Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nordplus 2011. Day 4


The day that I have waited for a while. Nuclear power plant visit.



I don’t know why, but being such a green person as I am I still think that nuclear power is one of the best sources of energy, even with all of that radioactive waste problems. So you can imagine how happy I was to have a possibility for visiting the plant. Basically that was the only reason why I signed up for that project.

Oikiluoto nuclear plant is about 160 km from Tampere, so we had to start the trip early, bit too early for my understanding, but still. Sadly it all happened as usually: hope for the best, expect the worst.

The start was promising: documents check, getting the pass cards and surprise-surprise they had organized a food break for us. I don’t like drinking tea or coffee not in the coffee house or at home, so I decided to take cola from that weird machine they have there. After reading all of the instructions on Finnish language I realized that I had absolutely no idea how does this thing work, so I asked for some help from the woman who was our power plant guide, when I told her, could you please show me how does it work, she looked at me with her big eyes, and asked why do I need that if the tea is already on the table, I answered that I wanted to have coke, so she told me to put my money away and brought the coke can from the kitchen:)))how lovely is that? drinking cola in power plant visitors centre. With the most tasty buns that I have ever eaten in my life.

After that we had a short introduction lectures and I was surprised of how little questions students asked. But we got to know what, where and why is and that the water that they give back to the sea is always much hotter that the water in the sea, so even in the coldest winter the water there is never covered with ice. The most disappointing thing was, that there is no that beautiful white thing what you usually imagine when thinking about nuclear power plants. The reactors in Olkiluoto are more or less the same that were in now famous Fukushima. Boring square buildings. And then my nuclear heart stopped, when they told us, that the only thing that we are going to visit is final repository for operating waste. No control centre, no waste containers, no nothing, only that operating waste place. :(((

When we got there at least it was pretty cool place to watch. The cave is going down, down, down

Here you can see the scheme:

Here how it looks like in real life:

Here is that place for the waste:

yeap, nothing special can be seen

Everything interesting in covered.

At least we had radiation check, everyone had 0. I asked what will they do if someone will not be clean, the woman answered that they will have to take a shower or simply wash the hands (the shower and the sink are right in front of the radiation check point) and that will be enough, because the risk of getting the real radiation dose there is close to impossible.

Here is our The Green Team:

After having that pretty much useless tour we went back to visitors centre. It is bit sad to admit, but the exhibition that they had there was the most interesting part of the tour. You could even watch the real time camera videos there, with all of those things I wanted to see in person. Loooooots of interesting showpieces. And they gave us little things for the long memory. Even the water in their bottles. Yes, now I have water from the nuclear plant (of course not the waste water:))) Nothing with radiation at all:))) Sad face.

What I wanted to add is that why the hell are you drinking so much the night before, when you know, that it will be long trip day? Imagine almost the whole bus of non-stop complaining students. Also I find it extremely rude to make jokes about someone’s abilities to speak some language. Yes, her English wasn’t perfect, but that doesn’t give you permission to make hurting jokes. Grow up. It is funny how the people make jokes with mentioning someone’s mistakes, without even getting to know, that they do exactly the same.

You can think I’m antisocial. But for my every action, I have a reason.

After the power plant we had a smoke sauna thing. I wasn’t participating, well, for some girlie issues, so after having the dinner there (potatoes!!!!!! I have missed the normal potatoes with normal vegetables), which by the way was really tasteful and they had the most amazing homemade beer (it was alcohol free if you are wondering) and it was really lovely, that they had special food for vegetarians. It’s funny though how the people think that we eat something completely different, for me that would be already enough if you had simple potatoes out there:)))

While the others were having sauna stuff, I decided to take a walk and look if there is anything interesting near that place. I have found the forest. I wrote the forest, because it wasn’t some a forest, but the real the forest. Where you shut down your mp3 player and start to listen to the forest music, how the trees are talking, how the birds are singing, how the flowers are growing. It is like you have been covered with the forest magic, you simply sit there on some stone and your soul flies. After what you think was an hour in the forest and you are completely rested you realize, that you’ve spent there only 20 minutes.

Anyway, I gained my energy back after that long trip with constant complaints and was feeling myself ready to save the whole world again.

Around 19.00 we were back to Tampere and after changing clothes I once again went exploring the city. That evening I took the bus number 13 and went as far as I could. My system was that I will stay in the bus as long as someone else will be sitting in front of me. Note to Tampere local people: why you don’t have bus maps in the tourist centre, because your traffic is really close to insane. When my system person was planning to leave the bus, I left with him and even standing behind him he turned to me and said probably that you should go first. Are all of the people in Finland polite? :))) Because I really love when men open the door for me and hold it. I hadn’t walked for a while, but what I saw was the private houses that were in beautiful vicinity with beautiful people. Then I made a mistake, busses 13 were going almost every 15 minutes and that was the only bus line there, so when I reached the opposite bus stop I started to wait and when I saw that the bus is coming I stood up and went to the border, I was alone there. For my surprise the bus went without stopping, it was the next day, when I got it, that you have to wave your arm if you want the bus to stop. Some mystery for me. It is not like I’m waiting for the tram on the bus stop:) or other bus. You were the only line there. :))) I took some walk to another bus stop, because I had pretty much 15 minutes and I don’t like sitting that long. For my luck the next bus stopped and I finally got in.

In the centre I got off and went to get some food in the store, after that I decided to take the bus number 10 to get back to the hostel. I took it, the only mistake was that bus was going on the opposite direction:))) I told you they have some insane traffic out there. But I decided why not to take another ride and went someplace where there were extremely long staircases. I was standing on the top and the people there were running on those staircases. Some of them may be were future hockey players :)))

After wandering for some time there, I took another 10 bus and now went back to hostel:)

That was my third day in Tampere.

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