Monday, April 26, 2010

Keeping the world safe and other training obstacles

While triathlon is my hobby/sport/addiction/obsession but it is not my job. Most of the time my job and training/working out go hand in hand and are not mutually exclusive, but sometimes they end up butting heads and normally the job wins.

I am a Senior Project Engineer for the Division of Reactor Projects of the USNRC. My job is to protect Public Health and Safety thru ensuring the safe use of nuclear materials in power, medical, and other uses. It is a job and a mission statement I take very seriously and take a lot of pride in. I work in the nuclear power plant side of the house, so periodically I get to play in Emergency Preparedness drills. This week I got to travel to Pittsburgh to play in one of these drills. These drill a really a site to behold. Watching the plant, the local community, the counties, the PA State Troopers, the states of Pennsylvania, West Virgina, and Ohio, FEMA, the DHS, and the NRC, all working together to meet a common goal is a very impressive evolution and takes alot of work to get right. Problem with these drills is that the go on forever. This one started somewhere around 2pm and we wrapped up around 10pm. Then with the post drill, "wash down and critiques" I didn't get back to the hotel until about midnight. Throw in a pseudonormal work day before and a late flight the night before and working out just wasn't in the cards.

So I'll be juggling my schedule around for the rest of the week to catch up, but at least I can sleep well knowing I helped make sure the communities in the vicinity of the Beaver Valley Power Plant will be able to respond to any civil emergency (The Emergency Plan they exercised is used for smaller scale issues such as gas line breaks, severe storms, tornadoes, and transportation accidents as well as problems at the nuclear plant.)

But I'd be lying if I didn't tell you, I was thinking about riding or running thru the awesome rolling hills in this area, at several points during the exercise. But sometimes we have to make a sacrifice or two.

Have fun, be safe!

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