Editor’s note: “Behind the mask” is a new series to help you get to know some of the Southern Nuclear team.
How long have you been with the company and in this current role? I have been with the company for nine years and have been shift support supervisor for a little over a year.
Give us a brief description of your job duties. Big picture, as a licensed senior reactor operator on shift, I am responsible for the safety of the public and hence the safety of the reactor first and foremost. As licensed operators, we are responsible for the operation of the plant, whether that involves a power maneuver or just maintaining 100% power, breaker-to-breaker runs. Our day may involve being the shift supervisor of one of the units, overseeing the overall operation of the unit, or operating the clearance and tagging office as the shift support supervisor and acting in a support role to the control rooms.
What is your favorite part about your job? The people. It’s always been the people for me.
What do you want to do next? I would like to either get involved in some cross-functional opportunities in the work management or maintenance departments and work towards a role as a shift manager relief.
Why do you like working in the nuclear industry? There is never a dull day. Each day presents its own unique set of experiences and challenges, and for me it helps to keep things fresh and fun.
What misconception about nuclear power do you most want people to understand? My dad worked in the nuclear industry and growing up would always tell me that nuclear rearranged spells “unclear.” I would want people to understand the level of training that our folks go through, the levels of safety that are designed into the plant, and the high standards of performance that the industry adheres to, with the top priority being the health and safety of the public.
Why did you choose the mask in the picture? I wear a Clemson University mask to represent my alma mater. It can be tough wearing it around the plant at Vogtle with all the University of Georgia fans that live and work around the area.
What have you learned as a result of or gained from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and resulting safety precautions? I have learned that kids are resilient and in most cases are easier to get to wear a mask than some adults. My kids, as with most others right now, are wearing a mask for 6-8 hours in a row at school on the days they attend, and I haven’t heard them complain once.
What has been the hardest part for you about it? The hardest part for me and my family has been adjusting to the hybrid school schedules. It can be challenging with the shift schedule to manage the extra schoolwork load that has to be completed at home. I have developed a much greater appreciation for what our schoolteachers do and how important they are to our children’s development. “It takes a village.”
Do you have a motto, theme or favorite quote that you try to live by? I try to live by two: “Focus on being great where you’re at and blooming where you’re planted” and “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”