|For the claimable public workshop, see Thunder Mountain power plant yard.|
Thunder Mountain was one of three nuclear power plants in Appalachia, providing energy to the region. Automated through the use of Poseidon Power Management System from Poseidon Energy, it could be maintained and monitored with a minimum of human oversight and would automatically shut down the plant in the event of a critical failure.
This allowed the plant to survive the Great War without experiencing a critical meltdown and was ripe for the picking when the Free States emerged from their bunkers. A unit under Deke took the power plant and secured it for use as a stronghold, although they were soon attacked by a military unit - Taggerdy's Thunder. After demonstrating their ability, the attack left Deke's men shaken, though without any casualties. Taggerdy's unit opened negotiations, stating that in return for vacating the power plant, they would not be harmed and permitted to leave with their weapons and equipment. Together with a 12-hour deadline, the decision was obvious. Although some Free Staters wanted to stand their ground and fight, Deke's calm assessment of the situation prevailed and they vacated the power plant, marching out with the Thunder's guns pointed at them.
The Thunder Mountain power plant served as a base for the Thunder and then the Brotherhood of Steel. It was their main source of energy in Appalachia, powering Fort Defiance, Camp Venture, and other Brotherhood strongholds. The soldiers restored and maintained the power plant. When the deteriorating strategic situation forced Taggerdy to tighten the belt and abandon non-essential facilities like Camp Venture, Thunder Mountain remained online to power the anti-aircraft artillery emplacements in the Bog. It was kept safe by a sonic device at the Fort that lured nearby scorchbeasts away from the plant and into kill zones. After the failed Operation Touchdown, the numbers of scorchbeasts grew to the point where the device failed to attract all of them. The fall of Fort Defiance and Thunder Mountain was a matter of time.
In fact, it was the last location of the Brotherhood to fall, outlasting Fort Defiance by a full day. On August 18, 2095, the power plant received a transmission from Fort Defiance warning them of imminent attack from the Scorched. The Brotherhood soldiers prepared as well as they could, sending scouts to confirm the warning. Despite this, whatever preparation they managed was in vain. The Scorched attacked in large numbers, overrunning the garrison's forward assault team and even the facility's roof. The Brotherhood managed to hold to the next day, although they had to abandon the roof after the SAMs started to run low on ammunition. In the end, only Squire R. Rosen and Squire Gilden survived long enough to note the Brotherhood's bravery in a terminal, perishing soon after as the walls couldn't hold the Scorched back any longer. Once they were killed on August 19, 2095, the Thunder Mountain power plant fell silent and remained so until the emergence of vault dwellers from Vault 76.
Thunder Mountain power plant is the smallest power plant in Appalachia, though still a sizable location. It is divided into three main parts: The Thunder Mt. power plant yard to the southeast, encompassing the parking lot and the transformer enclosure next to the lake, the power plant proper, and the cooling towers. The towers stand next to one other and provide easy access to the turbine hall of the generator section.
The yard is a claimable workshop and contains tents used by the Brotherhood as a staging area, two crafting stations for cooking and the workshop, as well as a power armor spawn. It exits into the state route and a small inner road leading under the skybridge towards the cooling towers in the back. The two cooling towers are connected by a skybridge and contain facilities for venting excess heat from the nuclear reactor, together with control stations and locker rooms. Each also contains entrances to the two wings of the power plant.
The western wing contains the nuclear reactor that powers the facility. The ground floor contains the offices, lobby, and security checkpoint on the ground floor, with the master control room accessible up the stairwells. From the master control room, player characters can enter the reactor hall through a secure airlock that has to be operated using the adjacent terminal. The airlock also includes a decontamination arch, useful for getting rid of excess radiation that fills the reactor chamber. A quick way into the reactor section is through the main entrance, into the restrooms, and through the hole in the wall into the reactor chamber.
The mechanical bay, loading dock, and fuel storage are found on the southeastern end of the ground floor and contain a chemistry station and a power armor station with a second power armor spawn. The fuel storage is highly irradiated. An exit to the western cooling tower is on the top floor. The eastern wing is the turbine hall and is much smaller than the main building, though no less complex due to the winding catwalks. The corridor on the top floor exits to the cooling tower.
- Five potential Vault-Tec bobbleheads:
- In the interior corridor leading from cooling tower #2, on the black mainframe computer on the wall marked "turbine hall".
- In the flooded fuel storage room, underwater on an explosives box.
- In the flooded fuel storage room, underwater below large open red warehouse doors and "reactor" sign, under the middle of five submerged trolley carts carrying yellow radiation barrels.
- In the northwestern corner of the reactor room, in the small section of rusting hatch pipe.
- In the south side of the reactor room, at the foot of the reactor, on the corner of the light blue mainframe computer bank.
- Six potential magazines:
- Upstairs and northeast of the entrance lobby, with stairs outside the room, on the large conference table with the office desk fan on it.
- Along the southwest wall of a connecting corridor to the main plant, right of the window, with the double door marked "Turbine Hall" at the northeast end, on the small computer bank, to the left side of the filing cabinets.
- In the small connecting room (with three exits) between the gantry stairwell and door marked "Pipe Interchange, Cooling Tower #1" and the smaller Fuel Storage chamber with gantries and the flooded floor, in the south corner adjacent to the metal door and wall clock, on the shelf of the green metal wall cabinet.
- Along the northwest wall in the corridor connecting the turbine hall to cooling tower #2, on the white table with the orange tool box.
- In the reactor room, along the gantry with two sets of large wall extractor fans on either side, on the second-to-bottom shelf of the green metalwork shelf, pointed at the southwest wall.
- In the master control chamber, on the south upper section of the tiered-floor, in the wastebasket to the right of a small black computer bank.
- Power armor chassis with T-series armor pieces - Enter the door labeled "Loading Dock" on the southeast side of the main building, go to the left. The power armor is at one of the two power armor stations. Another single piece of power armor can spawn on a table in one of the tents in the south part of the power plant yard.
The Thunder Mountain power plant appears only in Fallout 76.
Behind the scenes
The Thunder Mountain power plant is based on the real world location of the Mount Storm Power Station near Bismarck, West Virginia. Similar to how it appears in-game, it is adjacent to a manmade lake and the Dolly Sods Wilderness.