by Will Davis
This week’s enhanced Friday Matinee feature is a fascinating, albeit short, compilation of television clips that were made at Sheldon Station in Nebraska. This pioneering power station included a very modern coal fired facility and the Hallam Nuclear Generating Station, as one interconnected and combined facility. The original idea was that coal could be used when the nuclear facility was not operating, although it was later planned to add another turbine generator to allow both ends (as it were) to run continuously. The sodium-cooled Hallam facility was shut down before this happened.
The video is silent – but luckily, we can identify what’s being shown in each clip. First, a few illustrations for those unfamiliar with this site.
Above, a ground-level view of the plant as originally constructed. We are on the “nuclear” end of the facility in this view. The plant in total cost $57 million to construct, with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission pitching in over $51 million dollars and Consumers Public Power District about $5.75 million. As with most AEC Power Demonstration Reactor Program projects, the owners constructed the steam and in this case fossil-fueled portions of the plant while the AEC hired contractors to build the nuclear end. The reactor was designed and built by Atomics International, Bechtel Corporation was the architect-engineer, and Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc. was the constructor. (CPPD hired Stearns-Roger Manufacturing, Inc. to engineer and construct its part of the plant.)
This cutaway from a Sheldon Station brochure shows the internal layout of the plant. The reactor, a sodium cooled type, was rated at 254 MWt, and supplied 800 psi / 825F steam to the plant’s single turbine-generator. (Hot leg temperature was approximately 950F; cold leg, about 600F.)
The coal fired portion of the plant was also extremely modern; it comprised a Babcock & Wilcox triple
by Will Davis