23.08.2019 | The second generation and the island culture

"Only the best is good enough"

"Three generations that know KKB: The first that launched the steamboat out to sea. The second that weathered the storm. And the third and last that brought it back into the harbour," is what the KKB generations say about themselves. They have their values and promote interaction just like a great big family. Three employees from the second generation offer insights into the island culture.

If you listen around at KKB, you will hear things like: "When the power plant began operating, it joined people together. Today it's our opponents that unite us." Words like "quality" are frequently heard in connection with this industry during the conversation. Three members of the second generation, Team Leader Thomas Minikus, Department Head Mechanical Engineering Frank Kündig, and Department Head Operations Roger Gampp explain what "quality" means to them:

«Quality - The best features of a system»

Roger Gampp: There is no room "trial and error" here. We cannot allow that. Everything has to function.

Thomas Minikus: We inherited a lot of home remedies from the first generation to do a good job here at the plant. It reminds me of the advertisement for Swiss Appenzeller cheese where the three old guys are sitting on the bench and know the perfect recipe. But they won’t reveal it to just anyone. Our recipe for success is to share know-how with each other. No one keeps anything a secret. What I learned from my predecessors I pass on to others. I do that so the next generation can be successful. I do it out of a deep sense of responsibility – that's the most important thing in my opinion.

Roger Gampp: What's also important to me is this: When something doesn't work at the beginning, never force it! If something isn't going right, there's a reason. And that reason has to be found.

Thomas Minikus: I even strive for only the best solutions in my personal life. Anything else is out of the question.

Frank Kündig: I don't do anything if I don't know how it will turn out. That's very deeply engrained in me. By the way that was not always fun for my boys.

Thomas Minikus: Only the best is good enough.

Roger Gampp: Which doesn't mean it has to be the most expensive.

Frank Kündig: That's why can't let a handyman in my house any more. It's painful to watch when someone is not doing their best. Why is he doing this job if he won't do his best? That's why I ended up re-modelling our second bath myself. 

Roger Gampp: In a lot of companies there's this idea "You can always save five per cent". That doesn't work for us. We cannot and must not work that way.

«Wir von der Insel»

Three generations that have operated and still operate the power plant talk about their experiences and memories at Beznau: From the euphoric beginnings in the 60's through all the upheavals up until today. These are testimonies on 50 years of nuclear history in Switzerland.  

On the occasion of the KKB 50-year anniversary, a book featuring three generations of employees, how they work at the Beznau power plant, how they think and how they live will be published in September 2019.

The book was written Steven Schneider from Bad Zurzach, a journalist and the author of various works including Axpo anniversary publications.

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