Generation Field Trip

Mohawk high school students stand near the three replacement Steam Generators located at Beaver Valley Power Station.

March 11, 2019

High school students from the Blackhawk and Mohawk school districts in Beaver County, Pa., spent their school day at the Beaver Valley Power Station this past Monday. The visit was coordinated by the site chapter of North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN).

Students had the opportunity to get a close-up look at the replacement Unit 2 Reactor Vessel Head and the Mechanical Maintenance Training building. They also saw the Steam Generator Storage facility, where the three new replacement Steam Generators await installation; the components originally were scheduled to be installed in 2017 but the project has been postponed due to the continued health and good working condition of the existing Steam Generators.

There was one interactive stop on the visit – the Control Room Simulator. Inside the replica Control Room, which is built to scale to precisely mimic the actual Control Room in the plant, Nuclear Operations Training Supervisor Dan Tiberio explained to students the purpose of having such a facility on-hand. Dan then invited students to play the role of reactor operators, setting up a computer simulation of a plant emergency.

The visit was the first in a two-step initiative known as Student Powered Solutions, a project-based learning initiative that propels high school students through the research and development process while working on a defined project with specific criteria. NAYGN members already had visited the classrooms of students in both districts to deliver an overview of nuclear power generation including different types of reactors, major plant equipment, radiation, safety protocols and the governing bodies responsible for regulating the nuclear industry. The next part of the initiative will involve students returning to Beaver Valley to present their projects to site staff. That event is slated for some time in late April.

Inside the Control Room Simulator, Blackhawk student Ayden Muzzana worked the controls to simulate rod insertion as Dan Tiberio explains the process.