Friday, May 30, 2008

Spotting nuclear power plants from the sky - Limerick and Three Mile Island

I ended up with a window seat on this week's plane flight which went west from Philadelphia out over southern Pennsylvania. I love to try to figure out what the plane is flying over, and I usually find that nuclear power plants with their distinctive cooling towers are easy to spot and use as landmarks. Previously I did this with the Hope Creek and Salem power plant south of the airport in New Jersey.

The first landmark that I could make out was the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant (DOE listing) on the Schuylkill River in Limerick, Pennsylvania which is north of the travel of the plane flight. You can just make out the white plume from the cooling towers right in the middle of the picture. Eyes definitely have better image recognition and light sensitivity than my crappy Treo camera, even after autobalancing the photo. Google maps has a better shot, but they have better cameras and planes than I do.

The next landmark was a closer and better shot of the infamous Three Mile Island (DOE listing).

The cooling towers are visible in the middle of this picture, on the right bank of the Susquehanna. I was unsure of my location so I snapped a picture of the bridge farther down stream. Three Mile Island is still visible as a faint white smudge in the top middle of the picture on the river.

These turn out to be the Rt 30 and the Rt 462 bridges over the Susquehanna. In the Google Maps shot below, Three Mile Island is in the top left and the Rt 30 bridge is in the lower right.

Here is a cool closeup of the plant itself.

Perhaps I will bring my better camera with me on future trips, though I usually prefer and get aisle seats instead of window ones.

1 comment:

Sven said...

Good Job! :)