The Abandoned SATSOP Nuclear Power Plant
Abandoned Nuclear Power Plant
Location: Seattle, WA
I had the opportunity to explore this abandoned nuclear power facility in Washington, thanks to the band Vespera, who filmed two music videos here. They invited me out to explore the facilities and film a bit of behind the scenes footage for them. While I was there I got to not only explore the inside of the facility, but I was also escorted into one of the fully constructed cooling towers, where I got a lesson in hydrothermal power.
This is the SATSOP nuclear power plant and if you live in Washington you may know some of its history. Wikipedia says, "Washington Nuclear Project Nos. 3 and 5, abbreviated as WNP-3 and WNP-5 (collectively known as the Satsop Nuclear Power Plant) were two of the five nuclear power plants on which construction was started by the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS, also called "Whoops!") in order to meet projected electricity demand in the Pacific Northwest.WNP-1,WNP-2 and WNP-3 were part of the original 1968 plan, with WNP-4 (a twin to WNP-1 and located at the same site) and WNP-5 (a twin to WNP-3, in similar fashion) added in the early 1970s."
Getting Past Security
This was the first time I was truly allowed to explore an abandoned place. Vespera decided, for some crazy reason, to try to cram four music videos into one week. This place can be rented out by anyone for filming or training purposes (a lot of firemen and military personnel train there). It has been in several movies, including Transformers, which is a favorite of mine.
Let the Exploration Begin
Not sure if anyone has explored an empty factory that is 600 square miles, if I remember correctly, of freezing cold concrete that descends deep underground. John Wolfe, the singer of Vespera brought his dog Kita with him, as he does everywhere, so I got to spend hours running around this place with her.
There were four factory floors full of machinery that hasn't been used in years, including a crane that I, to my own surprise, climbed. This was the first, and most likely the last crane climb that I will do. See the corresponding video below this photoset.
Check this out! I got to do a bit of light painting one day and tried to make something...scientific. Here's my attempt at some iphone light painting:
Here are a few bts shots I got of Vespera and their cinematographer, Jon Vulpine. I love getting to photograph bands, especially the lifestyle that they live. Getting to travel to Seattle for this was absolutely incredible.
Leaving this place was bittersweet, because it was freezing, but I had barely scratched the surface of this place by the time we left. I did get invited back if the world goes to shit, though, and I will definitely be holding them to that invite. This place is everything proof.
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