Photo: "Inside the Cooling Tower"


First light seeps through a small personnel door in the side of the cooling tower.

Having the opportunity to revisit this location was really awesome. The last time I was here, it was incredibly humid and the temps reached the high 80's. I felt much more refreshed during this last visit and was able to capture some of the angles and perspectives I didn't photograph on the first visit. 

Photo: "Blinding Perspective"

Construction on the Hartsville Nuclear Plant came to a halt midway through the process, leaving the plant looking other-worldly. It's full of abstract shapes, rebar poking out from cement, steps leading to incomplete floors and some beautiful patterns around the lower ring of the unfinished cooling tower. This particular tower had been completed and stood a few hundred feet tall, looking down on the disarray below. 

Photo: "Natural Draft Tower"

Cooling Tower, Hartsville Nuclear Power Plant

The concept of a cooling tower is to reject heat by cooling water in an evaporative manner. The heat from the water transferred to the air raises the temperature of the air and increases the humidity and that air is released into the atmosphere.

Cooling towers are very effective at the disposal of heat, more so than dry devices, as water can cool much faster than other methods. This natural draft cooling tower relied on the buoyancy of the heated air to provide the draft up the tower and was incredibly efficient as it cooled water by the thousands of gallons. 

Photo: "Break In the Darkness"

Hartsville Nuclear Plant

The Tennessee Valley Authority never imagined that construction on this plant would end a few short years after it began, in 1983, with thousands of government dollars wasted, creating a paradise for people like me. 

Walking around this plant, I felt small. Being surrounded by a massive world of nuclear concrete that is slowly being overtaken by nature, after being abandoned for three decades, is an experience you can't easily forget. 

These places are my home. It's hard to convey how much life lies within the places most people consider to be dead. The walls of these buildings speak many words as long as you're willing to listen and embrace the history. I don't believe in ghosts, if they existed I definitely would have seen them in some of these places, but I believe in the countless stories and memories the patients and employees left behind. 

Photo: "Roost"

When construction began on the Hartsville plant in the late 1970's, the Tennessee Valley Authority never imagined less than a decade later, they would be canceling construction of the plant. 

In 1983, when the plant was canceled, the reality set in that the needs for nuclear power were not as great as many predicted years before. 

Now the plant sits abandoned, a home for vultures and small birds nesting in the building's orifices.  

Photo: "Among the Giants"

Fog at sunrise, Hartsville Nuclear Plant

Construction plans for the nuclear plant in Hartsville, Tennessee began in the 1970's, in preparation for the predicted need for nuclear power in the 1980's and beyond. When reports were presented depicting the actual demand for that type of power, the Tennessee Valley Authority realized the demand wasn't as high as predicted and cancelled the construction of the plant in 1983. 

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