Photo: "Curves Against Time"

Inside the cooling tower at the incomplete Satsop Nuclear Power Plant in Washington. 

In 1975, preliminary work began on this site. Between 1980-1982, construction efforts were in full swing and the site employed 5,000 workers. A few short years later, construction on the plant was terminated and hundreds of workers lost their jobs. 

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: "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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Photo: "The Climb"

It had been raining all day, for the first time in 3 months, when I visited this nuclear power plant in Oregon. As you can imagine, I was pretty disappointed when I found out I was unable to climb the tower that day due to the weather. 

I knew the plant would be incredible regardless, but climbing a cooling tower has been at the top of my bucket list for a while. 

Guess I'll just have to go back...