The Capper Pass tin smelter, (1937-91) which one top nuclear scientist has called "...a timewarp back to the days of Dante's inferno (which) it would not surprise me that Dante himself helped design" has been closed down.
The plant, on north Humberside, Northeast England, was for many years one of the major sources of environmental ionizing radiation in Britain. Owned and managed by RTZ, the world's largest mining company, Capper Pass performed a unique - and uniquely pollutive - task. The plant operated not just as Europe's only primary tin smelter, but as the recycler of a devil's cauldron of heavy metals and radioactive wastes, including radium and uranium. It was the presence of polonium-210, however, spewing out of the company's 600-foot chimney into the surrounding countryside, which first alerted local people to something nasty.