Thinking Outside the Fence

In my previous article, I discussed the idea that the nuclear industry needs to up its game and “think outside the box”. I have an idea. Here it is.

A number of years ago, I visited Palo Verde NPP (nuclear power plant) just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. It is the closest NPP to my home in Northern Utah. I had planned on visiting my sister in Mesa, Arizona for Christmas and wanted to take advantage of the trip to see the  museum at the plant.

I called ahead multiple times to ensure that the museum would be open when I was going to be in Mesa and I asked for specific directions on how to get to the museum. I was assured that it was open and welcomed visitors.

Long story short, to get to the museum (which is inside the fence), you have to go through security, which consisted of driving through a building where body armor wearing security guards with automatic weapons rip open your car doors before you even know what’s going on.

Then, they demand to know what you are doing there. “We just came to see the museum.” Next, they demand ID from all the adults. All this just to get to the “open to the public” museum.

This was very unnerving. If I was not obsessed with seeing the museum, I would have turned around right there.

So, my idea is to locate the museum across the street, outside of the fence, so you don’t scare people to death who have traveled a long distance and spent a lot of time to get there. This is simple public relations, so simple, in fact that it makes me think that the NPP wants to scare people and have them leave with the idea that a bunch a Navy Seals protect the place. (Probably not far from the truth. I suspect that the guards were ex-military.)

If the industry wants succeed in reducing fear of all things nuclear, try not scaring visitors!


HPIM2845Me and my dad at Palo Verde NPP


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