SAN FRANCISCO—For the second straight year, Entergy Operations Inc. has claimed the Nuclear Energy Institute's Top Industry Practice Award for innovation for a new system of cleaning filters at its Grand Gulf plant near Port Gibson, Miss. Also honored for creative new practices that improve plant safety and efficiency were Southern California Edison Co., TU Electric, Arizona Public Service Co., PECO Energy Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The 1998 Top Industry Practice (TIP) Award was announced at the Nuclear Energy Assembly, industry's annual conference. The award was established in 1994 to recognize innovations from plant employees at all levels. Since its inception, the TIP Award program has generated some 250 safety- and productivity-enhancing ideas that have saved more than $50 million.
In a follow-on performance to taking last year's honors, Entergy Operations won the TIP Award for its advanced resin cleaning system (ARCS). The Grand Gulf plant's use of the technology marks the first application of the commercial system in cleaning filters that remove impurities and corrosion from reactor water. In addition to increasing the life of filter material, ARCS has reduced maintenance, labor and low-level radioactive waste disposal costs by $924,000.
"For five years, the TIP Awards have demonstrated that industry employees have numerous and innovative ideas for practices that are transferable, safe, cost-effective and productive," said Joe Colvin, NEI president and chief executive officer. "By sharing these practices among plant operators we seek to improve plant safety, reliability and efficiency, which means better service to customers."
The 1998 Tip Award group winners and finalists were:
Entergy Operations also won the TIP Group Award for plants designed by General Electric Co. for adapting ARCS to the Grand Gulf plant. For more information contact Entergy's Phil Theibert at 601.368.5658.
PECO Energy Co. and the Tennessee Valley Authority tied as finalists for the TIP Group Award for General Electric-designed plants. PECO's wide-range neutron monitoring system can be used in any boiling-water nuclear plant for reduced maintenance and testing and improved efficiency. TVA's diesel generator data acquisition system reduces the time needed to test emergency back-up power supplies by 3,000 hours when plants are taken out of service for refueling and repairs. For more information, contact PECO Energy's Bill Jones at 215.841.4129 and TVA's Barbara Martocci at 423.632.8632.
Southern California Edison Co. won the TIP Group Award for nuclear power plants designed by ABB Combustion Engineering for its tailored amine injection process. Developed at the utility's San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near San Clemente, Calif., the process reduces corrosion-causing elements in water flowing from the reactor to steam generators. Installed at nominal cost, the system could provide initial savings of $10 million per plant by delaying the need to clean steam generators. The injection process also promises to improve safety by increasing the reliability of steam generators. In addition to immediately allowing the plant to generate electricity more efficiently, the process could delay the need for steam generator replacement—creating the potential for significant long-term savings. For more information contact Southern California Edison's Ray Golden at 714.368.9880.
Arizona Public Service Co. was the TIP Group Award finalist for ABB Combustion Engineering plants for a new method for performing online repairs using a $20 commercial component coupled with an innovative procedure. For more information, contact APS's Craig Nesbit at 602.250.2896.
TU Electric won the TIP Group Award for Westinghouse-designed nuclear plants for its work in introducing MagIon, a specialized lubricant first used in the oil and aerospace industries, into nuclear plant operations. Working with MagIon's manufacturer, TU Electric employees at the Comanche Peak plant near Glen Rose, Texas, tested the lubricant and confirmed its benefits.
TU Electric claims cost savings from MagIon are "very impressive" due to faster, easier and less frequent maintenance of components treated with the lubricant, fewer repairs from metal-to-metal damage, and lower radiation exposures.
TU Electric also took finalist honors for the Tip Group Award for Westinghouse-designed plants for its automated board tester, which tests a circuit board in less than one-eighth the time of previous methods. For more information contact TU Electric's Jerry Lee at 254.897.5265.
Colvin said the TIP Awards exemplify the industry's history—and success—in multiplying innovations developed at one nuclear plant among many plants across the country. "The methods, the technologies and practices of the industry are constantly improving," he said. "The TIP Awards serve as a strong motivation to make sure that this evolutionary process will not stop. By honoring those who develop these practices, we seek to encourage constant innovation."
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.