SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--James [Jim] M. Welsch, Senior Vice President, Generation and Chief Nuclear Officer (CNO) for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), has notified the company of his intention to retire December 31, 2021 after 37 years of service.
"Jim has done an outstanding job leading our nuclear and power generation operations, elevating our Diablo Canyon Power Plant to a best-in-class nuclear facility. We’re going to miss his contributions and are grateful for his service to our coworkers and hometowns,” said Adam Wright, PG&E Executive Vice President, Operations and Chief Operating Officer. “I am confident in the continued safe, reliable and affordable operation of PG&E’s generation assets because of the team and depth of leadership we have.”
Welsch joined PG&E in 1984 and served in various leadership roles at Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) prior to his current position. In his current role, he has been responsible for the utility’s electricity generation assets, overseeing more than 2,000 employees committed to the safe, reliable and affordable operation of the company’s nuclear, natural gas, hydroelectric and renewable generation resources. He also oversees the company’s power plant decommissioning activities. Welsch received his Senior Reactor Operator License and is a graduate of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations’ Senior Nuclear Executive Seminar and Hudson Institute of Coaching Certification Program. Welsch holds a B.S. in Nuclear Technology from Regents College New York and previously served in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Service.
Paula Gerfen, PG&E’s current Site Vice President for Diablo Canyon Power Plant and a 30-year veteran of the nuclear industry, has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer. Gerfen will serve as PG&E’s lead contact with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.
Gerfen began her career at DCPP in 1991 as a Digital Engineer and has served in various positions of increasing responsibility. She received her Senior Reactor Operator License in 2007 and is a graduate of the INPO Senior Nuclear Plant Manager course as well as the Nuclear Operational Risk Management course at MIT. Prior to joining PG&E, Gerfen served in the U.S. Air Force and earned a Computer Science B.S. degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
As Gerfen transitions to her new role, Adam Peck will become the new Site Vice President for Diablo Canyon Power Plant. As such, Peck will oversee all plant departments and functions, including operations, maintenance, engineering, security and radiation protection. Peck joined PG&E in 2009 after his service as a Submarine Officer and Shift Engineer in the U. S. Navy. He has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Masters of Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.