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We stepped through the passage and into the primary containment area. The reactor is on the left…
…encased in a second containment wall about 2-3 feet thick:
Fuel rods would have been loaded into the reactor via these tracks, first passing through the seven-foot thick outer shield…
…and then into the reactor here:
Just as I was wondering how much all of this equipment weighed, I happened to notice this device…
…clocking in at a gargantuan 46,000 pounds!
An emergency stretcher in case of injury:
We then headed up about ten flights of stairs to the top level of the reactor, an enormous circular room with a gigantic 360 turning crane overhead:
The reactor pit is in the center of the room…
A look inside:
Here’s an official GE diagram of the Mark II reactor:
Nearby is the fuel rod storage pool…
…which has been cleaned and ground down to remove any irradiated surfaces:
On the other side, an enormous shaft dropping all the way to ground level offers a sense of the height of the reactor building:
We then headed over to the sprawling turbine building, where electricity was generated (reactor creates steam, steam turns the turbine, turbine generates electricity):
Here’s a higher view – the turbine spanned the center of the room:
The turbine housing is now empty and capped off:
Two of the turbines were sold, but there’s still a third left for anyone in the market! Note: it probably doesn’t work.
A peek inside the turbine shaft:
On one side is a cute box-shaped structure known as the exciter room, which sounds like a fun place to hang out (it was responsible for producing the magnetic field necessary for generating electricity):
Not much inside today:
Throughout the room are walls of modular blocks, used for protecting workers from radiation while working in a particular area:
These were moved by two enormous hooks running along the roof:
The far side of the turbine room has made an appearance in one movie so far…
…the missile launch scene in The Dictator (the control room was also used).
A chunk of dismantled turbine rests atop the structure:
From the turbine room, you can walk out onto the lower roof of the plant…
…which has a gorgeous view of Long Island Sound…
…and nearby Wading River:
Next up was Rad Containment, the third building on site.
This locker would have stored radiation casks…
A look inside:
There were a few odds and ends lying around this building, like a floor filled with more shielding walls…
This gives you a sense of their size and construction:
In another room, part of the device used to close the water pumps:
Every once in a while, you’d pass by a “Hear-Here” booth, which I imagine offered some quiet when talking on the phone in a noisy environment:
And finally, one more control room, this one dedicated to the operation of the containment building:
Just another thousand or so buttons and knobs…
…covering all three walls:
I gravitate toward the more colorful panels:
Our last stop was to the plant’s former office area:
The conference room, with views of the Sound:
As we headed out of the facility past the atrium entrance, I noticed one last amusing bit…
…a garden of fake greenery over the door, as full of life as it was the day the plant opened:
As you’ve seen above, the plant has a TON of possibilities for the right production, and while it’s a little further out, I can’t think of anything that offers such a unique collection of options. A huge thanks to the folks at PSEG for arranging the tour.
If nothing else, the plant is just begging for a horror movie to make use of its shadowy passages.
It’s pretty hard to walk through its darkened industrial spaces and not picture the alien from Alien waiting to pounce on you from above:
One neat fact to leave you with: throughout the plant, you’ll see these crosses marked all over the walls and floors, creating 3 ft x 3ft grids:
This is how the plant was checked for contamination – literally one grid at a time, throughout the entire facility.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the tour! As always, if you made it all 90+ pictures down to this final sentence and enjoyed what you read, donations to my film fund are always appreciated!
Note: Before anyone asks, the plant is under security surveillance, and at least two trespassers have been sent to jail for breaking and entering in the past.
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