 40 million tons of coal by investing in the new technology, and it is planning to supply about 10% of the country's electricity needs from nuclear power within less than 10 years.
Calder Hall is known as a gas-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor, and uses the nuclear reaction in uranium rods to generate power.
Two other nuclear power stations are already under construction - one alongside the existing Calder Hall plant, to be known as Calder Hall B, and the other at Chapel Cross in Scotland.