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Asset Management: Time for an Integrated Approach

Kenneth Ferguson

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 61 / Number 1T / Pages 407-410

January 2012

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Information has been collected and evaluated regarding the status of asset management for nuclear power plants in the United States. The current condition if measured by plant capacity factors is fundamentally sound. On average a value around 90 % is stabilizing with the highest quartile being in the range of 95 %. Examples of motivations for continued enhancement and improvement of these solid plant capacity factors include: (1) organizational commitment to continuous improvement, (2) movement from a lower quartile of unit performance to a higher quartile as well as (3) avoidance of the pitfalls of complacency associated with excellence. An integrated approach to asset management will involve technical actions that are proper and properly timed, accomplished correctly, and carried out in a structured and repeatable manner.

The evolution into this integrated approach should confront the feedback collected from utilities and elsewhere in the industry including observations such as:

(a) Needing a better focus of maintenance expenditures on critical systems and components

(b) Integration between engineering and work management

(c) An interest in good, accurate assessments

(d) Addressing if the “run to failure” category is being evaluated well and populated fairly

(e) The challenge of maintenance resources as a precious commodity not to be wasted.

Effort is underway to assess current conditions at nuclear power plants and the benefits that are hoped to be achieved from this systematic approach to asset management. Some examples of benefits for which this work approach can deliver results include plant capacity improvement, reduced investments in maintenance expenditures, enhanced confidence in technical evaluations, rapid turnaround of equipment condition assessments, central location of relevant plant information, improved knowledge transfer to new personnel, and reduced manpower burdens to perform related tasks. Challenges to success will include the recognition and need to a committed task approach to transition management of such a change including involvement of the work force in appreciating the value of this approach, user requirements, and effective training and training materials. Incorporation of an integrated approach is expected to be applicable to operating fleets as well as new reactors.

The presentation will include a current status of the incorporation of integrated asset management at nuclear power plants in the US. For emerging interests in nuclear power generation, the maximum effectiveness and benefits for an integrated asset management attention are best achieved through leveraging approaches occurring elsewhere and apply this experience early in the planning and design process.

 
 
 
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