US nuclear efficiency initiative identifies savings

13 February 2017

The US Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has identified nearly $650 million of potential savings through its initiative to ensure nuclear energy's long-term viability through improved efficiency. At the institute's annual briefing to Wall Street analysts on 9 February, its CEO Maria Korsnick highlighted the Delivering the Nuclear Promise program's achievements since its launch about a year ago.

The three-year program, launched in December 2015 and introduced by the NEI at its 2016 Wall Street briefing, aims to identify efficiency measures and adopt best practices and technology solutions to improve operations, reduce electricity generating costs and prevent premature reactor closures.

"Over a thousand staff across the industry have collaborated to develop 46 efficiency bulletins targeting improvements in all aspects of operations. To date, over 95% of these measures are being implemented, reflecting the commitment to continuous improvement," she said. "We are just getting started."

The efficiency bulletins, apart from those relating to security, are made public. Forty-two of them were issued in 2016. Four have so far been published this year: Portable Supplemental Radiation Protection Technician Training and Qualification; Self-Protection for Radiological Work Activities; Value-Based Maintenance; and Embracing Cultural Shifts for Value-Based Maintenance. Bulletins are issued to all US nuclear plant operators.

With nuclear energy supplying more than 19% of US electricity, Korsnick said the long operating periods of nuclear plants provided a "bridge to the future" as shorter-lived assets age and require replacement.

"The nuclear industry has the performance, the capability, and is making the investments necessary to sustain and expand the nuclear fleet. This presents our government and investors [with] the opportunity to ensure a sustainable energy infrastructure for the long-term future," she said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News