Insights > Meet the nuclear professionals: “Big C” takes on his 22nd refuel outage at River Bend Station

Meet the nuclear professionals: “Big C” takes on his 22nd refuel outage at River Bend Station


"Big C" is a master repairman at River Bend Station
"Big C" is a master repairman at River Bend Station

Meet Clarence “Big C” Knighten. As a master repairman and long-time nuclear professional, he has participated in every refueling outage at River Bend Station.

“During this outage, we’re performing our condenser retube project,” said Knighten. “I was here when they brought the condenser and current tubes off the Mississippi River. I helped build this plant and now I maintain it.”

Nuclear power plants schedule refueling and maintenance outages every 18 to 24 months to refuel the site, just like refueling a car. While the unit is offline, the team completes maintenance work and other projects to improve reliability. Every detail of a refueling outage is meticulously planned and everyone plays a role. Major projects are planned years in advance, with all the work reviewed and approved long before the outage begins.

Knighten began working at River Bend in 1980 during the construction phase as a contractor for Stone & Webster. When the plant began operation in 1986, Knighten stayed as a maintenance worker. In 1989, he was hired by Gulf States Utility, which eventually became Entergy Nuclear.

“I was working on a job at the bottom of the control building when the superintendent for mechanical maintenance asked me if I was interested in joining the company,” Knighten said. “I immediately said yes.”

Knighten, being well-versed in the nuclear industry, has advice for newcomers or people who may be interested in nuclear.

“If you’re coming into the nuclear business, I always tell people to be sure this is something you want to do,” Knighten said. “We work in an extremely unique industry, and it takes the best of the best to ensure we are performing work safely to protect the health and safety of the public. We must take every step to ensure we perform our work safely and correctly every time.”

Knighten plays an integral role at River Bend Station, and the station is lucky to have him for another refuel outage.

“To be a nuclear professional, you must want to be here,” said Knighten. “This job has been great to me, and I’m proud to be a nuclear professional at River Bend Station.”

Thank you, “Big C,” for all the years of hard work and safety you have invested with Entergy Nuclear.


Nuclear Communications Team