Westinghouse Training First Class of Startup Engineers to Staff New Nuclear Reactors

The inaugural class of the training program began August 30, and will conclude October 1.

Westinghouse-TrainingDavid A. Neal holds up a large cardboard photo of a nuclear reactor control room, circa 1975 — it resembles the room where Jack Godell, played by Jack Lemmon, had his own personal meltdown in “The China Syndrome” — and points out the plethora of knobs and switches.

“We’ve replaced those with a mouse,” he says.

He is describing the control room that will be part of Westinghouse Electric Co.’s newest generation of nuclear reactor, the AP1000. He is also describing a simulated control room that duplicates the real thing.

The simulated control room, which was completed in August, occupies a basement-level space at Westinghouse’s headquarters in Cranberry. It was built to give participants in a new training program the opportunity to practice operating a nuclear power plant.

The simulation extends beyond that room, including a digital lab room and a “flow loop” lab room.

It’s part of Westinghouse’s new Startup Test Engineer Training Facility, a first-of-its-kind facility for training engineers to start up, test and maintain AP1000 power plants.

The inaugural class of the training program began Aug. 30, and will conclude Oct. 1. The 23 class members include both longtime Westinghouse employees and employees newly hired to become plant engineers. Mr. Neal is the principal instructor.

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Source: Elwin Green | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Photo: Bob Donaldson | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette