SCUBA diving at a nuclear power station … WHAT?

We had the opportunity to go on one of the most unique SCUBA dives in the country... The Oconee Nuclear Power Plant.

We love to scuba dive, and this one is special: today, we go nuclear. We’ll be diving the Oconee Power Plant in Seneca, SC. The Oconee Nuclear Power Plant near Seneca, SC offers a weird experience: SCUBA diving.

The plant’s coolant output pipes release water from its own condensation cooling system. The water that comes from the plant leaves the pipes at around 95 degrees, and with impressive force!

Underwater, there’s a loud sound and a strong current coming from the pipes. You can tell from the video footage that there is a lot of pressure at the bottom of the lake. There’s plenty of vegetation and life around the base of the lake.

Hot Hole is the Oconee Nuclear Plant’s exhaust water pipe entry back into the lake. The temperature of the water stays at about 70 all year round, and you get a short drift dive to the main lake.

If you’re looking for a unique spot to dive in the South, consider the Hot Hole. Whether you’re looking for warmer water temperatures in the winter or simply keen on diving in South Carolina, it’s certainly worth checking out. Grab some gear and a certification and join us on the next one!

It was difficult to capture the whole experience on camera, but it was most definitely intense and our great guides at Lake Jocassee Dive Shop and Wateree Dive Center were sure to keep us safe. If you are a diver or want to give it a try check either of these shops out and learn to dive the “hot hole” yourself!