Collaboration and teamwork are crucial to solving nuclear supply chain challenges

August 26, 2022, 2:59PMNuclear NewsGeorge Shampy

George Shampy

Across the country, supply chain issues continue making the news: price escalation, inflation, logistical delays, scarcity of products and services, obsolescence, risk associated with just-­in-­time inventory, equipment and service quality, and—especially in nuclear—the financial pressures to reduce costs while maintaining our focus on safe, secure, and reliable plant operations.

Unfortunately, these are not new challenges for nuclear supply chain professionals.

In fact, in 2001, the Nuclear Energy Institute formed the Nuclear Supply Chain Strategic Leaders Group (NSCSL) in conjunction with the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) after an American Nuclear Society Utility Working Conference networking event. The NSCSL is composed of utility supply chain managers and directors and serves as the “community of practice” for these subject matter experts. I am privileged to be an NSCSL participant and an Entergy team member. The NSCSL was designed to be the industry go-­to group for materials and service collaborations and needed supply chain solutions.

The race for outage efficiency

July 31, 2020, 2:54PMNuclear NewsEric Williams

Working in INL’s Human Systems Simulation Laboratory, senior R&D scientist Ahmed Al Rashdan co-developed the Advanced Remote Monitoring project for the LWRS Program.

There are numerous similarities between auto racing pit crews and the people in the nuclear power industry who get us through outages: Pace. Efficiency. Diagnostics. Teamwork. Skill. And safety above all else.

To Paul Hunton, a research scientist at Idaho National Laboratory, the keys to successfully navigating a nuclear plant outage are planning and preparation. “When you go into an outage, you are ready,” Hunton said. “You need to manage outage time. You want to avoid adding delays to the scheduled outage work because if you do, it can add a couple million dollars to the cost.”

Hunton was the principal investigator for the September 2019 report Addressing Nuclear Instrumentation and Control (I&C) Modernization Through Application of Techniques Employed in Other Industries, produced for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program, led by INL. Hunton drew on his experience outside the nuclear industry, including a decade at Newport News Shipbuilding.