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Scouting Long Island’s Decommissioned Nuclear Power Plant
February 24, 2014 9:28 AM   Subscribe

"A month ago, I heard that the now vacant Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant was available as a filming location..." Scouting New York's Nick Carr photographed the inside of the first nuclear power plant in the US to be dismantled.
posted by merelyglib (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is one of those locations where I think you could book a chunk of time and churn out a series of dystopian low-budget sci-fi/horror ala Hammer Studios.

In fact I think you SHOULD do that.
posted by The Whelk at 9:32 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Aside from the Myth Busters folks, Nick Carr has the best job ever.
posted by gwint at 9:35 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Still blows me away the number of ways we find to boil water and spin turbines.
posted by Chutzler at 9:47 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


That was some really poor timing to get the reactor approved and built when people were ok with nuclear power, but not fully operational.
posted by smackfu at 9:55 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I grew up on LI when this plant was built. I was in Nassau county, not Suffolk. I asked my mother once what the plan was in case of accident. She said we would pile in the station wagon and drive over the Throgs Neck bridge. Maybe head upstate or to relatives in NJ. When I mentioned getting to the Throgs Neck on a good day was fraught with monster delays, she just shrugged and said, "Well, that's the plan. At least if we die, we die trying."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:55 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


…and traveled back in time to when modern computers did not exist.

Modern computers existed in the 80s. Many of those industrial controls would look almost the same if they were built today; they're not obsolete, they're just specialized. If you're not going to browse the web, you don't necessarily need a mouse or a full-color display.

The only visual difference would likely be that they'd be cased in black, not beige.
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:02 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


smackfu: "That was some really poor timing to get the reactor approved and built when people were ok with nuclear power, but not fully operational"

People were not fully operational? When was this, back in the homo heidelbergensis days?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:05 AM on February 24


There is an old decommissioned NORAD bunker quite nearby here; I snagged a quick tour and was delighted to discover that the computer workstations used to monitor possible incoming enemy activity were each equipped with an electric cigarette lighter and an ashtray.
posted by kinnakeet at 10:12 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


How else are you going to stay calm in the face of impending Mutually Assured Destruction? Light 'em if you got 'em.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


I think it's so bizarre how we close big buildings down and just leave a bunch of random crap in there to disintegrate. Somebody couldn't throw that desk calendar away? Or take out those artificial plants?
posted by something something at 10:16 AM on February 24


Well, somebody will now!
posted by merelyglib at 10:19 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


This seems infinitely better than all of that stuff ending up in a landfill.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:19 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Actually, the Abyss was filmed at a nuclear power reactor, too.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:21 AM on February 24


I don't think those reactors were ever finished, anotherpanacea.


"Duke originally planned three reactors on the property. One reactor was partially completed when work was halted in 1982 and they scrapped plans for the other two. Duke halted construction at the site in 1983 after spending $633 million (or about $1.2 billion U.S. adjusted for inflation, as of April 11, 2007).[1] An uncertain economy, stringent federal regulations on nuclear plants and a decrease in electrical use caused Duke Power to abandon the site in the early 1980s.

By 1988, Earl Owensby, a Shelby, N.C. businessman, had converted the former energy complex into a movie studio."
posted by merelyglib at 10:26 AM on February 24


Who smells a live-action Simpsons film?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:36 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


In 1992, the $6 Billion facility was sold to the state for $1 (the cost was passed onto LI tax payers as a 3% surcharge on electric bills).
Even if there were only two of them, those ratepayers were getting their electricity awfully cheap.


I think it's so bizarre how we close big buildings down and just leave a bunch of random crap in there to disintegrate.

Well, we don't always do that.
Physical decommissioning of the former Yankee Rowe plant was completed in 2007. . . .
The 2007 milestone marked the full decommissioning of the plant with all plant buildings removed, the site remediated and restoration complete.
Maybe NY should have doubled the purchase price, with the stipulation that the other dollar go to site restoration.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:07 AM on February 24


kinnakeet - probably a SAGE console.
posted by djb at 11:23 AM on February 24


kiltedtaco: This seems infinitely better than all of that stuff ending up in a landfill.

Because it's already filling the land?


The 10th Regiment of Foot: Who smells a live-action Simpsons film?

I'm hoping for some guerrilla fan-film project, myself. Perhaps with a vague post-apocalyptic spin, as nothing is really working there.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:32 AM on February 24


Although my once-robust faith in nuclear power has been shaken somewhat since Fukushima, I can't help but look at this and think, "What a waste!" 6 billion down the drain to run a plant at 5% capacity for 9 years. I wonder if the $6B price tag is in 1973, 1985, 1994 or 2014 dollars?
posted by evil otto at 11:48 AM on February 24


kinnakeet : no way! There's still a SAGE blockhouse somewhere? And they offer tours? Where is this magical place?
posted by evil otto at 11:50 AM on February 24


What's really interesting is that the original cost estimate was 65 million-$75 million.
posted by smackfu at 11:53 AM on February 24


Metafilter: an absolutely mind-boggling assortment of buttons, knobs, switches, lights, levers and cranks.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:25 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Beige is the new black. /1980s
posted by Meatbomb at 5:10 AM on February 25


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