INL researchers develop strategies to keep today’s nuclear power fleet profitable

December 23, 2022, 3:08PMNuclear NewsCory Hatch
The Human Systems Simulation Laboratory at INL allows researchers to simulate industrial control rooms to improve performance. (Photo: INL)

In the 1960s, nuclear energy established itself as a mainstay of the electrical grid for its ability to produce carbon-­free, safe, and reliable power. Indeed, nuclear energy currently provides about 50 percent of carbon-­free electricity in the United States, but a major challenge is its cost.

How do nuclear power plant workers pull together as a team?

December 20, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear NewsSarah Camba Lynn

Sarah Camba Lynn

How to characterize a tight-knit, high--functioning workplace is an open question. Some consider it a family, due to close working relationships and long hours spent together. Personally, I prefer to focus on the parallels between a group of coworkers and a professional sports team.

Being a good Texan, football is my go-to for sports analogies. A football team, while cohesive, is really made up of several smaller teams. Not everyone is on the field at once, nor are the positions interchangeable. They share a goal—to win—but each smaller team has a different focus and specific tasks to achieve the goal. At a nuclear power plant, there are several departments, each also with a distinct focus but overall contributing together to the goal of reliable, safe, carbon-free energy.