Rancho Seco

While preparing for an upcoming gallery submission, I drove out to Herald to get some images of the Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Generating Station, and I couldn't resist a couple of sunset shots with moving cars and some fun filters.

According to Wikipedia... In 1966, SMUD purchased 2,100 acres (850 ha) in southeast Sacramento County for a nuclear power plant. which was built in Herald, 25 miles (40 km) south-east of downtown Sacramento.

In the early 1970s, a small pond was expanded to a 160-acre (65 ha) lake to serve as an emergency backup water supply for the station. The lake has always received its water from the Folsom South Canal and has no relationship with the power plant's daily water supply. Surrounding the lake is 400 acres (160 ha) of recreational area originally operated by the County of Sacramento for day-use activities.

The 2,772 MWt pressurized water reactor (913 MWe) achieved initial criticality on 16 September 1974 and entered commercial operation on 17 April 1975.

On 20 March 1978 a failure of power supply for the plant's non-nuclear instrumentation system led to steam generator dryout. In an ongoing study of "precursors" that could lead to a nuclear disaster if additional failures were to have occurred, in 2005 the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded that this event at Rancho Seco was the third most serious safety-related occurrence in the United States.

The plant operated from April 1975 to June 1989 but had a lifetime capacity average of only 39%; it was closed by public vote on 7 June 1989  after multiple referendums.

Today it sits in the middle of the rural area, out of place and yet part of the landscape.  The cooling towers have become iconic, almost like a piece of sculpture in the midst of the new vineyards that have since sprung up throughout the area.


Rancho Seco Cooling Towers and Grapevines, Herald

Rancho Seco Cooling Towers Close-up, Herald, CA Herald, CA sunset with purple sky Herald Sunset

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