I’ve been working quite a number of hours in the simulator the last few weeks.
One of the requirements for reactor operators is that they demonstrate the ability to start up the reactor. Each candidate practiced the reactor startup 5 times and then had a startup where he or she is evaluated by someone from Operations management.
So that’s a total of 6 startups for each student. There are 12 students, so, over the last few weeks, there have been 72 startups for training or evaluation — and I was there for every one of them. Total time in the simulator for this was about 84 hours over a 4 week period — about 20 hours a week. And that doesn’t include the several startups that I did to verify the scenario I was using and to establish the conditions for the evaluations.
This week, I am working in the simulator from about 4 PM to midnight every day, providing support and guidance for a crew of students who are shutting the plant down and cooling to “cold iron.” Once that’s done, they’ll be doing a heatup to normal operating condition, with a startup and power escalation to as high in power as we can get before the end of the shift on Friday.
I’ll certainly be ready for a rest when the weekend rolls around.