EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 8, 2013

Gov. Hassan visits nuclear power plant in Seabrook

Observes training exercise, discusses plant's economic benefit

SEABROOK — Standing in the middle of the simulated control room at Seabrook Station yesterday, N.H. Gov. Maggie Hassan watched intently as plant employees were put through their paces at a training exercise mimicking life in the nerve center of a nuclear power plant.

As part of the training regiment at NextEra Energy Seabrook, control room teams cycle through intense simulations to ensure they can meet any possible occurrence at the 1,247-megawatt power plant, fueled by nuclear material, that provide enough electricity to the grid to power 1.2 million homes.

“During training sessions, we handle anything from down power to every accident imaginable,” said Matthew Arsenault, control room shift manager for one of six teams, in for week-long training during Hassan’s visit. Teams rotate through training every six weeks and complete a one-week program.

Hassan was at the plant for a double mission. First, to witness the extensive training that plant employees undergo regularly, but also to comment on a recently released report on the economic benefit the power plant brings to the Seacoast region and the state of New Hampshire.

“I look forward to reading the report,” Hassan told a crowd of media and plant staff, adding she enjoyed the opportunity to get a firsthand look at the “important and thoughtful” training that goes on at the plant.

Hassan said that, as an Exeter resident and the former state senator for Seabrook’s district, she was well acquainted with the plant’s financial impact on the state in the area of employment, as well as the commitments its employees make to their jobs, plant safety and Seacoast communities.

“Seabrook Station is a job creator and an important part of our state’s diverse energy portfolio,” Hassan said. “Having represented this area in the state Senate, I have long appreciated Seabrook’s workers for their dedication and commitment to safety, and it is clear that the plant’s hard-working men and women will continue to play an important role in our state’s energy future.”

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