When I first came home from an almost ten year stay in the state of Hawaii I was fortunate enough to land a job at a Nuclear Power Plant located in Southern Vermont. I had a high school education and a few years in the United States Marine Corps working in a field that didn’t really give me many options to choose from in the civilian world. The options given to me at that time by my military career planner consisted of Law Enforcement, Construction, or a Non professional truck driver. None of which I had any interest in. Being able to work at a nuclear power plant not only gave me a healthy income, but also allowed a portion of the skills learned in my military career to be used in the defense of the power plant.
If I was a betting man I’d have to say that working at a Nuclear Power plant is an entirely different world when compared to any other industry. It took some time to learn all of the different jargon used between the fences and even more time to comprehend the processes that take place in that world, but once you become comfortable with it it’s an extremely straightforward daily operation.
A large portion of my time there was spent working the twelve hour night shift. A shift that has it’s perks but also has it’s low points. If you let it get you down you would be in for some really and trying times. I took the down time that comes with the night shift and used it to my advantage. When others did what they do, I for many of those years would wander the power plants inner and outer footprints to learn where things are and equally as important where things aren’t. I would learn and retain specific details not only as good guy protecting the plant, but also as a bad guy searching for any potential weak spots that if found could be exploited. I’ve spent countless hours wandering around the facility, and in doing so it had allowed me to put that knowledge to good use. Some of what I learned allowed us to modify the existing defensive strategy to be a more effective one and on occasion we were able to “terminate” the “Adversary Force” so convincingly during annual Force on Force drills that I was on more than one occasion was accused of cheating to do it. It felt good.