My Writing Village – Nuclear Generating Station

My Writing Village – Nuclear Generating Station

I believe in fact-based fiction. I write novels and stories and poems that are grounded in fact, in reality, in real dirt, real fires, real people.

When I was doing the research for my novel FIND EDSELL!, I needed information about electricity, high tension wires, and how they react in a condition of heavy smoke. It was just before 9/11 and I managed to get a personal tour of a nuclear generating station. That probably wouldn’t happen today.

The whole scenario left a deep impression on me. The plant manager explained just how electricity is created in one of these generating stations. This is the poem I wrote afterwards.

Nuclear Generating Station

It is an extraordinary place where somber serious
small parts of the world meet. A place of bedrock
and beyond, a roaring hot hell where fear is king.

Black garbed, bleak-faced men patrol its bowels.
They carry attack weapons and large pistols,
their guns point at us, their vulnerable backs
face the hot monster.

We glean essential ores, rods from the earth
and we ease them together so very carefully.
The heat grows, the cauldron bubbles. We play slowly,
together-apart, together-apart, among the water-tanks
and last ditch boron, in the midst of ominous clicks,
bright warning signs and flashing lights.

We hold eternal things in our fragile finite hands.
We breathe the air of vigilance, caution, dread.

Comments

  1. My husband had worked as a nuclear engineer most of his life and read your poem and has vehemently disagreed with your assessment of a nuclear plant. The first being how you were even allowed inside the plant as only certain security personal are allowed in . The next is how you pot rain the whole idea of nuclear power. It is safe and effective and so well card for and secured that you made it sound like the dearth of the world. Without this energy the world would be worse off than now. My husband has been in the core and you just can’t get in there as a civilian . What plant did you go to because it seems they violated the strict rules of the NC for which he also wrote a book on prcedures. Are you sure it was a nuclear power plant because this poem surly portrays a doom of death which isn’t the csse. I think you truly put out a bad impression of nuclear power. Sorry but having lived with someone who worked in the business and was responsible for millions of dollars jobs we are insulted and feel you are sending a message out that is just not up to participate with the industry. Pam

    • Hi Pam

      I did get into the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Forked River, New Jersey back in the 90’s. What I describe in the poem is what I saw and heard and felt. I believe in Nuclear Power as one of the greatest, most important sources of energy we can use. It was pure poetry, but also, there is danger there, but there is danger everywhere and we must learn to deal with it. Sorry if my poem offended you and your husband. I can do a second blog about it, if you would like. Let me know.

      Elsa

      Elsa

      • Thanks Elsa.He read it and was livid. It seemed to encourage what he thought most people who protested against and had no true idea what nuclear power was about. He was very disappointed and if we were to scare people like that then why are people living so close to them.They have very many protection levels for any kind of threats. He started on nuke subs and went to the engineering and heading up million dollar jobs for nuclear power.
        I think a better view would be to let people know it is a good way for safe power. Your coming away from your experience seemed highly scary about something safe and secure. I know it was a poem. I write them myself but it resonated a bad way for the business he was in most of his life. I respect your opinion on this so no follow up is necessary unless it makes you feel better. Hope to see you soon and that you didn’t take this comment in a bad way. Would hate to have this division between us . Research has to be done and kudos for going that extra mile my friend.

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