The following post was sent to us by Southern/Georgia Power’s Sarah Gillham 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.
Sarah is the maintenance rule coordinator at Vogtle 3 & 4. She has been in the nuclear industry for four years, choosing to make a career in the industry after two summer internships in her field.
For more on this promotion, take a look at the featured content on our website and follow the #futureofenergy tag across our digital channels.
I have been employed full time for four years and have two summers of previous experience as an intern.
What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
I am currently serving as the maintenance rule coordinator at the Vogtle 3 & 4 site. I am also responsible for a couple of plant systems, and I act as the owner and technical conscience for those systems. I enjoy my job because it is new and different every day – whether that’s seeing changes being made to the construction site or having new activities and responsibilities assigned.
Why do you think nuclear energy is important to America’s energy future?
Beyond being a sustainable clean-energy source, nuclear energy is a source of a significant number of stable jobs for a variety of skill sets, which can positively impact regional economies.
How are you bringing innovation into the nuclear industry?
As maintenance rule coordinator, I am working through processes that are 20 years old and that were developed for implementation at existing American commercial nuclear plants. For a new plant, we can make the processes more robust, and we can make improvements to these processes to streamline their use for the anticipated new nuclear builds in this country.
How does working in the nuclear industry affect your personal life?
I am involved in the North American Young Generation Nuclear and American Nuclear Society sections in my area. These organizations reach out to the community to provide information to the public about nuclear. This has given me opportunities to learn and be confident in speaking about nuclear energy to friends, neighbors and relatives. These professional organizations are also great ways to be involved in community projects and they provide a number of professional development opportunities. Working with these organizations has allowed me to meet new people with common interests. I have enjoyed my involvement greatly over the course of the past four years.