Friday, July 28, 2006

New Plant Integrated Scheduling

Over the past couple of months I’ve been working on an integrated schedule of all the activities related to new plants between the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear industry. To map and analyze all the activities and resources in planning these tasks, we have been using a software tool called Primavera:

With Primavera, you will:

• Select the right strategic mix of projects.

• Assure project, IT and corporate governance.

• Enhance processes and methods.

• Improve project team collaboration.

• Measure progress toward objectives.

• Complete more projects successfully and with the intended payback.

For those who have never heard of Primavera, it is a tool 100 times better and more sophisticated than the standard planning tool Microsoft Project. Many utilities use this tool to help them plan for construction projects, maintenance and refueling outages, and company plans and objectives to name a few.

There are basically three topics put into our schedule to help us plan and resource appropriately the activities we will be working on with the NRC: updating the Standard Review Plan, updating and drafting associated Regulatory Guides and working on proposed Rulemakings.

The Standard Review Plan (pdf) is:
…prepared for the guidance of staff reviewers in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation in performing safety reviews of applications to construct or operate nuclear power plants and the review of applications to approve standard designs and sites for nuclear power plants. The principal purpose of the SRP is to assure the quality and uniformity of staff safety reviews. It is also the intent of this plan to make information about regulatory matters widely available and to improve communication between the NRC, interested members of the public, and the nuclear power industry, thereby increasing understanding of the review process.
The NRC Regulatory Guides:
…describe methods acceptable to the NRC staff of implementing specific parts of the NRC's regulations and also, in some cases, describe techniques used by the staff in evaluating specific problems or postulated accidents. Guides also may advise applicants of information the NRC staff needs in reviewing applications for permits and licenses.
NRC's regulations:
…sometimes called rules, impose requirements that licensees must meet to obtain or retain a license or certificate to use nuclear materials or operate a nuclear facility. These regulations govern the transportation of materials; the use of materials at such nuclear facilities as power plants, research reactors, uranium mills, fuel facilities, and waste repositories; and the use of materials for medical, industrial, and academic purposes. The process of developing regulations is called rulemaking.
Our goals (NRC and the industry) are to update all the SRPs and Regulatory Guides associated with the SRPs by March 2007. We want to have these documents finished six months prior to the first set of submissions of Combined License Applications (COLA) expected to come in by fall 2007.

The reason we want these done a half year in advance is for the companies writing the applications. The companies need to make sure they can answer all the questions asked from the SRP and will write their applications based on guidance from the Regulatory Guides.

We are planning to submit quality COLAs and to do so we need to know what the NRC is thinking and how they will review them. Thus the purpose of SRPs and Regulatory Guides.

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2 comments:

Rod Adams said...

David:

Is the work that you are talking about with regard to reg guide revision something being done by NEI? Sounds like a great help to make sure that applications go as smoothly as possible.

One thing that is challenging for an advocate of increased use of nuclear power as a means of improving both air quality and economic prosperity is the idea that it will take nearly a decade to begin producing any power from new plants.

Is there any chance that work like what you are doing may reduce those timelines?

Tom Bullock said...

The Primavera integrated project scheduling software has been in use for over 20 years. Parsons used it on numerous nuclear projects back in the late 1980s.