Ultimate Conversion? From Nuclear Plant to Amusement Park

Re-purposing has certainly become the buzzword of the day. We've had former grain silos turned into homes, as well as a military base, a post office and even the Watchtower printing press in Brooklyn is now a condo complex. But taking a sidelined nuclear plant and making it into a theme park may be pushing the envelope. Think they sell glow sticks in the gift shop?

The Wunderland theme park near Kalkar, Germany, has transformed the never-used multi-million-pound reactor into a Disney-like adventure with hotel rooms, bars, restaurants and kiddie rides that include a merry-go-round, log flume and Ferris wheel. There's a wing ride inside the cooling tower and you can even climb up the 130-foot-tall wall on the outside, reports the Daily Mail.

The SNR-300 nuclear power plant was originally built in 1972 and was billed to be the world's most technologically advanced nuke plant. Then along came Chernobyl and a lot of public protests and construction stopped dead in its tracks in 1991 -- despite the $4 billion already spent. The complex was bought in 1995 by a Dutch businessman, Hennie van der Most. Now, it's a tourist destination and sees 600,000 visitors a year, according to a spokesperson. The site is radiation-free but you can't minimize the thrill of spinning around the inside with scenes from "The China Syndrome" racing through your mind.

The movement to find new uses for the no-longer used has it's own core (sorry, can't help our inner punster) following. Try on these converted-use homes for size:

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said that construction on the SNR-300 power plant stopped in 1981. It ended in 1991.

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