Those giant, curvy, concrete towers that rise above nuclear power plants aren’t only useful for cooling superheated water. Once decommissioned, the massive structures can also be used to naturally create amazing sounds and effects when playing instruments inside them.
That’s what a band called Thunderpussy discovered while recording a performance inside one of the two nuclear cooling towers at the Satsop power plant in the US state of Washington. And the answer is no, the woman who hit the snare, producer Sylvia Massy, and the rest of the group weren’t at risk of massive radiation exposure during this performance.
Cooling towers are used to cool water that’s never actually exposed to the nuclear fission process inside a reactor, so the steam that pours out of the top of them poses no risk to the environment. The Satsop Nuclear Power Plant was also abandoned in 1983, well before its construction was complete, due to budget shortfalls. Its two cooling towers still stand, but the plant never produced a single volt of power.