Hear Balloon Pop Inside Nuclear Power Plant Cooling Tower
Oh, man. I so want to do this.
I remember as a kid shouting into the empty or nearly empty silos on the farm. The echo was amazing, but nothing like the echo these guys got when they popped a balloon inside a nuclear power plant cooling tower.
Before you get too freaked out about this being a nuclear power plant, it was constructed but never actually powered up so there's no radiation to worry about.
Here's the back story, a couple of the guys from Walters-Storyk Design Group were out in Elma, Washington, to visit the NWAA acoustic labs. The lab's office is housed in what was to be a nuclear power plant but the project was abandoned only weeks before the uranium was to be delivered and the plant begin to go online.
Between the actual acoustic lab design tasks that they were there for Matt Ballos and Kevin Peterson had some time to explore the rest of the facility. Being guys, and being educated in the science of sound, they scrounged up a balloon and filmed what happens when you pop one INSIDE a nuclear power plant cooling tower.
Seriously, who hasn't wanted to try that?
The hard surface and convex curve inside the tower creates one of the coolest echoes you'll ever hear. The relative distance of the walls of the tower from the source of the sound mean you don't have to wait very long to hear it and the circular shape means it keeps bouncing around repeatedly like a rolling thunderclap.
In other words, it was way cool.