Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Travel Work?:
Our company pays 56 cents per mile for those who meet our traveler requirements ($500 cap), as well as $110 of tax free per diem every day. This money is not paid in advance. It is received on the first paycheck after training is passed. Workers are responsible for getting themselves here and providing their own lodging and transportation. Per Diem is included on each paycheck and Travel out will be added to the last paycheck.
How Does Training Work?:
The first day on site all new hires go to a large classroom for an orientation meeting. At this meeting you will check in and receive a 'traveler' this is a folder that lists all the training you need to do. At orientation plant personell will go over the expectations for training and for working on site.
Most people will have scheduled activities on their travelers for a drug test, fingerprinting, psychological exam, and practical dress out. Practical dress out is the class to teach people how to properly put on and take off anti-contamination clothing. It is very important to be on time to all scheduled activities
Aside from schedule activities you will have a list of CBTs (computer based training courses). These course are power point presentations that teach the basics of working in a nuclear power plant. These are listed on the traveler in the order they need to be taken in, as the ones at the top are required to be able to get a security badge.
With the CBT courses many have tests and the tests need to be passed with 80% or better. If after going through the CBT module you do not feel ready to take the test and don't fully understand the information, you can go through it again or go to specific spots in the training course to revisit the material before taking the test. If you do not pass a test, don't panic! You will get to take the test a 2nd time. It is vitally important that if you do not pass one of these tests to come and see our inprocessing coordinator or project manager so that we can get you extra help before taking the test again. If you don't pass on a second attempt we might not be able to get you a 3rd attempt. This is why it is important to stop once you don't pass and come see us. People have gone right back into taking the test a second time after not passing, and failed a 2nd time.
You are highly encouraged to look over the study guides available on our resources page.
Once you have passed all your training your inprocessing coordinator will let you know when your badge is ready. Your security badge is needed to be able to access the plant. After getting your badge you will also receive a dosimeter to measure your radiation dose on site. Once you have these 2 items, you are ready for work. We will issue you a cold weather suit, hardhat, work gloves, and safety glasses.
What If I Don't Pass Training?:
When an offer of employment is extended, it will have this clause:
III. I understand and fully agree that my continued employment with Day & Zimmermann is contingent upon successful completion of my background investigation and any training required, including passing tests at the conclusion of training. I also understand that my employment is conditional upon client approval of qualifications and staffing needs.
I understand and fully agree that any claim to travel pay and per diem (if applicable) will be forfeited if any of the following conditions apply:
. I fail to obtain a security clearance (including drug screen) or I fail to successfully complete training/testing (time spent on either activity collectively referred to below as Training).
. I falsify any part of my application.
. I fail to report to work on my scheduled start date following the completion of training.
I understand that, for the time spent in Training, I will be paid one of the following rates depending on the
outcome of testing:
. If I pass the post-training test, I will be paid the above Hourly Rate for the time spent in Training.
. If I do not pass the post-training testing, I will be paid the required minimum wage for the time
spent in Training.
It is rare that people do not pass training. All training tests allow a 2nd attempt and if improvement is shown we can often get a 3rd attempt. We provide study guides ahead of time here so that workers can have a good base of understanding before coming to site.
What Is Getting Started Like:
everyone gets through training we have a kickoff meeting where our project managers discuss in depth the project goals and expectations for the project. Everyone will be assigned their shift and supervisor. The supervisors will then get everyone together and take their crews through the plant to get familiar with the area and to get their cold weather gear to their lockers inside the plant.
Our first day performing work in the plant will be mobilizing our equipment into the ice condenser. It takes a lot of equipment to get our work done. This normally takes 24 hours from start to finish. We break up the crew into smaller groups and all new people are always with experienced leads and supervisors.
What's The Bulk of The Job Like:
Most of our crew is on a 6 10s work schedule. Once we get to site at the start of the shift we have a meeting going over what is happening in the plant, what we are working towards, and any other important information. Directly after this meeting we head into the plant. We go to our lockers to put on cold weather gear, then go up to the ice condenser. We spend 3 hours inside the ice condenser at a time, then we are out for 3 hours. This is because of the cold temperatures. We have 4 shifts each working 2 3 hour jumps in the ice condenser to provide 24 hour coverage. It takes about 30 minutes from the time we exit to get back to the break area. Although we are out of the condenser for 3 hours, that doesn't mean this entire time is a break time. We occassionally have jobs outside of the condenser that need to be done, such as picking up material or pre-staging equipment. We then return to the ice condenser 3 hours after we left for another 3 hour jump, then our day is done.
For our FME crew the 3 hours in is mostly outside of the ice condenser. Primarily they will be checking over the equipment the rest of the crew is bringing in or out and getting all personell and equipment properly logged into the area and logged out of the area on our computers. They will also do walkdowns through the ice condenser to validate the items on the log.
Our lowers crew will be clearing ice out of lowers with a 4" vaccuum line and clear ice off of the structural steel.
For our Upper Ice crew they will be assigned a basket to work on and will verify the basket number before getting started. They then work on breaking up the ice in the basket with a concrete vibrator attached to a 3/4 air hose. When the basket is finished they pull up the hose, coil it up, and move on to the next basket assigned by the supervisor.
At the end of the outage we will demobilize our equipment and move it all out of the ice condenser to restore containment to its normal configuration.
What About Radiation Exposure?:
Radiation exposure for nuclear power plant workers is highly regulated. The NRC limits workers to 5,000 millirem (MR) per year and most nuclear plants limit individual dose further, for example, the D.C. Cook plant has an administrative limit of 2,000 MR per year.
Working in the ice condenser is extremely low dose. The average worker on this project receives under 5 MR in a refueling outage. For comparison, the average background dose per year from natural radiation is about 600 MR per year and a chest X-Ray is about 10 MR.
Radiation dose is measured through dosimeters. Each employee will have 2 dosimeters; 1 called a DLR (Dosimeter of Legal Record) which stays on the employees lanyard with their badge through the entire assignment, and another dosimeter that is used only for each entry to the RCA (radiollogically controlled area) called an ED (Electronic Dosimeter). This ED has assigned set points that will alarm if a worker enters an area with a higher dose rate than the set point and if the worker accumulates more total dose than the set point. This ED also shows a digital read out of the current dose accumulated and the set points. The typical ice condenser worker will receive around 5MR of occupational expousure during the course of the outage. Learn more on our resources page by reading through the Radiation Protection Study Guide.
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