The culmination of three years and five months of conceptualization, design and construction came to fruition Thursday, Aug. 23, at Plant Hatch. Site personnel and building developers gathered to celebrate and hold an open house for Hatch’s new Operations Training Center.
With the opening of the center comes a wealth of opportunities to elevate training and operator performance at the station. In addition to multiple classrooms, the new facility houses a new control room simulator (SIM B) that is visually identical to Hatch’s first simulator (SIM A), as well as the control rooms inside the plant that operate the reactors.
Although both simulators duplicate the inner workings of a 1970s era control room, the new SIM is comprised of digital equipment that is much more state-of-the-art than its older sibling. This new equipment will generate much less heat, be much more serviceable, utilize less power and have components with a much longer lifespan than SIM A. “This new equipment has a much smaller footprint,” said Project Manager Wade Page.
In addition to the new simulator, the OTC’s additional classrooms provide ample space for all training to take place under one roof and also increased scheduling flexibility. In the past, any unscheduled maintenance on SIM A limited training opportunities for operators and trainees. By having access to a second simulator, classes and certifications can continue without negatively impacting work schedules.
“Night-shift training can be swapped to day-shift training for operators and ILT candidates now,” said Operations Shift Manager Russell Lewis. “They’ll be less tired and more alert, so this puts training in a good place.”
SIM B is scheduled to be certified in December 2018 and will enable Hatch and SNC to train operators more efficiently, more effectively and with a commitment to Safety First.