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Nuclear Energy Institute
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2009
Contact: media@nei.org, 202.739.8000 or 703.644.8805 (after hours and weekends)

New NEI Video Highlights Award Winning Innovation in Nuclear Plant Water System

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The continuous development of cutting-edge technology and innovation by nuclear energy industry professionals has helped the nuclear energy industry become the nation’s most reliable carbon-free source of electricity.

To increase public awareness of these innovations and their importance, the Nuclear Energy Institute has produced a series of video news releases that examine innovations that have been recognized with a Top Industry Practice award. This is the third in a series of four videos that are posted on NEI’s Web site.

This new video, “The Secret Is Plastic,” highlights new applications of plastic piping at two nuclear plants that enhance their operation and decrease the cost of maintaining plant water systems.

Duke Energy employees at the Catawba nuclear station in South Carolina and AmerenUE employees at the Callaway nuclear plant in Missouri shared the Materials and Services Process Top Industry Practice Award for the use of high-density polyethylene piping for plant water systems.

The Catawba power station was the first U.S. nuclear plant to use polyethylene piping for the replacement of a cooling water system. Callaway was the first U.S. nuclear energy facility to use polyethylene piping in a safety-related application. Unlike carbon steel piping, high-density polyethylene piping is not subject to corrosion and fouling. It eliminates the need for system pipe cleaning and replacement, thereby decreasing costs and increasing system availability. Plastic piping also is less costly to install and maintain.

Both Duke Energy and AmerenUE have shared information and technology with the nuclear industry for the use of polyethylene piping as a safe and cost-effective alternative for replacement of service water piping systems. Their achievements can yield benefits to the entire U.S. nuclear energy industry, including new nuclear energy facilities.

To download “The Secret Is Plastic,” go to: http://www.nei.org/filefolder/The_Secret_is_Plastic.wmv. The news release describing the all of the award-winning TIP entries is available at: http://www.nei.org/newsandevents/newsreleases/omaha-public-power-district-easrns-best-of-the-best-award-for-nuclear-industry-innovation.

The fourth video, “Robotic Inspectors,” looks at new robotic techniques to remotely inspect a key power plant component. It will be posted next week. The first video, “High Tech Stress Relief,” released on July 7, looked at the challenge of microscopic stress corrosion cracking in plant systems. Released on July 14, the second video, “Global Ties Boost Nuclear Plant Performance,” showcased an international exchange of best practices by Exelon Nuclear.

One hundred and four nuclear power plants operating in 31 states supply one-fifth of the nation’s electricity, even though they constitute only 10 percent of installed electric generating capacity.