Energy

Here’s What The Control Room Of A Nuclear Reactor Looks Like [PHOTOS]

REUTERS/Eric Vidal

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

The Daily Caller News Foundation visited the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby, Maryland on April 20th. The following is part of a series of articles about the tour.

The Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant sits on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, about 50 miles outside Washington, D.C. The plant’s two reactors generate 1,750 Megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power about 2 million homes and businesses, or 30 percent of Maryland, since 1977.

The Calvert Cliffs reactors are incredibly complicated machines, staffed by almost 900 employees. Due to this complexity, Exelon Generation, which owns and operates the reactors, built an on-site simulator that’s completely identical to a real reactor control room. The simulator is used to train reactor operators.

Exelon allowed The Daily Caller News Foundation to visit and photograph the simulator, giving an inside view of the control room.

Source: The Daily Caller News Foundation

Source: The Daily Caller News Foundation

The red line in the above photograph is the point no one is allowed to pass without the express permission of the person managing the reactor.

Source: The Daily Caller News Foundation

Source: The Daily Caller News Foundation

 

Source: The Daily Caller News Foundation

Source: The Daily Caller News Foundation

The reactors are managed by a computer system set up so that it cannot receive information from the Internet, making it essentially impossible to hack. The circular panel in the above picture is a display of the current locations of the reactor’s nuclear fuel rods — which power the plant. The fuels rods are the material which the reactor “burns” by nuclear fission to create energy.

The reactor can be operated in fully analog mode with no digital inputs. The computers are only there to monitor the reactor and increase its efficiency. (RELATED: 7 Ways The Grand Solution We’re All Looking For Could Actually Be In Nuclear Power)

View of reactor containment and transmission infrastructure at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant (Andrew Follett/The Daily Caller News Foundation)

Source: The Daily Caller News Foundation

Above is a view of the containment buildings — which shelter the reactors and prevent radiation from leaking out — and the electrical transmission infrastructure — which transports the energy to market.

The Daily Caller previously visited the Calvert Cliffs reactor to examine its security system in September of 2014.

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