Archive for August, 2012

Hanford Nuclear Processing Plant

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Visited the (no longer) top secret Hanford B Nuclear Reactor in Washington. This reactor was used to create Plutonium used one of the nuclear bombs (Fat Man) used to end World War II. The tour was amazingly nonrestrictive allowing us to get up and close and even inside the reactor room and control room. Controlling your own nuclear power plan is pretty basic with a lot of manual monitoring of many dials. This image is the main control room: (Click images to enlarge)

There are basically two indicators of a problem within each of the 2004 tubes where the reaction occurs. Temperature and pressure. Here are the 2004 thermometers:

And just when you thought that these might be high-tech, behind the scenes are simple thermometers that measure based on spiral metal springs.

Here’s a picture of the end of 2004 tubes used to generate and control the nuclear reaction.

Safety concerns were very real and nuclear dangers are still being cleaned up.

Here’s a fascinating picture. This plant hasn’t been used since the 1960’s but you’ll see the covers off of the cooling pipes below. The reason the covers are off because Russia is still returning to verify that the plant is not functioning. This is a left over from the cold war.

If you have any interest in history or science, this tour is a must. And did I mention it was FREE.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Full Service Gas Stations – while traveling through Canada we came upon a rare service and hardly knew how use it. In fact, I can count on one hand the times we filled up the card at a full service gas station. I was so tickled by the experience, I had to get a picture of these folks.

June-bird spotted in Cocolalla

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

This is a bird that has been visiting our feeder. We call it a June-bird after my mother who, like the bird, is always talking to herself.

With some help from friends we’ve identified her as a “Bobwhite”.  Apparently, North Idaho is not on the list of places where you’d normally find Bobwhites so this is a rare sighting. Glad I had the camera handy.

Cat Scan Security

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Mom left the other day but left behind boxes of items that are to be shipped to her house. Immediately upon setting the box down, Peanut began to follow her instincts. Here she is doing a cat scan. We take security seriously.

How Much Does Air Weigh?

Monday, August 6th, 2012

8 oz. can of AIR? That’s heavy.