Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I Overheard...

"Psst.... I heard there is an inspection happening this week", whispered Olof to Viktor. He rolled his chair closer to Viktor and passed him the day's logs.

Taking the log, his eyes quickly scanned the notes and expertly analyzed it. "Really... another one. What is it with these guys?" he replied. Nothing caught his attention and he put the log on a pile of papers.

"I guess some one, is looking for something. I hope this time everyone put their beer cans away."

"I agree. It was kind of embarrassing that Lief was caught drinking on the job last year. What happened to him anyway?" asked Viktor reclining in his fancy office chair.

"Lief? I heard he was discharged and now is working on a boat up north." Olof got up and walked to the back of the room as his attention was drawn to a bunch of flashing lights on the computer panels. With some quick taps on the keyboard, the flashing stopped, "What a dope!"

"Hahaha yeah. This is such a cushy job, I cannot see myself doing anything else. This nuclear plant is the best thing that has ever happened to me."

"I hear that." replied Olof.

"The pay is great, the work is easy, the shifts convenient. What more could you ask for." Viktor's mouse hand smoothly made a few clicks on the computer interface and the screen lit up green.

"Hey now," warned Olof. "What happens if the inspectors show up today?"

"They will not bother us today. I have an online poker game with one of them this afternoon!"


Yes folks, Sweden's nuclear industry has had a tough week being in the media spotlight. A credibility-burning report was released last week about the nuclear power plant I visited. The inspectors found a lot of problems and so the industry now has to rebuild it's huge PR machine to regain the confidence of the public.

As a visitor, I was completely amazed by the sheer size and complexity of the plant. Of course, I was not looking for drunk workers, but just trying to soak in the ingenious engineering involved. I got to see the reactor room, mostly just a huge tank of water surrounded by robots and the steam turbine hall. Inside this hall was a metallic spider with legs of shiny chrome, an incredibly complex system of pipes, tubes, tanks, and auxiliary equipment. My eyes glazed over at the thought of designing something like this. It made me feel so humble and later proud that humans could create such a machine. What an incredible experience!


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