The first indication that motorists have of the massive natural steam harnessing work are Wairakei, NZ, is a notice declaring, "Go slow-Steam Clouds Ahead!" A mile further along the highway, hissing geysers drive colossal columns of steam into the air which settle on the countryside, creating an awe-inspiring scene.
G.V. OF WAIREKEI VALLEY SHOWING NATURAL STEAM ESCAPING.
L.V. OF VALLEY SHOWING NEW PIPE LINE.
C.U.SIGN. "STEAM CLOUD AHEAD".
C.U. STEAM ESCAPING FROM CONCRETE SILENCER AT HEAD OF BORE.
NEARER C.U. DITTO.
L.V.PAN OF TREES DESTROYED BY CHEMICAL ACTION OF STEAM.
L.V. SIDE PIPE LINE AND VALVES CONNECTING TO MAIN FEED LINES.
S.V. ENGINEER LAGGING PIPE LINE TO POWER STATION.
L.V. PIPE LINE ONE MILE LONG.
S.V. PIPE LINE TO POWER STATION.
L.V. STEAM TURBINE INSTALLATION IN POWER HOUSE.
L.V.TILT DOWN. DRILLING RIG.
S.V.TILT DOWN. OD DRILL COMING DOWN.
C.U. ENGINEER HOLDING DRILL.
C.U. DRILL COMING OUT.
S.V. DRILL COMING OUT.
G.V. OF VALLEY.
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Background: The first indication that motorists have of the massive natural steam harnessing work are Wairakei, NZ, is a notice declaring, "Go slow-Steam Clouds Ahead!" A mile further along the highway, hissing geysers drive colossal columns of steam into the air which settle on the countryside, creating an awe-inspiring scene.
This is Man harnessing Nature in a Nuclear Age.
Steam-power, forsaken by the world in preference to advance science, holds the key to New Zealand's chronic power shortage and her subsequently slow industrial development.
Italy was the first nation to control natural steam for producing electricity and now New Zealand advances in three-league boots to harness the fearsome gas encased below the ground in pumice.
Over 100 drills are in operation, probing the rock for gigantic steam pockets. The first stage in New Zealand Government's plan is well under way. The end of the programme is not in sight. The engineers don't know how much steam lies idle in the rock or how long supplies will last. Provisionally the target is an output of half a million Kilowatts.
The coast of electricity produced this way is less than for that produced by any other means in New Zealand, and Government experts reckon that it will be less than the cost of electricity produced by Nuclear processes for the next ten years.
The lack of knowledge surrounding the subterranean steam and the quantities and life of the bores is reflected in the Government's review of the GBP20 million Cook Strait cable programme. It was proposed to lay a power cable from the South Island to the North. The only alternative is to go full steam ahead at Wairekei.
There are other potential steam 'fields' in the North Island. Seventeen were listed in a recent Government report on the subject. Work is scheduled to start on some of these as soon as experiments at Wairakei yield more concrete data.