The Duke Energy NAYGN Chapter hosted their annual Multisite event again in 2014 with over 160 members from across 3 states and 7 nuclear sites in attendance. The event was held over a two day period, beginning with a networking event on Wednesday, July 30th and then a full day of Professional Development on Thursday, July 31st.
The Professional Development day began with a board game that was created by Duke Energy NAYGN members which highlighted the importance of many aspects of the utility model. The game, named Megawatt Fever, puts up to 8 players in competition for growing their power company by utilizing a number of diverse energy sources such as wind, solar, natural gas, coal, hydro, and nuclear. As the game continued along, players learned the importance of energy diversification as the Industry Leader named a new policy (such as carbon tax or end in renewable subsidies) which vastly affected prices and cash flow. Eventually natural disasters occurred, which had the ability to affect all energy sources depending on the type of disaster. The game was a huge success and left the attendees more aware of the challenging decisions and issues that every utility has to face every day.
The second session dealt with a topic that most engineers could use help with, as it focused around communicating with the public. Managers from Duke Energy’s Corporate Communications department came in for a session on effective ways to communicate with the public. The session hit on what someone can do when asked by friends, family, or even a complete stranger. After tips from both of the managers in the first half of the session, all of the tables in the room were given a scenario to respond to. These were real situations that occurred at our nuclear plants than ranged from fires inside the plant to faulty public alarm systems. Each table nominated a spokesperson to respond to the event as if asked by a news reporter, where only one sentence was allowed to help calm the public and take care of the situation. The presentation also focused on the importance of staying informed and being an advocate for our nuclear industry.
Learning from Leaders
With a focus spanning over professional development and knowledge transfer, 20 of Duke Energy’s managers, supervisors and Subject Matter Experts were rotated through tables of NAYGN members to allow the members to have personal, candid conversations. All topics were open, with highlights including cross-functional interactions, career development, leadership skills, and expertise concentrations.
The Future of Nuclear
Two Southern Company NAYGN members were invited up from Vogtle Units 3 & 4 to discuss the challenges and progress of new-plant construction as the country’s most advanced new-age nuclear construction site. The presentation included pictures, construction challenges, effects on Units 1 & 2, modular construction techniques, and other fascinating elements unit construction.