Guest post by Lauren Neuburger, Luminant nuclear engineer
Heat, hospitality and high-quality are three themes common to the comments from a group of nuclear industry professionals and university students that recently toured Luminant’s Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant. The group of nearly 50 visitors attending the Women in Nuclear (WIN) 2015 national conference, most from outside of Texas, toured the educational visitor’s center, control room simulator, turbine building and independent spent fuel storage installation.
Many of the visitors have benchmarked other nuclear stations and noted that Comanche Peak is “clean, impressive and has a lovely view from the turbine deck.” The staff, they said are “friendly, informative, diverse, interesting and accommodating.” Those who had never visited Texas before also noted that it was “very, very hot” with temperatures inside the turbine building reaching about 113 degrees.
“All of the tour guides and staff who helped with our visit were wonderful,” said Jamie Dunn, a civil design engineer from Columbia Generating Station in Washington. “My favorite part of the tour was the open-air turbine deck. It was the first time I have been to a pressurized water reactor and seen the open air concept in person. It was also a nice reprieve from the heat inside the turbine building.”
Comanche Peak WIN members enlisted the plant’s North American Young Generation in Nuclear chapter members to act as tour guides. They set up an authentic Texas barbecue, provided safety briefs, gathered personal protective equipment for the visitors prior to entering the protected area, and answered visitors’ technical and logistical questions. The visitors commented that seeing the young engineers, interns and maintenance technicians so willing to work together to organize the tour was refreshing.
The people of Comanche Peak are honored to have hosted this group of Women in Nuclear national conference attendees, and hope to see them next time they return to Texas!