An Interview with our founder, Peter Tuite
December 02, 2021
We sat down with Peter to ask him some questions about the industry, how he got his start, and more.
What made you decide to start your own nuclear engineering company?
Because, I had some skills that I thought could be applied. And you got to remember, when we first started, we did hazardous waste as well as nuclear waste. I had a partner, Bob, when I started, but it didn’t last very long.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced early on?
Money. The first year, we went through 100k at the bank, and they called the note. That’s when Bob decided to go back to teaching (laughs) and we paid the bank off, and then I was on my own.
How did RADMAN come into development?
Well, I was involved in writing Part 61 before I started WMG. So, I worked with the guys at the NRC, and they had just instituted the topical report deal. So, I figured we’d put something together and submit a topical. The original RADMAN ran on a TRS 80 computer and included a dot matrix printer.
What are some of the biggest changes or trends you’ve seen happen in the industry since you started WMG?
There’s not much money to spend. Utilities are spending less money, there’s a larger focus on economics than there was before. Remember, they used to be able to just get automatic rate increases, which is no longer the case. And the guys in Radwaste are still pretty low on the totem pole. They don’t get the recognition in the industry that they deserve. When the NRC first started auditing plants, the guys in Radwaste had a lot more clout internally because nobody wanted to have conflict with the NRC. That is no longer the case.
What is the most interesting customer support call you have ever received?
(laughs) Wow. I won’t name the plant, but I trained them. In those days we used to send the code on about 5 floppy discs. And I got a call from one of the guys I trained, he was having problems with the new release. He said something along the lines of “I can get 3 of the discs in the drive, but I can’t get the fourth one in!!”
What achievement are you most proud of?
The longevity of the company. For it to have lasted so long, and to now have passed it on to my son.
What advice do you have for younger engineers who are just starting out?
Put in the time and know the subject better than anybody else you deal with. Be the smartest person in the room on the subject at hand.
Where would you like to see WMG in another 10 years?
(laughs) Around. I’d like to see us keep doing what we do, continuing to excel in engineering and software.