By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
The concept does not appear to have made it very far. In a handwritten memo, a supervisor whose initials are impossible to discern weighed the likelihood that the idea would fly.
"It appears that no is the answer," the supervisor wrote.
Bob, Bob, Bobbing Along: In 1986, as the plant was getting ready to begin full operation, the Great Boat Debate ensued.
Two water ponds at the plant had to be tested periodically for possible contamination, and that meant having a boat to cruise back and forth, collecting water samples.
But what kind of boat, and how many? Those were questions that APS supervisors and experts bandied about for months, in dueling memos.
One camp thought inflatable rubber rafts, with motors, of course, would do the trick. Others thought fiber-glass babies were the way to go.
There was a school of thought that one boat could be purchased, and simply moved from pond to pond. Fleet fanciers pushed for two boats, opining that it might be too cumbersome to keep moving a single boat. Besides, this constant boat-moving would invite a risk: the boat might damage a pond's safety liner while being taken out of, or dropped into, a pond.
A representative sample of the boat debate is shown in one March memo from a fleet advocate containing four broadsides against the one-boaters.
"1. Personnel participation is increased significantly (with one boat) thereby increasing the probability of accidents occurring. In keeping with the spirit of the Safety Department's 'Take Care' Program, we should avoid this.
"2. Pond liners will be susceptible to damage by launching and raising operations.
"3. Metal boats in the evaporation pond could experience chemical attack.
"4. The possibility of inter-pond contamination would exist."
Ultimately, the decision was made to go with two boats--one a rubber raft, the other a fiber-glass dinghy--thus pleasing the fleet fans and avoiding the dreaded "chemical attack" metal boats might suffer.