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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TMI Steam Generator in Lancaster County PA

On Tuesday we watched one of two new Steam generators being transported from Port Deposit MD to the TMI (Three Mile Island) Nuclear Plant in Middletown PA. These generators are huge! Each weighing 510 tons and a weight of 825 tons including the transports each with 26 pairs of axles. These massive transports measured 153 feet long, 24 feet high and 17 1/2 feet wide. They crept along at a mere 3 miles per hours so keeping up with them was quite easy.

This is a rare event for a small Lancaster County town like Nottingham or Little Britain where we watched them and they will be passing within 2 blocks of our home on Thursday the 17th. We are looking forward to watching them again on that day if our schedules allow us to do so.

Updated 9-19-09:

The generators were delayed 24 hours by a very steep hill and some rain, but they passed by our home on Friday morning. Following the south bound lane of route 272 heading north gave them a wider, more stable stretch of highway rather then going through this rustic little town of Willow Street in the north bound lanes of this split highway. North bound is narrow and has so many wires crossing that it was safer, faster and I'm sure cheaper to use the newer section of highway that was added back in the 80s that bypasses the heart of town.

I got on my bike and rode only 2 blocks to get a great view of both generators which traveled closely together. I followed them as they passed through the area. The turn out for this leg of the journey was impressive. I would be surprised if there were less then 500 or 600 people watching the generators go by. The local shopping center called Kendig Square was loaded with peole and so many cars. It took hours for the cars to dissipate after the show. Aparently I'm not the only one that was impressed by this type of event in such a small town like Willow Street PA.

Note: These massive generators were actually manufactured in France and shipped overseas for installation at Three Mile Island which is the Nuclear plant that had the partial meltdown in 1979 near Harrisburg PA.

More info for you from our local TV station WGAL 8.