As our energy needs have evolved, nuclear power is once again in focus. Just outside Waynesboro, GA, the professional electricians of IBEW 1579 are inside the gates and on the job at Plant Vogtle.
When this project is completed it will supply energy to nearly half a million homes and businesses. It’s being watched by the world and is the largest construction project going on in the country. It has massive potential in both the power it generates and the message it can send to the rest of the world about the skilled, talented IBEW members.
George Koucheravy, Deputy Project Director, Southern Nuclear, said, “The future of the commercial nuclear power industry is dependent on what we do over these next three years. If we succeed, there is a future in the commercial nuclear power industry. If we fail, this is a dead industry.”
Dale Morgan, Site Manager, Richmond County Constructors, said, “We tell our younger talent when we get these two built, if we build with good quality, a really good safety record, and with pride, then there’s more to come.”
With over 7,000 people working on the job site everyday, it’s busy to say the least. It’s up to the ability of the IBEW to complete the work with laser focus on productivity and safety.
Koucheravy said, “The IBEW is going to make or break this project. The only thing that makes me feel confident that will get the graph we need with the right set of skills and support is because you have the IBEW.”
Berry Smith, General Foreman, IBEW Local 1579, said as an IBEW member they’re hired because they are the best to get the job done right. They battle extreme weather, but they can push through to deliver the best product. IBEW members get the job done safely and do the job the right way the first time.
This is the first new nuclear on American soil in thirty years. The eyes of the world are watching the IBEW’s every move. The potential future of the United States’ energy is on the line. It’s exactly where they feel most comfortable.
Smith said, “There’s definitely a sense of pride. I don’t think any craft here wants their local to be the one responsible for letting us fail. There are a lot of people working out here who put in a hard day’s work everyday to make sure we succeed. Not only for the country itself on the nuclear power forefront, but also for union labor as well.”
Koucheravy said, “You’re doing things everyday that have never been done before. The good thing you see is the young folks. That’s the future of our country and our industry. Those who participate in this are going to make history.”