Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Westinghouse Engineer Dedicated to Nuclear Safety Culture

The following post was sent to us by Westinghouse Electric Company’s Laura Goossen for NEI’s Powered by Our People promotion. Powered by Our People is part of the Future of Energy campaign that NEI launched earlier this year. This promotion aims to communicate innovation in our nation’s nuclear facilities in the voices of the people working at them.

Laura is the Nuclear Safety Culture program manager at Westinghouse Electric Company in Cranberry Township, Pa.  She’s worked in the nuclear industry for seven years, after earning a Systems Engineering degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and then holding positions of increasing responsibility within the U.S. military before joining Westinghouse. 

For more on this promotion, take a look at the featured content on our website and follow the #futureofenergy tag across our digital channels.

Laura Goossen
What I do matters 

A focus on safety is an overriding priority at Westinghouse and for each of our employees. This includes maintaining a strong nuclear safety culture as the foundation of everything that we do. In my role as Nuclear Safety Culture program manager, I am responsible for implementing ways to continuously strengthen our company’s nuclear safety culture on a global scale. These activities range from benchmarking and self-assessments to implementing our company’s nuclear safety culture excellence plan. 

I enjoy working in this role because it provides me with the opportunity to positively impact employees throughout Westinghouse and ultimately, all our stakeholders, including our suppliers, customers and the public. Each employee at Westinghouse – whether he or she works at one of our manufacturing centers, an office environment or in the field at a nuclear plant site – serves as an advocate for a healthy nuclear safety culture with the responsibility of ingraining nuclear safety culture into every aspect of his or her job. I have the chance to regularly engage with our more than 11,000 global employees through regular communications vehicles, training and large-scale initiatives.  

I am also proud of the innovative approach that is necessary to make a program like this successful. Driving ourselves to remain the industry leader focused on a strong nuclear safety culture requires new approaches to implementing valuable lessons learned and industry experience, as well as benchmarking nuclear utilities around the world. 

I recognize that not many people get opportunities like this; it’s something that I feel passionate about, and I’m honored to do this work.  

Why I enjoy working in the nuclear industry 

The overall energy industry plays an important role in society, and nuclear energy is such a unique and fascinating energy platform – not only because of its technical aspects but also because of the benefits that it provides, such as safe, clean and reliable energy. 

I truly believe that nuclear power plays a vital role in our energy future. Here in the United States, Westinghouse is currently building four AP1000® pressurized water reactors (PWRs) – two each in Georgia and South Carolina. Westinghouse also recently announced a memorandum of understanding to pursue the development of a two-unit AP1000 nuclear power plant in Utah.

That focus on the future of energy continues globally for the company with the construction of the AP1000 projects at the Sanmen and Haiyang sites in China and recent shareholder agreements for the development of AP1000 plants at the Moorside site in the United Kingdom and the Kozloduy site in Bulgaria.

Working at Westinghouse has allowed me to be a part of so many new and interesting experiences. During my time with the company, I’ve worked in our technical engineering organization on the design of the AP1000 nuclear power plant. I also took an assignment as an engineer in China, where I was able to see the design work that I had completed in the United States come to life before my eyes as we constructed the world’s first AP1000 PWR.  

Every day at Westinghouse is a learning experience with exciting opportunities, and my current role in the Westinghouse Nuclear Safety Culture organization is no different – allowing me to take my technical background and experiences to a global level in order to positively impact our employees, products and services. 


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