Satsop, Again

Trojan Nuclear plant welders

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.

Welding Area - Satsop Development Park
Welding Area – Satsop Development Park
Tank Makers - Satsop Development Park
Tank Makers – Satsop Development Park
Ten Ton Tanks - Satsop Development Park
Ten Ton Tanks – Satsop Development Park

Above the tank company is a vast open space with mysterious equipment, such as this:

Industrial Stuff - Satsop Development Park
Industrial Stuff – Satsop Development Park

Of course, if anything gets out of hand, there’s lots of well-maintained safety equipment.

fire extinguishers
dusty fire extinguishers

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.

Satsop ladybugs
Satsop ladybugs

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.

Under Satsop cooling tower #3
Under Satsop cooling tower #3

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:

Satsop cooling tower #5
Satsop cooling tower #5

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?

Satsop reactor #3 access door
Satsop reactor #3 access door

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:

Satsop nuclear reactor scale model
Satsop nuclear reactor scale model detail

And this concludes your tour of my local defunct nuclear reactor. Remember, if you’re glowing, it’s not our fault.

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4 Thoughts to “Satsop, Again”

  1. nwx

    The issue of nuclear waste aside, that’s not going to happen here. These plants were never completed, and now are being re-purposed for other businesses. The unique construction — particularly the hefty concrete foundation — seems to lend itself well to certain things, including a business that requires an extremely quiet environment for its work. The failed nuclear project cost taxpayers billions, but at least now there’s some good use being made of the site.

  2. Russ Holcombe

    We need to just finish building our nuclear power plant because nuclear energy is the cheepest and most prestigious form of power we have.

  3. Charles K. Johnson

    The lady bugs are fine. They never loaded the nuclear fuel there, so there is no contamination…just a large mausoleum for a failed 20th century technology.

  4. wife

    very cool pix–if you think about it those lady bugs are probably radioactive, just sayin… not so cute after all.

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