By Nick Worth
After a lifetime career in the Navy, Ed Seal was looking for a new challenge when he retired from the service on May 31 after 30 years in the submarine service.
During his time in the Navy, Seal held command of two nuclear-powered submarines, as well as a surface ship responsible for maintenance and repair of submarines.
“That’s what most of my work was,” Seal said. “You go back and forth from staff to submarines.”
Upon retirement, Seal chose to use his background experiences to become the new power plant manager at the Arizona Public Service Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City. The Pennsylvania native said getting the job was a matter of opportunity.
“After retiring I really didn’t know what to do,” Seal said. “I didn’t want to work for the Department of Defense. I thought power generation was a good fit for my background.”
Seal explained that during his years of service on nuclear-powered submarines, he was responsible for the power plants on the submarines.
“I have a fairly extensive nuclear power plant experience on the submarines,” Seal said. “I have extensive background in the operation and maintenance of power plants, of course on a smaller scale.”
Seal said while he was looking for work following his retirement, the job opening at Cholla came to his attention.
“It was all opportunity when this came along,” said Seal. “I said, ‘I think that fits me.’”
Seal said he and his wife are enjoying their time here so far. The two rented an apartment in Flagstaff until they could figure out where to live, and are in the process of buying a house in Holbrook.
“We’re excited to set up house in Holbrook,” Seal said. He and his wife have three daughters, two of whom are attending college and one who has graduated from college.
As for his new job as plant manager, Seal said he enjoys his new role.
“I love it,” he said. “There are some great people working there and I’m very much enjoying it.”
He also said he sees several challenges on the horizon for Cholla.
“The age of the plant is one challenge,” said Seal. “Another is the possibility of deregulation. We’re waiting to see how that will turn out and what effect it will have on us.”
The “haze rules” being put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency are also a challenge the Cholla plant may have to face.
“That’s something that is mostly being handled by the APS corporate people and lawyers,” Seal said. “We can only wait and see what kind of rules they’re going to put on us and how we’ll have to upgrade. That will, unfortunately, in many ways determine the future of the plant.”
In spite of the challenges, Seal is glad to be at the Cholla plant. “Again, I’m very happy to be here,” said Seal. “We’re new to Arizona and we can see the state has a lot to offer. I’m glad to be here.
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By Nick Worth