May 4, 2005
Dominon's North Anna Power Station was awarded by the state for its record of safety by being inducted into the Voluntary Protection Program.
The induction commends employees working in dangerous conditions with heavy equipment for remembering all the little things to keep themselves safe.
"They have their hard hats on. They have their safety glasses on. They wear their gloves when they are handling material," said Vice President of Nuclear Operations, Bill Matthews.
Employee safety means healthy and productive workers and smaller insurance bills for Dominion. It also means there is a smaller chance of a catastrophic accident.
"By having that same mindset, attitude, or approach to personnel safety, it also gives us the same approach to radiological and reactor safety," explained Matthews.
But while the government commends North Anna for its safety, others think it should not be any other way.
"They are doing just what they are supposed to be doing. This is an award by the state saying these guys are doing just as they should be," said Jerry Rosenthal, resident of Louisa County.
Rosenthal has lived on a farm eighteen miles away from the plant for nearly thirty years and has been fighting the plant for almost as long.
He says he knows North Anna is conscious of both security and safety, but there are just some things that are hard to be averted.
"The president of the United States and Al Qaeda have both said that the nuclear power plants are targets and you don't have to get any clearer of a threat than that," said Rosenthal.
Opponents to the plant suggest less vulnerable sources of energy such as solar or water power.