MSc student Viktorija Zaksaite was selected as one of three students from the UK to do a summer internship at Hitachi-GE in Japan. She worked as part of Genpukei team who works in Plant and System Engineering Section.
Here is her account of her time in Japan:
"The program was well designed and managed. My time was split working with Japanese team on domestic plants and UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) design team. The projects I got involved to, where Basic Safety Case (BSC) development, Heat Balance calculation for the UK ABWR plant design, and Safety Classification literature review.
It was interesting to experience Japanese working culture starting from the morning exercise and working till late at night. During lunch time I got involved in a variety of activities which include walking, sleeping at the desk and playing Pan Pong (Hitachi invented game between tennis and ping pong) on the rooftop.
The program also included various activities such as supporting the Hitachi team in baseball game and visit to a Rinkai factory, which builds and manufactures nuclear reactor components. Most of the parts such as reactor shaft, control rod drive mechanism, waste containment building and others can be seen in the factory, which were supposed to be part of ABWR new build, but currently is on hold since Fukushima. The most exciting part of the internship was the trip to Shimane site, and be able to see and walk inside the ABWR plant (Shimane-3). This was the most unreal experience ever! I was able to walk in a lower and upper drywell, I saw empty suppression pool chamber, and was underneath the Control Rod Driving Mechanism (CRDM), and I even touched the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV)!
Japanese people are very welcoming, friendly and helpful, but they don’t socialise much during work hours. However they are a lot of fun after work especially in singing karaoke.
Besides working hard I enjoyed the Japanese cuisine including raw horse meat, pufferfish and fish eyes. I took part in traditional Japanese tea ceremony wearing traditional Japanese clothing (yukata). I have enjoyed the nature of the Japan by climbing several mountains such as Tsukuba and Fuji, and visiting beautiful places such as Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima and obviously Tokyo. Summer time is a great time to visit Japan due to its many festivals and hot (sometimes too hot) weather.
This was one the best and most memorable times in my life. I gained technical experience and learned about the ABWR design and systems, experienced working and living in Japanese culture, and made some good friends who I hope to meet again".