Each year one student on the MSc Nuclear Science and Engineering programme at the University of Bristol is able to undertake an exciting internship with Hitachi-GE in Japan. Last year Viktorija Zaksaite spent three months with the company, and this year Jin Ye was selected for this brilliant development opportunity.
Here is Jin's account of his time in Japan:
The Hitachi summer internship lasted for two months and I learnt a lot from this programme. Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd is located in Hitachi, which is a seaside city and 2-hour away from Tokyo by train. I was working as mechanical engineering intern in a piping stress design group for the UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) project.
During the internship, I was given two tasks:
- Piping stress analysis of the emergency cooling system in ABWR.
- Jet pressure calculation after a pipe breaks.
Every weekday, I woke up at 6:30 to be able to catch up a bus at 7:20 because I lived quite far away from the company. I usually arrived at the office at 8:40 and started morning exercise at 8:50. After a short meeting with my line manage and senior leader, I started my work at 9am and worked till 5:20pm. In middays, we had 40 minutes for lunchbreak and I had a very delicious lunch in the company canteen. The food in Japan was amazing.
During the internship, I also visited two Hitachi factories where they manufacture pipes for the nuclear and thermal power plants, and some main parts of an ABWR such as top guides, steam separators and control guide rods. In addition, I also witnessed the testing facilities for the control rod systems under seismic conditions and watched videos about clean-up of the nuclear debris inside Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. My Japanese colleagues were technical and were willing to provide many details about the ABWR design.
It was very amazing to experience Japanese culture during my stay in Japan. In August, there is a summer festival named “Obon” when Japanese people honour the spirits of their ancestors. During the festival, they play fireworks and dress in yukata (a kind of Japanese traditional clothing). I got a week off and went to many places. In Osaka, I took a Hello Kitty Shinkansen (a Japanese bullet train). In Kyoto, I tried Ninja costume, joined tea ceremony and watched Gion performance.
Japanese people work much harder than I thought before going to Japan. They usually work till night. Thanks to their working culture, it is also likely because they get more paid for working extra hours. They really concentrated on their work so that they seldom talked during worktime, but they were happy to help you if you asked them. After work, they played very hard, too. I really enjoyed singing in the karaoke with them.
I also met some interns from other UK universities. They are from University of Cambridge, Imperial College, University of Liverpool, Bangor University. We had a good time together and became very good friends.
Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd., was established in 2007 by Hitachi, Ltd., and the General Electric Co. of the U.S. as a means of participation in the nuclear energy business. Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd., having inherited the technologies and the experiences of both companies, each with a half-century of experience in the nuclear energy business, is working for progress in that field while promoting highly reliable manufacturing practices.