Years ago I had went to the Harris visitor center and viewed the displays. The control room simulator where they train nuclear plant operators was closed on that too long ago visit. The simulated control room is an exact copy to the actual one in use at the Harris plant. Now days the control room simulator is only open to the public this one day a year (generally the last Saturday in August), so the chance to take the control room simulator tour made today's visit a must do. The tour is available by reservation for schools and clubs. Kids get to have all the fun!
As luck would have it they were rebooting the simulator during my tour so all the dials, gauges, lights, and displays in the simulator control room were off. I didn't get many pictures this time, but I did get to ask a lot of questions. I also got to see the the computer room that runs the simulator.
Today while I waited for the control room simulator tour to start I visited the booths they had and spoke to the Progress Energy representatives. I learned that their certificate to operate the current reactor at Harris plant has been renewed for another 40 years of operation. I also found out there is 140 years of wet storage in place at the Harris plant. That after 5 years in wet storage that the spent fuel can be moved to dry storage. There is no dry storage at the Harris plant, but I believe that the spent fuel storage problem will be solved in the next 100 or so years. A Traveling Wave Reactor which Bill Gates spoke about at the 2010 TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) conference seems to be very promising solution to the spent fuel problem.
I was pleased to see the solar voltaic sign in front of the visitor center along with a PHEV (Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) Ford Escape. As a BEV (Battery EV) owner I'm a big supporter of EVs and I'm very interested in carbon free ways to produce the electricity needed to charge them. Carbon free renewable energy like the solar voltaic are a part of the answer, but for that enormous base power we need nuclear. Period. So get over it. Go visit a nuclear plant near you. They are a good neighbor and will welcome you and keep you warm on a cold windless winter night.