Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Billingham is a town just north of the River Tees, in the borough of Stockton-on-Tees, traditionally part of County Durham. The demand for explosives created by the First World War led to a massive expansion of Billingham. In 1917, it was decided by the government to build a plant to produce ammonia. Later this was used predominantly in the production of chemicals for fertiliser. Eventually, in 1926, this plant became part of the newly formed company, ICI. Anhydrite was also mined in the Billingham area from 1928. In 1934 plastics began to be produced there.
In 1983, NIREX announced a proposal to use the now-disused anhydrite mine as a site for the disposal of intermediate level nuclear waste. There was a huge public outcry, since despite the suitability of the site in geological terms, it was very close to a large population centre. Subsequently, in 1985, the plans were dropped.
From 1965 onwards, the town has played host to the Billingham Folklore Festival.
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