Patricio Hidalga García-Bermejo


Text and photographs: Patricio Hidalga García-Bermejo

Patricio Hidalga García-Bermejo studied Industrial Engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de València, after completing a Master’s Degree in Energy Techniques, he began his doctoral thesis at the ISIRYM (UPV) on safety analysis of light water reactors. After 7 years in the field of public research, joint work with the Swiss Leibstadt Nuclear Power Plant (KKL) resulted in a position in the Technical Safety Analysis department in 2019.

How many years have you been in your current job, what are your responsibilities?

In June 2019, I started working as a technical security specialist at KKL-JNF. My work focuses on Deterministic Security Analysis (DSA). I mainly carry out safety assessments on the plant, core or fuel elements. These activities can be carried out internally with our resources or by outsourcing security analysis. In any case, the responsibility before the nuclear authority always falls on the plant operator, in this case on my colleagues and me. 

What are the main activities of your current position?  

I started supporting a more senior colleague in some activities or taking the technical direction of some projects. Today, I have responsibility in project management. The usual topics that concern me revolve around the safety evaluation of the core design in each reload (Reload Licensing Submittal), the incorporation of new designs of fuel elements or plant modifications. In addition, I respond to the Safety requirements of the Swiss nuclear authority (ENSI), whether in periodic or specific evaluations.

A third area of my work is internal projects on process efficiency improvement related to the documentation of our security analyses or the development of our own simulation tools and methodologies.

I was also selected to be part of the plant’s fire department. At KKL, your employment contract includes as part of your job being part of emergency organizations, if you are nominated for it. The truth is that I am very happy, since it is a way to establish links with the entire staff and to be able to do a very exciting activity outside the office.

How did the move influence your family/personal life?

Luckily, both my family and my partner always saw it as a good opportunity, which made me feel fully supported to make this decision without conditions. It was not an easy decision, but the working conditions and future expectations in Spain somehow leave you no choice but to look for better opportunities far from your home.

For my part, I am quite happy because thanks to the frequent visits of friends and family and the times that we go to Valencia, I continue to maintain contact, but moving to another country also means paying this price. The fact that my partner supported me and decided to live in Switzerland has also been decisive. Now we have a two-month-old daughter, and the truth is that our leisure time has been reduced considerably, but we hope to go on getaways again in the future.

What are the most significant aspects of your work?  

There are three main aspects that I value: on the one hand, there is no doubt that the working conditions in Switzerland (being a qualified workforce) allow you to develop your personal and family life and plan the future. Furthermore, in my job there is a lot of schedule flexibility, there is no pressure to work more than what your contract stipulates and if that is the case, it is compensated.

On the other hand, I am allowed to extend my training to other specialties or in my own specialty, with a lot of support for training, during working hours. Among others, I was able to attend the Summer Institute 2023 in Japan and I am going to take the Station Nuclear Engineer course.

Additionally, I have always felt very valued within KKL and within my department. I do what I do to give reasons for this, and it is still my job, but it is always comforting to be valued with words and deeds.

What do you miss about Spain?

Above all, spend more time with my friends and family. It is true that, today, technology allows you to be closer to your people, but as I said, it is still not the same. Another small, less important detail is the food, as I imagine will happen to many emigrants. As a Valencian I do notice not being able to eat good fish as often as I would like.

Do you invite young people and not so young people to expand their professional horizons outside our borders?

As long as it is a free decision and not forced by circumstances, it seems to me to be a very good opportunity for professional and personal development. In both aspects you will be able to find others.


¡Recibe nuestra newsletter!

    The data provided by you is processed by the Spanish Nuclear Society in accordance with EU Regulation 2016/679 on Data Protection, with the purpose of managing your requests, answering queries, administrative, statistical processing and sending SNE communications, about your activity, events, etc. The transfer of data is not foreseen (unless legally required) or international data transfers; and through the Privacy Policy you have all the rights that assist you in terms of privacy.