Power Shutdown at Berkeley Lab


Initially it was just, “What is happening?”
You know? There was some anticipation about when is the power going to go off.
As well as, coordinating to make sure that we shut down everything safely and
ask people to evacuate the lab. And when the power did come back on, then the heightened activity and excitement of watching buildings come back online,
the HVAC being turned on yesterday was a lot. I guess I’m proud to be a
member of the EOC because I think this is a very important role to make sure
that the research can continue as it should be. All of our heads are starting to get a little fuzzy, right? Okay? We’ve been working long hours. We’ve been concentrating on the lab.
We’ve been concentrating on being safe. We’ve been concentrating on our incident
objectives, okay. But it’s also Saturday. At the beginning of the week none of us thought
we’d be here on Saturday. So I’m just bringing this up for situational awareness. And that safety is the number one thing that we’re focused on today. This emergency event did stress our systems, our
processes and our people. But I’m happy to say that we responded as one
laboratory, as a team, a cross-functional team of facilities, of operations, of
business and the science organizations to prepare for this response and then to
begin to reactivate the laboratory in a systematic fashion. Once PG&E got the
power to us and we got the power to the buildings that’s really just the
beginning of the process because it’s not like just turning things back on and
having people come back to work. All these systems that keep people safe at
the laboratory, everything from HVAC to fume hoods, everything needs to be
working up to level that when people do come back here everything is safe. So
that’s why we needed people from every part of the operations and safety life
support for the laboratory all had to be here to make sure building by building
that it was ready to occupy again. So that’s what’s been going on and that’s
why it took two days to go through that. It’s this collaboration between all of
these various functions is what one team looks like. I’m particularly proud of the
fact that we did this work safely and we did not have any injuries exposures or
accidents during the event. And we have been working around the clock since
Tuesday and that is a significant event. So at this point I’m happy to declare
that we are fully operational and we did this as a team and I couldn’t be more
proud of the men and women of our laboratory for working together as
colleagues in the best interest of this institution so we can resume our
important programmatic science mission.

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