IAmA Guard for a decommissioned nuclear waste plant. AMA!
Hello reddit, here is my proof. (picture of me when I graduated basic school).
I make quite a bit and don’t do a lot, my schedule is very short, and a lot of people don’t know these jobs even exist!
So have at it!
Edit: If I didn’t get to your question last night I will today, we don’t get a lot of time between shifts.
Depends on the day...
Howbout super mutants?
Hahahaha “You humans! So weak! So STUPID!”
I tried to be a guard at an active Plant in PA. Heard the job was very boring. 12 hour shifts, 4 days in three off. Pay is excellent tho. My question is did you have prior military exp? Or any armed security exp in general
I did, ex military and LEO. But the guy next to me in the picture was a gas station attendant and performed very well.
And for the first part you are correct, super boring, we work 3 twelves and are off for four days, but we make more than any police agency in our area and get better equipment and training. So it has its pros and cons.
Your hours are way better then me in the army, so where do I sign up
Look at Exelon, they hire a lot of guards for their commercial sites, and they still have a pension. Or any other nuclear power provider for that matter like Southern Company, etc.
As far as DOE work, look at any contractor affiliated with them. Centerra, tripple canopy, G4S, Chenango, NNL, Sandia, theres a whole bunch. Watch them closely, openings come up fast and go away just as quickly.
Are there any dangers to your health in this job?
Not really, we don’t go anywhere near the waste or anything contaminated as far as radiation concerns go. And there are MANY measures in place to ensure safety for all the employees; which can be cumbersome at times but it is for the best.
Our biggest worries are slip/fall accidents, protesters, or the threat of an active shooter.
Has there been an incident where you have to use gun at work? How common are attacks and protests?
(I come from a small country in Europe, we don’t have any nuclear plants or waste sites that I know of)
No, since I have done this job only one of our guards actually drew his weapon. It was responding to an alarm that had some evidence of a breach one night. It was a false alarm, but everything is a big deal here.
And do some research, I lived here my whole life and never knew how close I was to a site. You might be surprised.
Thank you for the answers, your job sure seems interesting
Have any of these worries ever materialized?
Slips/fall accidents, yes pretty common.
We did have a small peaceful protest a few years ago but they were very civil and nothing came of it.
However, a different site did have a nun break through their perimeter and spray paint “no nukes” on a waste canister.
No active shooters thankfully, and I really hope that one never materializes.
Edit: changed ever to never.
Was not expecting that picture, holy crap.
She was just arrested, I’m not entirely sure what happened after that. I will try to find an article on it.
Edit , here you go.
How did you find the job? Just found it on a jobsite, or was it from a mate?
What's your wierdest experience? And what do you guys do for fun on the long shifts?
How do you coordinate your shifts with your family? And what do you tell people when they ask what you do for a living?
Also, is it issued gear, or do you get a budget/allowence to spend on new gear and such?
I was referred in by a former work colleague who was impressed with my work as an LEO.
I only work three days a week so it isn’t hard, my wife is a waitress and works her shifts during mine so our time off is concurrent.
It’s all issued, personal gear isn’t allowed although some of our guards would love to be more “tacti-cool” if they had their way. But our gear budget is large enough to begin with so most of us don’t want for anything.
Wierdest experience: we had a really f***ed up looking raccoon in the parking lot. When we went to check it out it stopped, stared at us, and began pissing himself. When he finished he continued on his way, paying us no mind. We didn’t mess with him after that. RIP Rocky.
Mostly we rag on each other or play elaborate pranks... makes the time go by.
Cool - great that your wife can make her shifts work out with your rooster.
Love the username BTW ;)
What superpowers have you thus far developed with your exposure to radiation?
None... yet. Actually pretty upset about that.
(Follow up answer to the question you didn’t ask: the ability to pelvic thrust like Spongebob when he’s trying to make bubbles)
If the plant were ever to be taken over by a super villain would you stay on as a henchman or find a new place to work?
GOOD ONE! I guess it depends on the villain, if it were Megamind absolutely.
Not too sure about bane though, he doesn’t seem to be a great guy to work for. Plus you have to consider the benefits package and all...
That's some serious gear for a decommissioned nuclear waste plant, want to give us some details on the secret government testing going on in there?
We are not available now but please leave your name and number and we will return you call....... beep.
Is there still hot material on site even though it’s been decommissioned?
I’ve seen some operational facilities but only one decommissioned site and it was very heavily protected just like this. Very interesting!
Yes there is, they just aren’t doing anything with it since they shut down like 50 years ago.
What's the best way to sneak into a nuclear power plant?
Don’t, most have a lot of whoop-ass behind the gate.
Also, how old is this picture? Still using iron sights on an M16?
M4, and it is 2 years old. Also, most will train on iron sights before getting any optics, or so I thought.
How much cake do you think you could eat in a single sitting?
All the cake.
Do you enjoy your job? It'd be pretty cool to get to say that you work with nuclear waste
It is neat, I have learned a ton. But overall satisfaction in this field is lacking, due mostly to long hours and mind-numbing boredom.
Very honestly I was happier as a street cop making way less money. But life goes on.
Do you carry the guns around all the time like in red vs blue?
Have you seen any mutants? Or is that not possible?
Not always, we need bathroom breaks too.
No... but I’m still looking, they’ll turn up eventually.
This is a quality response thank you so much. And if you don't mind I have a follow up question too. How big is the area you guard?
Pretty small by comparison to other sites, a little over 300 acres.
And to answer your question, the ones that are qualified are always armed when on duty.
No... but not convinced.
While WE don’t have grenades at our site, other sites have access to grenade machine guns, mini’s, helicopters, etc.
A few years ago Redjacket Arms was developing an AR that has the gas system of the AK-47 to allow it to fire in any condition. They were working with a government contract and the goal was to give them to state side guards. Specifically for desert like conditions.
Now since I see trees and foliage I assume your plant wasn't in one of the Sandy climates. But did they ever upgrade your weaponry like that or did you always just have the m4.
Secondly, what is the m4 like to fire? I've shot full auto AKs and MACs but never an AR. What are your thoughts and what is your firearm of choice.
Very interesting question since I am also my site’s armorer.
The gunsmiths in New Mexico have free reign over their assigned weapons; resulting in some really tricked out AR/AK/HK variants.
But we don’t have the budget for those types of mods, we are lucky to have the rifles on hand. Other sites with bigger budgets might be a different story, there was another guard commenting here maybe he would like to chime in.
The m4 is a good rifle, the ones we trained with were VERY well used and we never had issues with them, so long as you keep them clean. And I had never even seen a full auto m4 until I came to work here, it’s an interesting sensation firing a light shoulder fired weapon on full auto.
I do like the m4 but honestly I’m a big fan of bull-pup rifles like the AUG and TVAR. Just something about the aesthetics and function of that design. As far as side-arms go I’m a big fan of glock, they’re tried and true. Tupperware jokes aside there isn’t a lot of mass produced hand guns that perform like Glock does.
What was the scariest things that ever happened while you were on shift?
I walked into a building that used to house the waste water and a really loud interior alarm was sounding. Being that I was already in the building I thought I had just received dose from a leak or something, turns out the alarm USED to be serious but is now nothing and erroneously goes off sometimes.
Say I wanted to steal a decommissioned nuclear waste plant. What would be the best way to go about it?
Put it in your man-pack, obviously.
What is you annual radiation exposure?
Little to none, my annual check last year showed I picked up the same amount of dose any normal person does from just living on earth. Mostly due to sun exposure.
Ever shot anyone in the ass?
Whats your best moment so far?
How can I get a job doing this?
Never shot anyone, ever, thankfully.
Probably all of the jokes we play on each other, I once put a dummy in a truck overlooking the gas pumps and had the guard lose his shit when he noticed, then subsequently lose his shit again for gettin’ got.
Look at the major contractor’s that work the the DOE, NRC, or commercial power plants... company’s like Centerra, Chenango, and Exelon are a good start. Military, LEO, or college will help but not always necessary. Make sure you are physically fit. Hope that helps!
Re: my response to your question. Pic or it didn’t happen.
What's the coolest thing about your job, and what has been your favourite experience?
The coolest thing about my job is learning about radiation. The different types, what each can do to you, what you can do to protect yourself, etc. Also my site has rich history that I am able to get the inside scoop on, so to speak. A lot of the locals have myths and conspiracy theories about the site and we get the rare opportunity to debunk/confirm them.
My favorite experience was basic school, I have been to multiple combat schools, two police academies, and this school was by far the best training I have ever received. Plus the school is in New Mexico which is just gorgeous and I had a great time outside of class.
Did you learn about Hiroshi Ouchi?
I haven’t previously but just did a google search... that was pretty messed up. A few things similar to that have happened before.
Yeah. The book about him after the accident got recommended to me recently and then I stumble upon an ama about someone who works at an old nuclear waste plant. Funny coincidence.
(X-files music playing in background)
What kind of psyche evaluations did you go through before starting the position?
You do an MMPI plus an interview with a psychiatrist initially. Then there are annual follow up interviews plus another MMPI every 5 years.
What country (or if you can't say, region) is this? I'm curious given the surroundings and the extent to which you're equipped and armed.
Im in the US, I can’t really get region-specific. Sorry :\
Is nuclear power plant a cover up for guarding the krabby patty secret formula?
Who sent you!?!
Do you use any radiation monitoring equipment (other than badges)?
Yes, there are big metal detector looking things called PCMs that we have to go through that will alarm if we’ve been contaminated. There are also small frisker monitors randomly distributed.
Do you prefer Dogecoin as payment when you're selling your plants secrets?
I would LOVE to answer that, but these dudes in black suits say I can’t.
These guys are dicks too, they won’t even let me where my tinfoil hat that I worked so hard on.
Wal-Mart brand or SnootyIBuyExpensiveFoil brand?
If it's #2, I understand.
I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for, and i feel the name brand keeps their gamma ray blocking customers in mind.
Not sure how they know that though.....
What's your daily service loadout? Any requirements/restrictions on weapons, or is it user preference? (So I guess issued or non-issued) I spy an old-school carry handle and birdcage.
Must you be trained in Hazmat Operations or simply just Hazmat Awareness? (Opposed to Technicians and Specialists)
Issued gear only, regardless of personal preference. No weapon mods are allowed. Daily were carrying a sidearm and rifle with a predetermined amount of ammo.
And we are trained in hazmat a little above the awareness level but just in case a truck carrying hazardous material crashes near site.
Damn, you'd think with a bearcat in the budget they could hook you guys up with some glass!
The bearcat isn’t ours lol we have a pickup.
Just starting high school, i am looking for a future job choice, so,
How do you get into this profession?
How did you find out of this position?
How's the pay?
And what restrictions do you have on the job?
Like any other job, you search for it and apply. I had an “in” which got me hired but not everyone on our team did so it isn’t necessary. In most states you need to be 21 or over, and most of us have college, military experience, or have been a prior cop (or all three in my case). If this is truly what you want to do you will need something like that to set you apart from the others.
I didn’t even know the site was anywhere near me until I started working there. I had a friend who suggested I apply to an obscure looking job opening at a company I had never heard of. Then I interviewed at a separate location and was hired. I was given a location and time to show up and the rest is history.
The pay is way above average, it is not unusual for us at our site to make over $70k US. I have heard of guards at bigger sites pulling down over $100k with all the overtime they work. But you really need to buckle down and put life on hold for a year to reach that number.
Not quite sure what you mean by restrictions so I guess I will tell you the down sides.
Long hours, boredom, constant drills which can stress you out, the equipment gets heavy/hot/cumbersome, the things you do get to do are super repetitive, safety policies that don’t do a lot but be annoying, we’re not entitled to breaks (you eat/go to the bathroom when you can). I could go on but the short end is it isn’t for everybody but there are worse places to work.
Good luck ;)
Thanks! I guess I'll plan on going through law enforcement training with chp/border patrol. I still have a long wait but I think this is a job I would like.
If you had an in, how would I get interviewed? If I don't know anyone in the profession is there a site or something.
honestly it seems like a job that I can get behind in the future. There's one about 30 mins from my house and hopefully I end up there. You said previously that u can listen to music and honestly that's all I would need to get the job done.
Also what kind of vehicle do you get?
Your credentials speak for themselves, the only reason I had an in was because he knew my background and was impressed with my police work, then he approached me about it. If you work on it and apply you will get picked up. Look at some of the companies I listed in other comments and watch their job section, I check them almost every day. Also, every federal contract is public information, just google security contracts for (insert GOV agency here) and then research the companies that were awarded contracts.
And we have a simple pickup truck, but other sites have anything from marked police vehicles, to Humvees, to armored trucks and helicopters. Just depends on where you end up.
Do you listen to music while on shifts?
Also if yes, what music? :)
Yes! I am into all sorts of genres. My main spotify playlist is a nightmare.
Anything from Weird Al to Avatar. I also like Imagine Dragons a lot. Heres a short list of some of the bands i listen too:
Slipknot, korn, thirty seconds to mars, queen, the police, metallica, the lonely island, wham!, the offspring, linkin park, shinedown, elton john, twisted sister, toto, eminem, bloodhound gang....
I could go on forever.
Provide real proof. Thanks.
What are you going to do when somebody charges you with a handgun and your shit isnt loaded?
So because theres no mag in my rifle in a graduation photo, it’s safe to assume we don’t have them on duty?
If one never tests that theory, it's fairly safe, I suppose.
How many zombies do you have to snuff out a day?
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