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Humboldt Bay

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I spent about a year at Humboldt (2004 - 2005) helping them look for their "lost" fuel.  Interesting plant to work at.  QA Manager still thinks they are running an operating plant and accordingly, they are buried in procedures.  They haven't learned the lessons of the northeast plants that went through decommissioning.  It will be a long, long project regardless of what the schedule indicates.

For the most part the folks at the plant are great to work with.  I am not an HP, but an engineer, so maybe things are different.  Anyway no bad experiences.  But they do things the Humboldt way.

You are right, the plant hasn't operated in more than 30 years.  It is an interesting unit.   Bulk of reactor building is below ground.  There is no fuel transfer canal.  The fuel was moved from the reactor to the spent fuel pool via a transfer cask.  Whole operating floor area is no bigger than about 50' x 40' or so.  The T/G is about the size of a large truck.  The fossil units next door are bigger than the nuclear unit.

I thought that the plant was pretty clean.  Could go to the fule pool without PCs as well as most of the plant.  At one time the place was an alpha nightmare - most contaiminated plant in the US (even old timers agree about that).  There was a tremendous amount of fuel damage, but that was in the '60s and early '70s.  All that fuel was sent to West Valley for reprocessing.  Fuel pool was semi-cleaned up while searching for "lost" fuel.  Still has some issues.  Dose has pretty well died off.

The area is beautiful, but remote.  Plant is located in Eureka.  Not a lot of work, some logging and wood processing, but nothing more.  Arcata to the north is a left over hippie area.  Looks like Frisco in the late '60s (I am old enough to remember since I was a Deadhead).  There are two colleges in the area - Humboldt State and Redwoods College.  Lot of college students and college town feel, more so near Arcata.

There is alll types of housing available, but it is limited due to the presence of the colleges.  A lot of students never leave for the summer so nothing becomes available.  Number of good restraunts and great seafood.

Winters are mild, may get cold, but no snow, but you can see it in the adjacent mountains.  Does get cold, rainy, and wet in the winter (similar to Washington State).

Drop a line if you has specifics.

Decommissioning is slowly starting. Still awaiting the new power plant to come on line prior to going full bore on the decom.  Managed to refill the vessel. 

Any chance they will hire RAD TECHS techs in the near future ?  Thanks in advance

Brett LaVigne:
We are in a holding patern currently. We're staffed up for current needs, but they do change. I wouldn't expect any RP staffing in the near future. If your young enough, check back in 10 years, many will be wanting to retire and there will be plenty of work left to do ;D

An earlier post refferred to Humboldy Bay as being the most contaminated plant in the US at one time. I would argue that the current Humboldt Bay has the most significant radiological challenges of the entire US commercial world. We have painted everything to fix the contamination throughout the plant and most of it is just a RCA/Rad material area. Very low gamma dose due to the CO-60 being in it's 6th'ish half-life. We have millions of DPM/100cm2 alpha in our systems and pool and up-side-down beta/gamma to alpha ratio's. If you have ever tried to detect and control alpha contamination with upside down ratio's and it's on and in EVERYTHING, you know what a challenge that can be. It is a slow and deliberate pace here, but it is not for the weak of heart, that's for sure!!! But it can be big big fun!!!

I spent a little time there in '07.  Who has the contract now?


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