I chose my career as an Authorized Nuclear Operator because I discovered I was more technical than I thought I was. I was in university studying History and Religious Studies when a course in Computer Science caught my eye. I not only really enjoyed it but I got very high marks and ended up with a job as a tutor for my co-op terms.
My typical work day involves turnover at around 7 or 7:30, either in the morning or night since I work 12-hour shifts. Once the outgoing ANO tells me what’s happening on the unit, we do a panel walkdown together to make note of any changes since my last shift. In the first two hours of my shift I must complete panel checks of all the safety systems to check for impairments, and organize the work for the field based on the priority of management and the manpower complement.
Every shift, I perform many safety system tests as well as routines, call-ups and maintenance checks. A large part of my day on a running nuclear unit involves keeping it up and running by fuelling the unit regularly and ensuring all parameters are responding accordingly. When the unit is down, my efforts focus more on maintenance issues.
The most important part of my job every single day is to monitor everything that happens on the unit, keeping foremost in my mind, my commitment to control reactor power, cool the fuel and contain radioactivity. By doing that I can ensure personnel, plant, environment and public safety will not be compromised.
What I like best about my work is it is always interesting and always challenging. Every day brings something different I’ve never seen before. I get to work with amazingly talented people and learn from them all the time. There are also many opportunities for further learning offered to me as a result of my position.The biggest challenge to becoming an Authorized Nuclear Operator is the intense training process. The program is a long, arduous journey that requires you to put your life on hold for a while in order to allow enough time for study and a successful outcome.
What I like best about Bruce Power’s culture is the pride I can take in my workplace. Being very involved in my community it is with pride that I can say I work for Bruce Power, the company that gives so much to those things I care about, women’s issues, aboriginal programs and the arts. I also really appreciate that Bruce Power recognizes and values my work and celebrates the diversity I bring to the workplace being a native woman.