Radiation protection manager helps keep Darlington workers safe
Joe Cicchini's job is critical for the safety of workers involved in OPG's Darlington Refurbishment.
As Field Section Manager for Radiation Protection at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (GS), Cicchini oversees the station's Field Radiation Protection team and monitors the radiation levels of workers at the power plant.
“Safety is our overriding priority, so while we want to help get the work done, we can only do that when we’ve determined it can be done safely," Cicchini says.
Radiation Protection involves performing radiological surveys to measure radiation levels and ensure all station staff are aware of the conditions or hazards in their work areas. The job also involves making sure all workers have the appropriate safety-related protective equipment when entering these work areas.
Cicchini joined OPG in 2008 as a Radiation Protection Technician, a role responsible for the radiation safety of nuclear professionals in the field. Five years after joining the company, he obtained certification from the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists.
In addition to monitoring radiation levels, Cicchini helped introduce the use of remote monitors inside nuclear reactor units, an innovative technology that provides real-time data about hazard levels.
Cicchini was part of the team that successfully implemented the remote monitoring devices at OPG’s Pickering Nuclear GS, earning recognition by the World Association of Nuclear Operators.
“I’ve always been someone who liked finding solutions to challenges, because when I do, it’s a big sense of accomplishment," he said.
To balance a busy work life, the father of three children makes sure he finds recreational time with his wife and kids where he lives in Port Perry.
“Being a dad is one of the things I’m most proud of,” he says. In addition to coaching his son’s soccer and lacrosse teams, he plays in the Ontario Hydro soccer league.
Back on the job, Cicchini says being a problem-solver and innovator aren’t the only reasons he was drawn to the Darlington Refurbishment project.
“OPG is doing something to secure the future of clean energy for the province,” he says. “Everyone who turns on a light switch in Ontario is relying on us, so I wanted to do my part.”