Simona de Silvestro had the opportunity this week to tour Entergy’s Grand Gulf nuclear energy plant in Port Gibson, Miss., to learn more about nuclear power as a source of carbon-free electricity and the company that is sponsoring the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car for HVM Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Simona de Silvestro visits with her sponsor

 The tour included the reactor control room.

“People are amazed at the complexity and safety protections of the redundant, operational and safety systems that are built into a nuclear plant,” Browning said. “Simona had great questions and was quick to tell me that her home country of Switzerland gets 40 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy.”

The HVM Racing group, which also included team owner Keith Wiggins, received an introductory education program about nuclear energy.

“I didn’t realize that the volume of greenhouse gas emissions prevented at the 104 nuclear energy plants in the U.S. is equivalent to taking nearly all passenger cars off America’s roadways. That was an eye-opening statistic,” Wiggins said.

Following the tour, de Silvestro signed autographs for employees at the plant.

“I was so impressed with the amount of security that we went through and the enormity of the electricity produced 24-7 without interruption,” said de Silvestro, who returns to the track Feb. 28 for testing on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval. “It didn’t take long to see how well-managed the plant is by really impressive engineers and other nuclear professionals.

“I really am lucky to get inside and see a nuclear facility making electricity. That is something that most people don’t get to do. But I think that if they did, people would understand more about the process and appreciate getting clean electricity to use any hour of the day. We definitely need to have more clean nuclear electricity in the U.S.”


There are 4 comments for this post.

  1. In the blog: Driving clean energy message | Indycar on February 25, 2011 10:03 am
    In the blog: Driving clean energy message | Indycar

    [...] READ THE BLOG [...]

  2. Jim Watson on February 25, 2011 6:31 pm
    Jim Watson

    Good story, nice to see SdS and the series getting the support of a large, useful industry. Lot’s of welding project work in those Nuclear facilities!

  3. Mark on February 25, 2011 8:36 pm

    Manager Jeremy Browning says this one plant provides 20% of all electricity in the United States.
    Why do we need 104 other nuclear plants here when we just need 4 more like this one?

  4. Dan on February 25, 2011 11:24 pm

    It should say 20% of power in the state of Mississippi. Check out this website.

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