The Advanced Instrumentation, Information, and Control (II&C) Systems Technologies pathway of the Light Water Reactor Sustainability(LWRS) Program conducts a vigorous engagement strategy with the U.S. nuclear power industry, including the nuclear operating companies, major support organizations, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and suppliers. The goal of this engagement strategy is to develop a shared vision and common understanding across the nuclear industry of the need for II&C modernization, the performance improvement that can be obtained, and the opportunities for collaboration to enact this vision.
The primary means of engaging the nuclear operating companies is through a Utility Working Group (UWG), composed of utility representatives that participate in semi-annual meetings and monthly phone calls to provide input on nuclear plant needs and priorities for II&C technologies. The UWG held two 3-day meetings in FY2012. The 2012 Winter Meeting was held in Phoenix, Arizona, March 14-16, hosted by Arizona Public Service (Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station). The 2012 Summer Meeting was held in Idaho Falls, Idaho, August 21-23, which was a joint meeting with the Electric Power Research Institute Strategy Group on Performance Improvement through Advanced Technology.
Seven major technical reports were delivered to the UWG reflecting the work of the pilot projects during the year. Five additional reports from this year’s scope of work will be completed by the end of this fiscal year and will be delivered to the UWG shortly thereafter.
Discussions were held on the pathway goals and activities with major industry support organizations during FY 2102, including the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), the Nuclear Information Technology Strategic Leadership (NITSL), the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
Although no formal meetings were held with the NRC in FY 2012, key managers of the NRC were in attendance at several industry conference presentations on the Advanced II&C research pathway. These meetings provided the opportunity for informal discussions with these NRC managers and plans were made to have formal meetings with the NRC staff in FY 2013.
The Advanced II&C research pathway work was presented at eight major industry conferences and meetings during FY2012. In addition, the work was shared in two international engagements, one through the U.S. – Argentina Bilateral Energy Working Group and the other through a meeting with Electricite’ de France (EdF) arranged by EPRI. The latter engagement resulted in an offer from EdF for collaboration on nuclear plant digital applications for performance improvement.