After more than twenty years in nuclear power plant security, USA Nuclear’s Doug Abell knows what young nuclear engineers need before entering the industry.
On February 21, 2020, USA Nuclear conducted a training course on nuclear power plant security for students in the nuclear engineering graduate program at University of New Mexico (UNM). The course, which was taught to over a dozen students, was offered as part of a larger cooperative program between UNM and Sandia National Laboratories.
The course was taught by Douglas Abell, a Senior Security Consultant at USA Nuclear, who has more than two decades of experience in nuclear power plant operations at U.S. facilities. Abell has performed in nearly every nuclear security position across his experience at two plants: San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in San Clemente, California, and South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company (STP) near Houston, Texas.
“Nuclear power plants are among the most complex and challenging industrial facilities in the world,” said Abell. “Nuclear power plant operations need to integrate world-class engineering with world-class security. The earlier nuclear engineering students can learn about the demands of plant security and how to integrate it seamlessly into plant operations, the better they’ll perform over the course of their careers.”
The heart of the training course is a rigorous review of the Federal Code of Regulations for physical protection of nuclear power plants (10 CFR 73.55). Other topics include examining the role of third-party nuclear industry groups like the Nuclear Energy Institute and the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations, and how it all comes together thanks to the approach of a federal agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
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Whether teaching a course to graduate students preparing for careers as nuclear professionals or conducting training for nuclear professionals currently in the field, USA Nuclear leads the way in supporting our clients in developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed while reinforcing the philosophy that an effective training program is critical for safe and efficient operations.