Friday Nuclear Matinee: Vallecitos Atomic Power Plant – "1st Private Atom Power Plant Opens"

March 29, 2013, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

While Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania was the first full-scale nuclear plant to be designed and built to provide commercial electric power, the Vallecitos Atomic Electric Power Plant in California was actually the first privately-financed nuclear power plant to provide meaningful amounts of electricity for public use.

Vallecitos was mainly a training and test facility, paving the way for the full-scale Dresden-1 nuclear plant in Illinois and many others that followed. Vallecitos achieved criticality in August 1957, and connection to the local utility electric grid began that October.

Vallecitos received Power Reactor License No. 1 from the Atomic Energy Commission.

Two highly informative sources on the history of Vallecitos:

Looking Back: Vallecitos  Atomic Power Review

An International Mechanical Engineering Landmark: The Vallecitos Boiling Water Reactor   American Society of Mechanical Engineers/Mt. Diablo Section

Thanks to Jeff Quitney

vallecitos snip 344x201


Related Articles

Thoughts on THRESHER

April 10, 2020, 9:58PMANS Nuclear Cafe

As is the case on every 10APR, I find myself – even in the midst of the present national and, really, worldwide crisis – returning to thoughts of the USS THRESHER on this date in 1963. All...

Army Off-Road Nuclear Train – 1958

March 27, 2020, 10:09PMANS Nuclear Cafe

At the end of the 1950’s the US Army was looking at its entire operational sphere to determine in what areas nuclear energy could be of benefit. While many of these are fairly well known...

Anniversary Observations

March 11, 2019, 6:00AMANS Nuclear CafeAlan Medsker

The seismic event was huge and was felt all over the world.  With a moment magnitude of over 9.0, the earthquake and was the fourth largest ever in the more than 100 years of recorded...

EBR-1 in Photos

December 20, 2018, 5:02PMANS Nuclear Cafe

December 20, 1951 marks an important date in the history of nuclear power; it's the date on which the first useful electric power was generated by atomic fission.  While the now-famous event...