Welcome to The Virtual Nuclear Tourist


Welcome to the new Virtual Nucleartourist. This site is a revision of the prior version which had started Labor Day weekend 1996..  The 300+ page site about nuclear power plants was developed because I've found that most of what the general public hears or sees about nuclear power plants is on TV or in the newspapers and frequently that coverage is incomplete. In 30 years, I've had the opportunity to visit numerous nuclear power plants on the North American, European, and Asian continents. Regardless of country, the people that I have met who work at the plants or who regulate the plant operation were dedicated and committed to operating and maintaining the plants safely. 

These pages are intended to provide you basic information about the different types of plants and their principle of operation. The photographs and graphics of the plants are from a collection that I have accumulated over time. In some cases I have imported graphics and photos in cases where better examples exist. My goal is to make this a comprehensive introductory educational site about all forms of nuclear power that will address the needs of all age levels. This site is a personal effort, individually developed and managed, and is not affiliated with any organization. 

Most pages of The Virtual Nucleartourist site are accessible from the scrollable Table of Contents. The following are the major topical areas of the site.

  • Introduction
  • In A Hurry?
  • Nuclear Power Comparisons / Effects
  • Overview 
  • Plant Designs
  • Plant Locations
  • Plant Systems
  • Operating a Nuclear Power Plant
  • Significant Events
  • Inside a Nuclear Plant - Key Areas
  • The People
  • Links
  • Featured Links

All pages of the site have www. links integrated into the discussion and pictures or graphics.

I truly hope you leave with a better understanding of why nuclear power needs to be considered as one of many energy options. My intent is to provide an objective, balanced view without the emotion sometimes brought into discussions about nuclear power. Some observations:

I believe it is better to have an well informed public knowledgeable of how nuclear plants are operated, maintained, and regulated than one that is not. Building and maintaining the public trust requires being open, truthful, and avoiding secrecy.  

Unfortunately, the industry has not always been the best at communicating why nuclear power should be used. 

Similarly, previous environmental disasters caused by federal government nuclear facilities (e.g. Nevada Test Site, Rocky Flats, Savannah River, and Hanford) in the name of national defense has unfairly affected the public's perception of the civilian industry. 

With appropriate regulatory oversight and prudent management, nuclear power can be a safe, economical source of electrical power that can benefit the consumer and be safe for the environment. 

Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I truly hope that you enjoy your visit and the information provided in the site. Follow this link if you are interested in site statistics

If you e-mail questions, please realize that I currently am unable to devote the time for individual responses. You may find the answers to your questions page helpful.

Joseph Gonyeau 12/1/2001 (updated)


Copyright 1996-2004.  Joseph Gonyeau. All rights reserved. Revised: December 1, 2001.