GE Hitachi unveils new reactor under-vessel training area

CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) — GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy dedicated its new reactor under-vessel training area Monday. They say it’s a state-of-the-art, full-size replica of the operating area underneath a boiling water nuclear reactor.

Officials say the training area has multiple work locations to better simulate real world scenarios. They say the area also includes piped water in order to replicate conditions that workers encounter in the field.

Engineer Chad Lewis has been working at GE Hitachi for 20 years.

“They did have mock-ups but nothing to this extent. The communications were totally different back then so it’s really come along way and these guys are better prepared for it. These kids are much brighter coming out of our training than ever before,” said Lewis.

Officials say hundreds of nuclear professionals will receive advanced training at the facility. They also say the training area will allow newly-developed tools to be tested in a realistic environment.

“It’s a very good heads up for the individuals that are going in because it is I’d say 80% exactly alike what is it,” said Lewis.

The project costed about $500,000 and took 6 months to complete. GE Hitachi officials say they hope this will bring more people within the community that wouldn’t normally be interested.

“This new training area will be able to bring people to see what we do, how we operate, and how we train our people,” said GE Hitachi Field Services Vice President Beth Lemmons. “It will also bring in people from across the world and allow to give them demonstrations of what we do when we service their plants.”

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