Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station

At sunrise, Dec 24, 2004, I left my motel and began the thirty mile drive back to Phoenix. High winds, and a nasty black sky had changed my travel plans the night before. My intentions were to overnight in Flagstaff. Phoenix is at 1100 feet and Flagstaff is at 7700 feet, so things were only going to get worse. As I raced downhill on the "Veterans Highway" 17, blue skies and sunshine welcomed me about 10 miles north of Phoenix. I pulled into Denny’s for an omelette breakfast before the trip back to Los Angeles. From my table I could see a large white cloud hanging over the desert some distance southwest of Phoenix. It bothered me that such a large chunk of moisture was hanging over this very dry desert this morning.


After breakfast I jumped on interstate 10 west and kept my eye on this cloud. About 40 miles out of Phoenix I spotted a "Nuclear Generating Station" sign and turned south, then west about 8 miles when I saw the sign on the left. A few miles further this marquee is situated on the left side of the entrance road. From here you can see the nuclear facility ahead on the left.

Next to the road is a tall fence that appears to encircle the plant. The plant is about 400 feet from the road and behind the darn fence. These pictures are the cooling towers and this picture appears to show some of the facilities that are behind the cooling towers. Are you wondering?

Here is some great photos, complements of the State of Arizona and the Palo Verde folks. Are you wondering?

Over the years I have visited nuclear power plants in Florida and California. Those plants are located on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. I watched cooling water come and go within concrete structures that extend and disappear into the vast waters. Today, I come upon the USA's largest electrical producer and it’s sitting in a desert! The mystery was making me crazy.

Once back in La Habra, California I discovered that the state of Arizona and the Palo Verde organizations had agreed upon the rights of access and purchase, of Arizona cities waste streams. They developed a giant underground piping system and turned the plant on! Thirty percent of Arizona’s power is generated at this plant.

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