WASHINGTON—Entergy Operations Inc. and TXU Electric & Gas today received the Nuclear Energy Institute's Top Industry Practice (TIP) Award for developing new safety-focused inspection and testing programs for their nuclear power plants in Arkansas and Texas, respectively.
The Tennessee Valley Authority and Dominion Generation also were honored for innovative new practices that improve nuclear plant safety and efficiency.
The 1999 TIP Awards were announced at the Nuclear Energy Assembly, the industry's annual conference. The award was established in 1994 to recognize innovations from nuclear plant employees at all levels. Since its inception, the TIP Awards program has generated more than 250 entries from nuclear power plants across the United States—with more than 40 entries submitted in 1999 alone.
Entergy Operations' Arkansas Nuclear One Unit 2 won the TIP Award grand prize—and the vendor award from its designer, ABB Combustion Engineering—for developing a risk-informed in-service inspection program that incorporates risk insights to focus resources on inspection areas most important to plant safety. The plant staff determines inspections based on the safety significance of equipment. The inspection program also reduces occupational radiation exposures to plant workers.
TXU Electric & Gas shared the TIP Award grand prize—and also took home the Westinghouse Electric Co. vendor award—for creating a risk-informed in-service testing program for its Comanche Peak nuclear plant. Using both probabilistic and deterministic techniques, the program specifically targets safety-significant pumps and valves for testing and evaluation. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the company's guidelines for using this new program, which can be used at all nuclear power plants.
"Entergy Operations and TXU Electric & Gas are the innovators—those who can find a new way to increase production, efficiency, and safety," said Joe Colvin, NEI president and chief executive officer. "The TIP Awards program helps maintain cutting-edge technology and business practices in the nuclear industry. Sharing this information among companies that operate today's nuclear power plants improves safety, and it improves nuclear energy's competitive position in the marketplace."
"We're proud to have an Entergy Operations team in the winner's circle for the fourth time since we received the inaugural TIP award in 1994," said Jerry Yelverton, chief executive officer of Entergy Operations Inc. "This program promotes the nuclear industry's tradition of sharing best practices that has strengthened our performance and helped ensure nuclear power's viability."
"It's significant that TXU Electric & Gas is being recognized for its risk-informed in-service testing program, because it is one of the first approved by NRC as the agency moves toward performance-based, risk-informed regulation," said Lance Terry, TXU Electric & Gas senior vice president and principal nuclear officer. "Our engineering and licensing team worked hard to develop an effective program that further enhances plant safety and reduces costs."
The other winners in the TIP vendor award category are:
Tennessee Valley Authority and Dominion Generation won the TIP vendor award for nuclear plants designed by Framatome Technologies. TVA's use of photogrammetry for replacing equipment inside the containment building of the Sequoyah Unit 1 plant helped engineers identify and correct problems before equipment was replaced, preventing costly delays in a refueling outage. Dominion Generation's Surry nuclear plant used photogrammetry to precisely measure piping slated for replacement, allowing an exact duplicate to be manufactured before a maintenance outage. The technique reduced the scheduled replacement time by half and helped the project meet its budget target. For more information contact TVA's Kay Whittenburg at 423.843.7839 or Dominion Generation's Rick Zuercher at 804.273.3825.
Tennessee Valley Authority also won the TIP Vendor Award for General Electric-designed nuclear power plants for developing improved replacement reactor piping for its Browns Ferry Unit 3 plant. The new piping is manufactured with stress-corrosion resistant material and has eight fewer welds than the original piping to reduce the potential for cracking and, in turn, the need for continual weld inspections. TVA's innovation can be easily adapted to all General Electric nuclear plants. For more information, contact TVA's Kay Whittenburg at 423.843.7839.
The TIP awards program was itself the focus of innovation in 1999, with the addition of a new honor—the TIP process award, which is divided into five categories.
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. won the TIP process award's plant operations category for optimizing the clean-up of reactor water at the Nine Mile Point Unit 2 nuclear plant. For more information, contact Niagara Mohawk's Bob Burtch at 315.349.7601.
Entergy Operations and TXU Electric shared the TIP process award in the equipment reliability category for the innovative risk-informed in-service inspection and testing programs that earned the companies TIP grand prize awards. For more information, contact Entergy's Diane Park at 601.368.5655 or TXU Electric's Eric Schmitt at 214.812.4074.
Tennessee Valley Authority won the TIP process award in the work management process category for the improved piping installation that garnered the General Electric vendor award. For more information, contact TVA's Kay Whittenburg at 423.843.7839.
Southern California Edison Co. won the TIP process award in the administrative support and training category for a distributed electronic records management system developed at its San Onofre nuclear plant. The system makes information essential to plant safety and operations available immediately and directly to the workers who need it. For more information, contact Southern California Edison's Ray Golden at 949.368.9880.
South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co. earned the TIP process award in the materials, fuel and support services category for developing a machine to safely clean 8-foot, 1,500-pound studs that secure the reactor head of the South Texas Project nuclear plant. The machine increases worker safety by eliminating a difficult manual task and also eliminates cleaning waste. For more information, contact South Texas Nuclear Operating Co.'s Alan Mikus at 512.972.7217.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.