Finally got around to sorting through the images from my WPPSS nuclear folly Satsop Development Park field trip. More pics of the nuclear reactor & cooling tower areas below, but first one of the positive things to come out of the deal. After WPPSS defaulted and sold — or rather, pretty much gave away the site — a number of businesses have moved in, taking advantage of the unique setting and facilities. There’s a computer server building; a company utilizing the ultra-thick reactor building walls to create super quiet rooms, and a firm building giant steel tanks.
Above the tank company is a vast open space with mysterious equipment, such as this:
Of course, if anything gets out of hand, there’s lots of well-maintained safety equipment.
Further exploring in and around the cooling towers and reactor area, we found that the area was not devoid of life. I saw one shy newt, and this mass of ladybugs nestled in the corner of an enclosed stairwell leading to cooling tower #3.
Earlier I posted a photo inside tower #3. Here’s what it looks like beneath that, at ground level. It’s a large pool for collecting the steam that condenses and falls. I love the patterns made by the columns, supports, and puddles.
On the other side of the reactor building is tower #5, which was abandoned even earlier. Its interior is open to the ground, with just a few columns that would have supported the pipes at the 40-foot level. And inside just off-center is one lone power pole:
One more look inside the reactor building now. Here’s the big access door through which major components could be accessed and replaced. It’s a pretty formidable piece of steel, eh?
Finally, did I mention that part of the process of constructing something as elaborate as a nuclear power plant before good computer models existed was to build a model. A really detailed scale model with every pipe and wire over two inches (I believe that’s what they said) thick? This model cost some $3 million to make, but would have saved tens of millions by avoiding construction conflicts and delays. The model is now in several pieces, but it is being slowly restored by a local model club, which sounds like a pretty daunting task, unless the model club members also happen to be nuclear engineers. Here’s a small section:
And this concludes your tour of my local defunct nuclear reactor. Remember, if you’re glowing, it’s not our fault.