Nuclear industry produces updated roadmap guide for new projects

25 January 2023

The New Unit Assistance Industry Working Group's (NUA I-WG) updated Roadmap to Operational Readiness guide is a collection of industry guidance, lessons learned, success stories intended to help new nuclear projects worldwide "prepare for the challenge of safe and efficient nuclear power plant operation". 

The report runs to more than 270 pages (Image: Screengrab)

The working group is facilitated by World Association of Nuclear Operators and run by the commercial nuclear power industry with support from experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Electric Power Research Institute.

The roadmap, which is available here, focuses on operational readiness, which it says is "the state of plant, people, processes, programmes, procedures, supporting infrastructure, and proven organisational performance required to safely operate the plant at power under normal conditions and respond effectively during off-normal, and emergency conditions (e.g., respond to a plant trip and execute a forced outage). This state of readiness is to be achieved prior to fuel load".

It is intended to serve all new build projects, it is written assuming "your project organisation has little to no nuclear experience or knowledge (eg: a new operating organisation building a new plant in a country new to the nuclear industry)". It also says it "will also prove useful to plants recovering from either long refurbishment or dormant plant construction and commissioning efforts".

This is the first revision of the roadmap, which was first published in 2020, and which was largely based on the experience of one specific new unit. The revision "includes expanded guidance based on the world's constantly evolving new nuclear experience and expertise", with future revisions planned to "grow and benefit from additional new nuclear experience".

Nikita Konstantinov, chairman of the working group and deputy CEO and business development director of Rosenergoatom, said: "It is a significant outcome of NUA I-WG activity. With 53 nuclear units in 18 countries under construction, I am confident that the roadmap will become a practical handbook for new operators’ management and will help efficient transition towards safe NPP operation with sufficient cost saving."

In its concluding "message to our new colleagues", the roadmap says that "while the management of the technical aspects of your programme and project will prove complex and difficult, providing your people effective leadership will be your biggest and most important challenge", including the challenge "to grow nuclear professionals - doing so will require an immense amount of your personal time and effort to align all employees and contractors to a mutual understanding of operating values, standards, and behavioural expectations". It suggests key tasks are to build and develop a quality leadership team, create a working environment where individuals are comfortable raising concerns and "spend significant amounts of time listening to and communicating with the people your organisation and do so in multiple forms".

Researched and written by World Nuclear News