AES PNW Section | Summer Meeting Notice

Summer Vacation & Field Trip

NWAA Labs - Acoustical Measuring Facility
Satsop Washington
Audio Engineering Society | Pacific Northwest Section
Field Trip
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Field Trip?
Your section officers are organizing a field trip, in conjunction with the ASA (Acoustical Society of America, Northwest Chapter) on Saturday, August 20 to the home of NWAA Labs  in Satsop, WA. If the name of the town sounds familiar, it should, as it is home to the unfinished Satsop Nuclear Power Plant, aka the abandoned/unfinished WPPSS project. What can you do with a nuclear power plant that was never completed? Turn the massive concrete structures into a world-class acoustical test facility.

It's about 100 miles to Satsop from Seattle, and we are renting a 11-passenger van to get us to/from the facility. With $4 gas, the van isn't such a bad idea. We'll spend the whole day there. Ron Sauro, owner and chief scientist of the facility, assures us that he can keep us interested thru the entire afternoon. Bring a sack lunch, or you can join us for a no-host lunch at Saginaw's  in Elma for lunch. Ron Sauro says that if you have the hardware for sampling acoustic spaces, you should bring it.

The buildings redefine the word massive. The main reactor building (300ftx300ft) was designed to withstand a direct nuclear strike, or a magnitude 10 earthquake. The reinforced concrete walls are 5 (five!) feet thick. The cooling towers will hold the Space Needle, with room to spare. In the scheme of things now, they're landmarks and acoustical curiosities.

n.b. The main building is 4 stories tall, with high ceiling clearances. The tour will entail more than a bit of stairway climbing, with a fair amount of physical effort required. There are no elevators and no wheelchair accommodations.

Want to Attend?

The van is full. The price is about $25/person. There are 13 names for the van. We will meet somewhere in S. Seattle, likely near Southcenter Mall. We'll be in touch.

Here's some pictures, and there's more to be seen at the NWAA Website, but just to get started... Click on any image to see it much larger.
image linked to nwaa/overall_picture.jpg

The overall view of the site. NWAA occupies the building adjacent to the cooling tower. The cylindrical structures were to become the reactor containment vessels.

Satsop Development Park, from Wikipedia

Satsop Development Park, 2006. Site of WPPSS WNP-3 and WNP-5 nuclear power plants, which were never completed. Construction halted in 1983 due to a combination of management failures, a depressed economy, soaring interest rates and material costs, labor unrest, ratepayer activism and over estimation of electricity demand by forecasters. The media gave them the sobriquet of "Whoops!" [1]

image linked to nwaa/tower_looking_down.jpg

It's a long ways down from the top of the cooling tower!

image linked to nwaa/main_reverb_room.jpg

The receive room is the largest reverberation chamber in the world used to measure C423, Absorption Coefficient, and E90, Transmission Loss. It has a volume of 733.9 cubic meters (25917.43 cubic feet) and has very low frequency capabilities. This room is also used for absorption coefficient testing according to ASTM C423 and ISO 354.

image linked to nwaa/source_room.jpg The source room is equipped with an 11ft 9in diameter turntable that is used to measure the Scattering Coefficient of "diffusers" using the ISO 17497-1 Standard. This room is 717.1 cubic meters (25323.95 cubic feet). image linked to nwaa/source_room_scattering.jpg

The turntable used for measuring the Scattering Coefficient of "diffusers."

image linked to nwaa/spkr_test_mic_array.jpg

This is the speaker testing facility, with a measurement microphone array and a turntable for mounting the UUT. At over 600ft in length, 250ft in width, and an 80ft ceiling, the room is sufficiently large to test a full-blown line array system.

Here are some links that may be of interest:

NWAA Labs website 
NWAA Brochure 
More Pictures 

Wikipedia about the power plants 

GPS Coordinates of the facility: 46° 57' 32.13"N 123° 28' 5.46"W

View Larger Map

[1] Energy Northwest (WPPSS)  in Wikipedia