This image took lots of energy to make...!
The Power Plant
Here is water, lots of it, absorbing energy. The steam is transferring the remaining energy from the steam turbine
condenser to the atmosphere. It is escaping in order to condense the expanded vapor to new feedwater. This feedwater will be pumped back to the steam generators to be heated up and transformed to new steam by the nuclear heat coming from the controlled fission in the reactor core. This steam will pass again through the steam turbine and will end again in the condenser. The circuit of energy is closed.
Temelín Nuclear Power Plant is a monstrous entity, employing 950 people and taking the space of a small village. It has 2 reactors (with 2 towers for each reactor; today only one of them was going) this place produces an incredible amount of energy!
Construction of this plant began under the Communist regime and was finished by Westinghouse
using an updated design. The construction had both the dirty drama of ethically dubious corporate interests (read about it here
) and justifiably ferocious opposition from environmentalists, which you can read about in this article from the Guardian
The energy from Temelin, clean as it may be, is not used entirely for the benefit of the people of the Czech Republic, but is instead sold to western European countries. (8.1% of the energy for this country is from nuclear power.) The Czech Republic faces a future in which it will probably depend on its two nuclear power plants for power, if it doesn't want to depend on foreign sources. (Read about that here
.) This is an energy overview of the Czech Republic
courtesy of the USA government.
Preparation for shooting this image started as soon as I learned the theme for this WWP. Among other more wacky ideas (my second-favorite, which I would have submitted if this one didn't work out, is an image of a man digging a hole -- "basic" energy) I chose this "obvious" idea for the theme of energy for a few reasons. First of all, with the growing caution and public security that is slowly creeping across Europe and America, I am making every effort to photograph various public and institutional places before it is not allowed. A shot inside a nuclear power plant goes a step further, being a justifiably paranoid place, where photographers must
not be snapping away, uncontrolled! Thus I decided to run the idea by a magazine
, they could get permission for me to photograph, and I could get some publicity for the WWP!
As for the energy involved in making this image, it took me two car journeys of 2 hours (I forgot my passport the first day!). The borrowed car overheated and nearly melted, causing me and my mother (visiting me for the week) terrible stress. The second day I fared better, both energy- and luck-wise, using about 60 liters of gasoline for the car and 8 slices of home-made apple strudel for myself, on the fantastic drive through the foggy sunrise in southern Bohemia.
Panoramas in General
I've tried to give myself a challenge for each WWP that I've participated in: "Marketplace"
used artificial lighting; "Water"
was shot in a river; this panorama involved principally the challenge of getting permission for the image I imagined. Additionally, this is my first tonemapped HDR (high dynamic range) image on the WWP. This panorama is combination of 3 images -- one dark, one normal, and one light -- these images are "tonemapped" to give detail in both shadows (the water under the cooling tower, for example) and highlights (the sky).
More panoramas of Temelín, and others with the "Energy" theme can be found on my website