Increasing efficiency by 30% is a key goal of the nuclear power industry, as per the Nuclear Promise (Nuclear Energy Institute, 2016). That’s why many power plants and reactors have transitioned from paper to electronic systems for managing the thousands of procedures and extensive work instruction materials involved in plant and reactor operation and maintenance.
Yet, existing electronic work management systems still rely on the same processes as with paper-based methods. With such a minor difference—now workers read static electronic documents on hand-held devices—plants that have implemented these systems have not experienced improved efficiency. Simply going from paper to digital is not enough.
That’s why Lean Power and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have teamed up to devise a full-fledged and centralized dynamic work management (DWM) solution, integrated with legacy systems.
By encompassing authoring, field worker, planning, and scheduling tools; a conversion framework; and data analytics capabilities and dashboards, the goal is to build a system that will guide employees through their work processes, reduce errors, and streamline operations.
One of the key features of this system will be allowing staff to quickly update instructions for field workers in real-time, which is key in outage situations. The resulting product will increase work performance and efficiency and ultimately improve safety and reliability.
What does each party contribute to this partnership? Lean Power brings to the table its powerful digital work instructions platform and expertise in the nuclear power arena. Meanwhile, INL has developed a (patent pending) conversion framework for transitioning from paper to computer-based procedures.
The result of years of research by industry leaders, this framework has been validated by multiple studies at nuclear utility training facilities and power plants. The project as a whole is funded by Lean Power, INL, the Department of Energy, and NuScale Power Company.
Kicking off with outreach to key nuclear power executives for feedback, Lean Power and INL will continually communicate their progress and solicit feedback. In two years, the team will demonstrate the product to the industry.
Increasing efficiency by 30% is a key goal of the nuclear power industry – how will they get there? More efficient processes are one part of achieving that goal, and Lean Power has partnered with the Idaho National Laboratory to research how digital work management can help.