Training the next generation of nuclear power plant operators

With the first new nuclear build in decades under way in the US, a new generation of operators is being trained to run first-of-their-kind power plants built for the digital age, The Associated Press reports.

Anticipating a fresh wave of applicants for operator licenses, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has added 10 people to its licensing staff. Georgia’s Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) and South Carolina’s SCANA Corp., both building AP1000 reactors at the Vogtle and Summer nuclear plants, respectively, are leading the way in training workers to operate the new plant design.

Though the new facilities are heavily digitized and automated, in contrast to older plants built in an era before cell phones, the modern internet, or the home computer, humans are still at the helm. Training focuses on preparing operators to use the digital tools available to them to identify and fix problems before automated systems are activated.

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