The importance of the Farley Nuclear site is multidimensional. The plant employs over 800 people to cover a wide variety of tasks. Jobs include maintaining structural integrity within the reactors, keeping the reaction pools free from debris, managing radiological fires, or handling security within the building and on the grounds of the site. A former employee relayed to me her job was the position of health physics support. She talked about how she “cleaned the entire radiological area, swept, mopped, and fixed leaks.” She also mentioned during shutdowns, the nuclear power is turned off to manage the radioactivity of the area. Health physics support teams would don protective wear and deep clean the radiological containment area. This employee always felt safe in her work environment and retired recently with benefits. According to Indeed.com, Farley receives 4.3 stars out of five for employee reviews, with most stating it is a great place to work. The nuclear plant offers a significant amount of positive economic and employment opportunities for Alabamians.
The greatest relevance of Farley Nuclear Plant is the power it provides. The power plant produces 19% of our states power in a relatively clean way for our environment. According to Alabama Power, Farley produces more power with less units than its steam plant and it is cleaner energy. The plant is also motivated to provide safety for the community and appears to be open with communication about their operations. When I was in high school, a member of Southern Nuclear came out to talk about how nuclear power works, safety, storage, and power production. Alabama Power’s transparency for the Farley operations and relationship with the community allowed the plant to function through events such as weathering the release of The China Syndrome film, the Three Mile Island incident, and the Fukushima reactor meltdown. For some plants, these events ended the demand for nuclear energy. According to a recent report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, their assessment found Farley has little negative impact on the local environment. By providing a strong economic boost for Alabama and continued production of safe, clean energy with lower costs to the region, the Farley Nuclear Plant is a model for other U.S. energy providers to follow.
Hi, my name is Crager Hester. I am a Neuroscience major at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and am currently minoring in History. I am very invested in health and sustainability, whether that be through writing papers on alternative energy sources or going to the gym to focus on personal health and wellbeing.