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This film is about how we make and distribute electricity. It features nuclear power, hydro-electric power, and discusses the value of renewable sources such as wind.

It's hard to see what is actually happening inside the great machinery of a power station, so at various points in the film we illustrate the operation with the help of a beautiful model generator powered by steam, made for the pleasure of wealthy old men who are still in touch with their boyhood.

Between model shots, the narration tells us of the drama happening beneath the neatly tiled floor of the nuclear power station, where matter itself is destroyed in a process of atom splitting called fission. Fission creates vast amounts of energy in the form of heat. Pipes of racing gas carry this heat away to the boilers, where water is bubbled up into high-pressure steam that will turn the blades of massive great turbines at the speed of a revving car engine.

The power of rapid rotation drives huge generators. Their job is to drag wires across fields of magnetism, and this way they create electricity - the movement of electrons.

Wires on pylons carry much of this great power around the country, and they link up with other powers sources, such as the great hydro-electric station that the Welsh people carved proudly into the side of a mountain. Our cameras see the massive pumping and generating station of 'Electric Mountain' in full action, harnessing off-peak electricity to pump water up to the top of the mountain ... and then cascading it back down to turn turbines and generators that put electricity back into the system in times of high demand.

Wind, solar and tidal energy have their part to play too; so the valuable contribution of renewable sources is also considered in this riveting film about the industrial scale production of vast amounts of electrical power.

Duration: 7:11

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This film is also available on the DVD:
'The Magic of Making - Volume 3'.