Monday, December 1, 2008
About forty miles west of Phoenix, the Palo Verde Generating Station, the largest nuclear power plant in the country, pumps out over three billion watts per year to power the throbbing cities of the southwestern United States. Most days, you can whiz by on the I-10 with little awareness that this nuclear power plant exists. But on a humid day after a rainstorm, steam heat pumps out a trail of clouds that blankets the landscape for miles around. Just six miles south of the freeway, three broad domes and six cooling towers churn quietly in the creosote flats of the surrounding desert.