Nuclear Reactor Eye Candy From Around The World

Everyone loves a field trip. It’s always fun to visit a manufacturing plant to see how the big-boys make all the cool toys we love. But there are a few places you might not want to go exploring, like inside a nuclear reactor.

Well fear not, now you can spend as much time as you would like with these amazing cut-away of nuclear facilities from across the globe. You can thank University of New Mexico Libraries Exhibition for hosting these photos that have been published in “Nuclear Engineering International” magazine over the years. If you happen to have a pdf allergy, you can also browse most of them on flickr here.

And if you want to see more amazing cutaways, there is this photo pool full of some 1300 other cutaway images to look at. If you know of other amazing engineering photos sets, leave us a note in the comments.

18 thoughts on “Nuclear Reactor Eye Candy From Around The World

    1. That’s beautiful.

      Just bought a copy of Kuhlamann’s Design of Electrical Apparatus. 1930. Full of hand drawn diagrams and cutaways of electrical machines. Proper engineer porn!

          1. So you have the urge to visit a nuclear accident site?
            Simply take your pick, Chernobyl might be closer to you than you would wish:
            Los Alamos ’45
            Los Alamos ’46
            Chalk River
            Idaho Falls
            Majak / Kyschtym
            Windscale / Sellafield ’57
            Los Alamos ’58
            Simi Valley
            Idaho Falls
            Charlestown / Rhode Island
            Rocky Flats
            Windscale / Sellafield
            Belojarsk ’77
            Belojarsk ’78
            Three Mile Island / Harrisburg
            Tschernobyl ’82
            Tomsk-7 / Sewersk

  1. In Germany it is possible to visit nuclear power plants and it is also possible to go inside the reactor dome. There is no more radiation inside than there is outside, so it is not a health hazard if you visit. I myself have been inside Philippisburg KKP-2. It was amazing!

    1. When I was a student at Washington State University, you could tour the research reactor. There was no containment dome per se, just a reinforced reactor room. The reactor itself sat maybe 25ft down in a cooling pool. It is a 1MW TRIGA reactor and it was pretty darn cool to see it actually operating.

      There was no elevated radiation in the reactor room and we had a few restrictions: No photos/electronic devices/phones in the building and no touching the cooling pool (apparently skin oil contaminates the water). Now getting into the building was a bit of a different story: Many forms, a phone call background check, full pat down AND metal detector scan and ID required.

      I have also toured the EBR-1 at Idaho National Laboratory. It’s neat in that you get to see most of the systems. At one point you are introduced to the 30 some panes of leaded glass to see into the fuel rod replacement room: Later you get to actually go into that room (slightly unsettling, even with radiation detectors everywhere showing no elevated levels). Also, there are Radiation Hazard symbols everywhere because the core is still contained within the containment dome, so the cooling pipes are off limits and all inspections ports are sealed and signed.

  2. In school, we were able to tour a nuclear reactor. The power plant was never operational, so we were able to go inside of containment, see the reactors, steam generators, and so on. Very cool experience. The scale is breath-taking.

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