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This thread brings back memories.......
Old 12-05-2008, 08:26 PM   #41
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This thread brings back memories.......

Graduated Sub School in 1973. The story about the "ho ho ho" with the "stanky hood" was a good one. Some things you never forget and that was one of them. I worked on the Nukes (missles) at every level but the warheads. Spent my work days on the Tenders as I was able to grab a job there, so didn't get the dolphins. I do admire you guys that served on the subs though. Most of my friends were on sub duty.
Did that for 6 years and then moved on.
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:02 PM   #42
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The S3G prototype called theirs a water brake-- a pressurized water tank with spray nozzles against turbine baffles. When the seals blew out one sub-zero December night, the water brake's pump spewed out hundreds of gallons before the problem was noticed. It was a horrifically ugly repair job but the skating rink was impressive!


One of the first cores at Ballston Spa was the S1G, which burned out after just 18 months in 1958. This being the "good ol' days" when the radiation control manual was just a half-dozen pages of recommendations, the expended core was buried about six feet deep next to the parking lot. You may remember the circular flower garden with such big blooms where the snow always melted first? Uh-hunh. Decay heat.

I arrived shortly before the core reached the 25th anniversary of its burial. (For non-nukes, 25 years is about five half-lives of the neutron-activated cobalt-60 isotope, a nasty gamma-radiation emitter component of stainless steel. Five half-lives put it at 1/32 of its original activity, still warm enough for greenhouse flowers but considered close enough to "manageably safe" for Naval Reactors and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.) So one dark night an excavator dug up the core. It was craned aboard a flatbed rail car and surrounded by concrete blocks until the estimated remaining radioactivity divided by the carload's gross weight was below the federal govt's curies/gram transportation limit. Then they put the wooden enclosure walls around the flatbed car and schlepped the whole schlemiel off to Hanford.

When Ballston Spa and the surrounding towns found out what had been sent through their communities on the rails in the middle of the night, people went nuts. We had to drive to work through the protestors for nearly a month...
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:23 PM   #43
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When Ballston Spa and the surrounding towns found out what had been sent through their communities on the rails in the middle of the night, people went nuts. We had to drive to work through the protestors for nearly a month...
So Nords, I take it that was around '83? Well after I left and actually was out of the Navy. I remember dating a girl who lived near Galway, just north of Kesselring Site. They thought that the steam they saw coming off the plant (especially the cooling towers of D1G) were clouds of radioactive gas. When I told them it was nothing but steam they were both relieved and kinda disappointed.

I remember one winter, around '75 I think, when there was some leakage of diesel fuel out of buried tanks into the surrounding steams and I ended up out in one of the streams wearing hip boots and slinging tubes that absorbed the oil before it got off the site. We had to protect the local trout! If you bring up Google Maps you can see the steam winding arount the north and east side of the site.

BTW, when I was there in the mid-70's there was a bar not far from the site where they'd be open on Saturday mornings for Cartoon Keggers. We used to go there after the night shift, drinking beer and watching cartoons. Was it still there when you were up there? Also, I remember the bar in Saratoga Springs, just off Broadway, that had a long narrow bar with a large painting along the wall with pictures of folks who were regulars--do you remember the place? I used to enjoy a few beers there!
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:36 PM   #44
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:44 PM   #45
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As a civilian, I don't understand all the military terms that you use. But looking through this thread, the thing that sticks out at me is the psychological test. It seems to me there must be something wrong with people who volunteer for this kind of work already. So, what are they looking for?

PS. I appreciate the service you all did for the country. I am sure military guys can still take a joke, right?
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:44 PM   #46
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[ that's it! I spent many a night there... When I went through school I lived up past the McGregor Country Club and then moved closer to town on north on Hwy 9 when I got accepted to stay. I then met a townie that I ended up marrying and we moved to an apartment across the street from the flat track.
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:02 AM   #47
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BTW, when I was there in the mid-70's there was a bar not far from the site where they'd be open on Saturday mornings for Cartoon Keggers. We used to go there after the night shift, drinking beer and watching cartoons. Was it still there when you were up there? Also, I remember the bar in Saratoga Springs, just off Broadway, that had a long narrow bar with a large painting along the wall with pictures of folks who were regulars--do you remember the place? I used to enjoy a few beers there!
Yep, July-Dec '83. I rented a second-floor apartment from a couple on South Street.

Early on, though, the prototype staff advised me that my academic & watchstanding performance was such that I'd be much better off spending all my free time at the study areas and they didn't want to run into me at local watering holes... so I'm not too familiar with the local establishments from back then. I think I was out for Hallowe'en at Saratoga Springs and then liberty pretty much shut down after I failed the 100% written exam. But I pulled it out on the second try.

Don't miss that place a bit!

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As a civilian, I don't understand all the military terms that you use. But looking through this thread, the thing that sticks out at me is the psychological test. It seems to me there must be something wrong with people who volunteer for this kind of work already. So, what are they looking for?
People with incredible caffeine-fueled stamina and an extraordinarily high tolerance for pain who can't resist a challenge and won't quit until they master the craft...

It was either that or the hot chick groupies.
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Alzheimers?
Old 02-24-2009, 09:41 PM   #48
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Alzheimers?

Dear StevieB,
Check your hull numbers dude. SSN-682 = USS Tunny...NO BOOMER!!!!!!
R.E.Lee was SSBN-601. Crossed neurons or too many neutrons
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:52 AM   #49
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Wow - great thread - thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:16 PM   #50
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Ya know its funny to look at how it used to be and just how damn similar it is with todays bubbleheads. I thank the lazy pnc at meps who kept me from going into the nuke side of things.
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