For most people, a "take your child to work" event can be pretty straightforward. For employees at Exelon Generation's Byron Nuclear Station, the process is a little more complicated, but in the end - just as rewarding.
Almost 1,200 employees and their family members took part in the event on a Saturday in June. Guests enjoyed interactive and informational activities inside the training building, which is outside the security fencing of the main plant. There were also fun games and lunch for all to enjoy.
The feature point of the event was a plant tour conducted by the employees themselves. All guests – as young as 4 – had to go through the same security protocols as any visitor to a nuclear station. This included airport-type measures like an x-ray machine and metal detector, as well as an explosives detector.
Once inside the plant's Protected Area, guests stayed close to their tour guides as they saw the plant's containment buildings, which house the reactors, as well as the turbines and generator, natural draft cooling towers, and their family members' work stations. Guests were unable to visit vital areas like the control room and used fuel storage pool, but a great day was had by all.
An army of volunteers helped make the event a great success – and a similar group is expected to volunteer when Byron Station hosts its annual Community Open House. The Open house is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 22, but a firm date will be picked by the end of the summer and communicated on the Byron website.