Heading into my first visit to a nuclear power plant, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Here’s what I found.
Heading into my first visit to a nuclear power plant, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Since starting at NEI nine months ago, I’ve seen photos of reactors, learned the difference between a boiling water and a pressurized water reactor, and developed a rudimentary grasp of the technology that generates 20 percent of America’s electricity. Yet standing at the center of the plant and seeing it in person was a much different and awe-inspiring experience.
This past Tuesday, I made the trek to Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in York County, Pennsylvania, northeast of Baltimore, to tour the facility and meet some of the more than 750 people who work there.
It’s clear that each person who works at Peach Bottom, no matter what they do or how long they’ve been there, takes great pride in their work and in their community.
The workforce is doing everything from running the control room to planning its refueling outages, keeping its pumps, valves and other components in top shape, managing plant communications, and keeping the plant secure.
While we visited on a pleasant winter day, this plant is set up to cope with any blizzard, flood, hurricane, earthquake, polar vortex or summer heat wave that comes its way.
What was most impressive to me was the sheer scale of the plant’s operations. After walking through a series of buildings and security checkpoints, we arrived at the highlight of the tour, the control room and fuel floor. It was incredible to see the inside of this gigantic, powerful facility that generates carbon-free electricity for more than 2.7 million homes.
But what was most memorable were the employees that I met. It’s clear that each person who works at Peach Bottom, no matter what they do or how long they’ve been there, takes great pride in their work and in their community. Their commitment and passion made my first trip to a nuclear plant one I will never forget.
This article was originally published on the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Blog.
Kelly McPharlin is a Content & Digital Community Specialist at the Nuclear Energy Institute.