This color film Power Across the Channel was produced by the Associated Electrical Industries and British Insulated Callender’s Cables in cooperation with Electricite de France. France had a peak demand of electricity at different times than England did. The solution was to exchange power across the English Channel between the two (1:40). Britain had nuclear and thermal power stations (1:58-2:14). France had thermal and hydroelectric power stations (2:15-2:27). Discussions turned to sub-marine cables to connect the two. England hired the Associated Electrical Industries and British Insulated Callender’s Cables to handle the project (3:13-3:39). The inside of the 100,000 volt cable is shown (3:41). Each company produced a prototype in 1958 (4:09-4:25), where a 16mm film projector shows a movie documenting minimum spacing between the two cables could be met on the seabed (4:26-5:20). Manufacturing commenced. The copper conductor is wrapped with paper tape for insulation (5:23) and a lead sheet is extruded over the insulation to form a seal (5:31). The lead sheet cable has steel anti-twist tape and anti-corrosion applied (5:50), heavy galvanized steel armor wires laid on it (6:04), covered again and whitewashed (6:20). The companies meet in a boardroom and detailed drawings are shown (6:26-7:56). The completed cable is coiled, awaiting loading (8:00-8:23). Each cable is subjected to an acceptance pressure test of 200,000 volts DC (8:25-8:44). The land cables are installed between the Lydd converter station and the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, as well as an overhead line to Canterbury (8:49-9:42), which meant reinforcing lines crossing the Thames (9:45). The cable machinery is land tested on a statimeter (10:07-10:24). The Dame Caroline Haslett (10:26), taken out of service as a collier ship, has cable loaded onto it (10:26-11:20). The land cable is finished (1:22-11:40). The cable handling machinery is mounted to the ship (11:42-12:45). The next 50-mile length of cable is loaded and the ship heads to Dover (12:47-14:00). June 9, 1961, the ship sat 1,400 yards off Dungeness where shore preparations were complete with shortwave radio communications (14:20). The international signal was hoisted to show the ship had restricted maneuverability (14:29). A power wench is used on the beach to pull the cable to shore (14:45). Barrels are attached to the cable so it floats until joined to the shore cable (14:51-16:25). Divers cut the floats and the cable drops to the seabed as the ship moves towards France, laying the cable (16:30-19:00). Shore base stations transmissions were correlated in the DECA receiver and recorded on a graph (19:09-19:15). On shore, the cable ends are joined (19:40-19:47). Cable leaves the ship and the French marker buoys are seen. The end cables are dropped at the buoy 19:48-20:48). Pressure testing is done (20:50-21:05) England’s portion is complete. The crew celebrates (21:17). The joined cables are carried down at low tide (21:34-21:59). The connection is made at the link house and the converter station (22:00-22:37). The French complete their half of the project at Boulogne (22:38-24:10). On December 8, 1961, the two countries exchange electricity (24:15-25:16).
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