2019-07-17 WA, Richland (Hanford Nuclear Reactor Museum Tour)

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(Columbia River, American Queen Steamboat Co) Excursion to the Hanford Nuclear Site of the Manhattan Project

I've previously posted a webpage on the Columbia River trip, BUT - at the time of the post, I had 'lost' my pictures of the Hanford Site of the Manhatten Nuclear Project near Richland, Washington. After returning home, in preparation for my travel-blog webpost, I downloaded all of my pictures from my Apple-iPhone. The pictures that I had taken inside the Hanford Site Nuclear Reactor were not in the group. I thought that I had lost them. About 2 weeks later, they magically appeared in my Apple-Cloud and I don't know why they took so long or what happened. Anyway, I was truly delighted that the pictures were not lost. I decided to post another page on the blog with them after receiving my electicital bill yesterday. Why would the bill cause me update the travel-blog? Well, that is because Georgia Power is making a substantial investment in nuclear power with a new plant called Vogtle near Waynesboro, GA. The new reactor has been under construction for several years and had management changes as well as many cost overruns. The latest news in the newsletter that was inside the bill envelope stated that inside unit 4, the final core make-up tank is successfully set. (More information may be found on the website http://GeorgiaPower.com/NuclearNow .) I had NO understanding of nuclear reactors before my tour and now feel like I have some basic understanding and knowledge.

The excursion was arranged through the American Empress website and each person attending had an included meal. From the Richland boat-landing, we boarded a bus and went to the nearby Reach Museum. We ate lunch from a 'lunch-pail' similar to the ones that the workers used. The town is about 50 miles from the nuclear-plant site and we were told about the plant and how this site was chosen. We were also told many facts about the building of the reactor and how the resultant plutonium was shipped to Los Alamos for testing and use. The first set pictures is our lunch and some displays from the museum. I encourage everyone to view the pictures slowly and READ-the-TEXT! (Or, hopefully, after learning a little about fission here, the reader will do more research on the internet.)

During the tour, we had 2 guides. Both had worked at the site when it was operational. We were given excellent information about the plant and the people who built it and worked there. I was amazed at the story of how nuclear fission was achieved on a large scale. I am sorry that the atomic bombs that were a result of the plant took many lives, but I am extremely happy that they caused a horrible war to end and that many more lives were not expended. I am thankful that we had a president, Harry Truman, who was wise enough to make the desision to stop the war. Anyway, around the time of scheduling excursions for this trip, I had seen some of the latest Chernobyl movie and decided to go on this excursion in order to learn more about nuclear fission and try to understand more about how we obtain electricity from nuclear plants.

I have decided to post TOO MANY PICTURES. I really enjoyed the tour and thought that others reading this website may also be interested in what the interior of a nuclear plant would look like. The second set of pictures will be the interior of the reactor. Be sure to look closely at the center of the control room. All of the electronics of the plant do NOT include any computers which we are used to today. Please pay special attention to the main control area and the electronics used to monitor the reaction inside the core. We were told that they couldn't monitor the exact reaction of the atoms, but the engineers payed close attention to the water temperature and with calculations, estimated how much reaction there was inside. I was fascinated! (Note to my brother: Yes! I DID include pictures of the parking lot. (He tells me that I take too many pictures.))

The third set of pictures are the ones of the displays and information concerning atomic reactions and how the chemistry works. The reaction was predicted by scientists and an early, smaller reactor was built. After learning what was needed from it, scientists predicted that an explosion of a large quantity of material could be achieved by plutonium if a critical mass was produced. At first, all of the information in the displays was 'secret'. Now, after many years, fission is no secret and the harnessing power of plutonium is known to produce electricity for us. I'm still fascinated!

Thanks to Dottie, my roommate, with joining me on this excursion. (I was a member of a group from the Atlanta area. The group is Seniors On the Go Tours.) I want to add the following footnote. I'm really unsure if plutonium production is "Good-for-us" or "Bad-for-us". I enjoy the electricity produced but wonder about the consequences of an accident. At this point-in-time, I think that I prefer to hope that man is able to harness the sun better for the production of electricity and not depend on plutonium.


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((As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. (Blog-Note 1: http://PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com is the ‘original’ website of this blog. This blog has a domain name without the .wordpress. middle name. see website=PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com for 'older' trips ---)))LEFT MOUSE CLICK HERE"(((--- Blog-Note 3: I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB. The url address is : see website=PuddinInThe MGB.wordpress.com for 'older' trips ---)))LEFT MOUSE CLICK HERE"(((--- ) ) Blog-Note 2: Because the pictures take a long time to load, it is best to view these webpages using a desktop.)