Radioactive

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Around July, Rogue Magazine asked if I wanted to do a piece on the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Who doesn’t want to go snooping around the country’s only nuclear plant? And it’s been sleeping for half a century too. You know that’s right up my alley.

A copy of the article is floating around somewhere on the internet, but the Rogue website is down and due to be relaunched in October. It might resurface again. Pretty proud of that story. Central feature and all.

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If the plant were in operation, this would have been the only entry and exit point for all workers and visitors. These walkways would have measured one’s radioactivity when going in and out of the plant. X-ray machines on hand to make sure workers don’t try to sneak equipment and materials home.

Check it, an ancient bio-metrics device, circa 80’s.

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These days, the plant is more a museum. They hold educational tours there for students and foreign visitors who want to understand how a nuclear plant works. If I remember correctly, there was a surge in Japanese visitors right after the Fukushima Diachi nuclear disaster as Japanese citizens wanted to know how it could have happened. They weren’t allowed inside their operational power plants for obvious safety reasons, so they had to come here to check out our dead plant and learn how nuclear power works.

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This really cool entryway that separates the nuclear reactor from the rest of the plant. It’s got submarine sealing tech, I think.

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The nuclear reactor, the still heart of this monster. It’s only been operational once, during a dry run, before Marcos suspended operations in light of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in the US. The plant never got another chance and all plans for it have been shelved when People Power overthrew the dictator.

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Some blueprints looking like ghosts.

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The control room, outfitted with absolute retro technology. Granted, all this was state of the art when the plant was built. The National Power Corporation guide we had said that current, modern power plants around the world usually just have a three-to-four computer set up. Needless to say, all this tech is now obsolete.

All equipment and manuals have been checked and tagged for preservation.

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This phone was said to be a direct line to Malacanang, in case of nuclear emergency. It’s been disabled now.

Finally, a nuclear power plant control room mirror selfie, because when else could you ever get one? Peep my Tintin shirt. f you’re ever asked to check out abandoned nuke plants to write a story, you’se gotta dress appropriately.

nuke

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