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In the first few years following the Second World War, the maximum size of generating units was 60MW. There was a rapid growth in the demand for electricity, and as a result there was a hectic period of design and construction of larger units. Within a period of about ten years, units of nine different sizes were introduced. Not surprisingly, there were many teething troubles, and the availability of the plant suffered. There were also construction delays that could not be attributed to design changes and to late delivery of plant to site. Official committees were set up to investigate the case of delays. They found the causes to be complex, involving lack of long-term planning to even out the rate of ordering, bad site management, poor industrial relations and inadequate productivity. The author is cautiously optimistic that delays can be minimised and the availability of the plant improved in the future by the standardisation of designs during the next few years, when little new plant will be required. There are a number of other areas that call for determined and concerted action before we can be assured of achieving shorter construction times and highest availability plant. These will be of increasing importance with the higher proportion of nuclear plant which will be constructed towards the end of the 20th century to take the place of dwindling, and increasingly costly, oil and gas reserves.