The demand for electrical energy, along with innovative delivery certainty, is increasingly on the rise. With multiple nuclear power plant builds around the globe, there is much to be excited about in the nuclear power industry. After all, nuclear power is capable of meeting baseload demand and growth margin, which benefits and unifies people around the world, as well as future generations.
I love working in the nuclear industry. Not only do I get to be part of making history by working at the AP1000® plant construction site on Vogtle Units 3 & 4 – which will be among the first new units built in the United States in over 30 years – but I get to contribute to a legacy of excellence and pivotal partnerships as relationships between plant owners, constructors, suppliers, government officials and communities grow each day we get closer to starting up the new plant.
Since previous plants were constructed in the United States, licensing requirements have changed. Utilities must now obtain a combined license (COL) to construct and operate the plant before breaking ground. Inspections, Tests, Analyses and Acceptance Criteria (ITAAC) verify the plant has been safely built and will operate in accordance with the COL before the plant is allowed to load fuel
As an ITAAC engineer, I am immersed in this process. Through this work, I have witnessed and been part of the relational growth between the Vogtle AP1000 plant owners, Westinghouse and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by sharing lessons learned, experience and knowledge to safely build the plants. Our team also has developed relationships with owners and constructors of the AP1000 plants being built at the V.C. Summer site in South Carolina and the Sanmen and Haiyang sites in China as lessons learned are continually shared.
Every day, the site construction gets further along and, every day, our team gains more experience working with and understanding the NRC’s expectations for ITAAC closures, audits and other inspections. As we continue to build, analyze, oversee and test these first-of-a-kind plants, we are participating in a precedence of teamwork and understanding that strengthens our relationships and personal commitment to each other and the rest of the nuclear power industry.
Principal ITAAC Engineer
Westinghouse Electric Company