Ted Rockwell has been there and done that when it comes to nuclear power plant design and construction. He was a key member of the team that built the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the first solely commercial nuclear electric generating station in the world.
On December 18, 1957, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station started supplying electricity to the Duquesne Light Company grid. By 7:00 am, it was producing 12,000 kilowatts of electrical power, enough to power about 12,000 homes. That development of that power station established an entire industry and led to the construction of more than 300 Pressurized Water Reactors that together produce about as much energy each day for global consumers as all of the oil exported by Saudi Arabia.
On December 18, 2007, I had the opportunity to have an hour long chat with Dr. Theodore (Ted) Rockwell, one of the key players on the team that designed and built the pioneering reactor. He provides us with a lot of insight into the exciting work and dedicated people who produced a reliable plant just 4.5 years after being initially assigned to the task.
Hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.