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: "Unparallelled Worlds"


There was something so mysterious about this unfinished Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear plant. Maybe it was the rebar dancing out of the concrete, the darkness that swallowed the lower floors, or the lime green grass breathing life back into this facility. Whatever it was, it brought me ecstasy. 

If you've never walked through one of these abandoned time capsules and stood in the place where nobody has worked, lived or been a patient in since it shut down, it's an incredible experience that can't be parallelled. 

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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: "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.