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Essential Considerations for Nuclear Refueling and Maintenance Outages


The goal of nuclear maintenance is to ensure that operators have all the processes needed for safe and reliable power production and can keep these systems available and functioning reliably. Nuclear power plant outage management is a crucial factor for efficient, safe and economical plant performance. Good outage management practices cover a variety of functional areas: plant policy, resource coordination, nuclear safety, and regulatory and technical requirements before and during outages.

Coordinating Staff

At every plant, an outage organizational structure is necessary to provide efficient execution of all outage processes. Also, specialized training should be given to certain people, such as maintenance personnel who perform complicated and high-risk jobs, control room operators and outage control center (OCC) staff.

Plant Safety

Documented safety measures are essential throughout the entire operating lifetime of the plant and for all conditions (operation, abnormal and accident). Outages should be considered as part of ongoing operation, because specific functional systems continue to fulfill their duty under these conditions, such as cooling the fuel and preventing radioactive release to the environment.

Technical Requirements

A user-friendly IT system that supports the first line users is essential for a safe and effective outage. For outages, it is a good practice to clearly define the IT requirements ahead of time, and create procedures for potential shutdowns. You should also establish a back-up method to handle the situation if the system crashes.

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Written by: Mark McFadden

Mark McFadden is a Market Manager at Ericson, focusing on the oil & gas, and power generation markets. He has over twenty years of experience in the electrical, manufacturing, and power generation industries, in product application, product development, and business development roles. He holds degrees in Electrical Engineering from University of Akron, and MBA from Ohio University.

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