Rancho Seco from Above

02-15-2006

The Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant was shut down in 1989 after a voter referendum. Many local citizens were concerned about the safety, environment and operating costs related to the power plant. Since then, it has been undergoing a decommissioning process, meaning they have to decontaminate every piece of it before moving it off site. You can’t just take apart a nuclear power plant throw the parts in a landfill. Most of the time, they just let the plant age until the radiation levels are deemed low enough. Maybe then they toss the stuff into a landfill.

The cooling towers are visible for many miles. They stand over 425 feet tall and are over 300 feet wide at the base. When this plant was in operation, which wasn’t very often, the steam from the cooling towers looked pretty frightening.

I took this photo from a single-engine airplane that I was flying. But that’s another story.

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