Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nuclear Paddling

On Sunday I went paddling with a Meetup kayaking group. We went to Harris Lake which serves as a water reservoir for a nuclear plant.

Here's the Wiki on the place:
The Shearon Harris Nuclear Generating Station is a nuclear power plant with a single Westinghouse designed pressurized-water nuclear reactor operated by Progress Energy. Located in New Hill, North Carolina, in the United States, about 20 miles (30 km) southwest of Raleigh, it generates 900 MWe, has a 523 foot (160 m) natural draft cooling tower, and uses Harris Lake for cooling. The reactor achieved criticality in January 1987 and began providing power commercially on May 2 of that year.

I've got two pictures that juxtapose paddlers with the nuclear plant.

For some reason the appearance of the large cooling tower in the back with the kayaks and paddlers in the foreground is appealing to me.

Some might find alarm in that "scary" image of the cooling tower, billowing hot steam, or maybe in the smaller but potentially dangerous containment building. I just view them as lots of cement and a certain techy appearance.

They combine to form a calming image for me.

It is nice to see that Harris Lake is quite big though. In the end, the lake is what prevents the pile in the containment building from melting down. The bigger the lake the less likely a problem will occur. At least problems stemming from the lack of coolant.

3 comments:

GA Girl said...

Was the water nice and warm?

utenzi said...

Yes, it was, GG. But I think it was solar heating not nuclear at play. So many 90+ degree days down here, y'know?

kenju said...

I always find that tower scary.