SANATOGA PA – Recent jottings from a reporter’s notebook:
Supporting The (Really) Local Economy
With more than 2,000 additional workers visiting greater Pottstown to work at Exelon Corp.’s Limerick Unit 1 nuclear generator during its current refueling outage, one of the project’s biggest beneficiaries seems to be the Turkey Hill convenience store in Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township, at East High Street and Rupert Road.
Customer traffic through the store has jumped significantly since late February (2012), when the outage began. Turkey Hill is only 1.6 miles from the Limerick Generating Station gates.
The store’s regular patrons have noticed newcomers focus on three basic purchases: beverages, food, and tobacco, in that order. Food apparently is available on-site at LGS, but one temporary worker was heard to grumble that “it’s not very good.”
And although it might be expected that workers in a nuclear facility would be accustomed to a high level of security, another temp complained he couldn’t “move 15 feet in any direction without meeting some guard armed with a gun.” At least, that’s what served as dinner-time conversation around an Italian hoagie with hot peppers.
LGS spokesperson Dana Melia said that during the outage the army of specialists is conducting more than 13,000 activities, including state-of-the-art equipment upgrades, safety inspections and plant improvements. All are intended to enhance Unit 1’s operation and ensure LGS’ “ability to provide safe, reliable, carbon-free electricity” during the next two years.
Preparation for those activities has been in planning for more than a year, site Vice President Bill Maguire added.
During the outage, trained technicians will install new adjustable-speed drives on Unit 1’s massive core circulating pumps to improve efficiency and reliability. Workers will also replace nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel, and install cable upgrades to further protect the plant in the event of an electrical disturbance. None of those jobs can be performed while Unit 1 is online, Mcguire said.
Limerick Unit 2 continues to generate electricity while Unit 1 is offline.
Gas Cost Up. Theater Cost Down. See, Things Even Out
With the price of gas still going up, more people are inclined to latch onto bargains where ever they can find them. For area high school and college teachers and students, that may involve looking no farther than the Tri-County Performing Arts Center in Pottstown.
Tri-PAC this month is staging its production of Lillian Hellman’s drama, “Toys in the Attic.” In a first for the theater, the play will be performed in-the-round. It’s “as if we’re right there watching love, greed, envy, economic struggle, deceit, skeletons in the closet and fateful decisions unfold right before our eyes,” spokeswoman Betsy Chapman recently wrote.
So what’s more exciting than having ringside seats to such emotional carnage? Having them at half-price.
For next Thursday’s (March 15, 2012) show, Tri-PAC is making a thrifty offer: groups of 10 or more students, accompanied by at least one teacher or parent, can pay in advance for their tickets and get them at half-price, $8 instead of $16. The accompanying adult gets in for only $9.
- This event has been added to The Post calendar.
On top of that, director Neal Newman will provide a director’s prologue before the show starts. That could be a valuable lesson in and of itself. Newman has taught and directed at Fordham University, the University of the Arts, Cabrini College and the University of Pennsylvania. If serious theater students hope to learn about stagecraft, they’ll be hard-pressed to find a more suitable tutor.
Group specialists are standing by to be of assistance, Chapman claims. See if she’s right. If your group is interested, call 610-970-1199.
Editor’s note: Notebook Worthy is a series of occasional articles; find others like it, here.