Palo Verde keeps state running with clean energy, while empowering veterans

It's a unique look at the Nuclear Power Plant that is located close to Phoenix.

Suiting up for the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is part of the daily grind for workers there, as they protect people from increased radiation exposure.

Many workers at the plant are veterans who have served the country.

"I got a chance to do six years in the nuclear navy, and that was a great tour for me," said Paul Bury, who led a media tour into the core of one of Palo Verde's nuclear reactors.

The reactor has been taken offline for refueling, and the tour provided a unique glimpse of a nuclear reactor. If the reactor was online, the tour would not have been possible.

"Unless absolutely necessary, we don't go inside our containment building at power," said Bury.

Bury said they actively seek to hire people with a military history.

"Veterans are a key part of our success," said Bury. "The leadership that folks get from the military and experiences give a different perspective for us. A lot of the knowledge skills, leadership things that I got a chance to learn when I was in the navy, they're very similar. The systems are different, but that background, that schooling has helped me be successful here."

The plant has multiple checkpoints on the way into the fuel building, as a way to monitor levels of radiation exposure. Inside, about 50 feet above an open reactor, radioactive fuel sits underneath a blue glowing pool of water.

No added exposure reported, and Bury said people who took a flight would have received a higher dose.

"The natural radiation that occurs in the atmosphere," said Bury. "When you go up in elevation, you pick up more of that dose."

Eighty percent of the clean energy in Arizona comes out of Palo Verde when all three of their reactors are going at once.