PERFORMANCE OPTIMISATION

The main areas that contribute to nuclear plant availability and reliability have been investigated in an IAEA study of six representative plants (IAEA-TECDOC-1098, 1999; Table 4.3). This involved case studies of plants from Western and Eastern Europe and the US. The plants chosen for the study had exhibited high-energy availability factors and also improvements over recent years in safety, availability and reliability. In addition, the plants

Table 4.3. Representative power plants

Name

Type

Capacity

(MWe)

Owner/country

EAF

Blayais

4-unit PWR

3640

EDF/France

78% (1990)

84% (1995)

Trillo

1-unit PWR

1066

Utility

75% (1990)

Group/Spain

86% (1995)

Limerick

2-unit BWR

2220

PECO/US

84% (1990) — unit 1

90% (1995) — unit 2

Dukovany

4-unit VVER-440/213

1760

Czech Power Company

82% (1992-1995)

Paks

4-unit VVER-440/213

1840

Hungarian Electric

85% (1995)

Energy Board

Wolsong unit-1

CANDU-PHWR

600

KEPC

87% (1990-1995)

covered different types of water reactors including PWR, BWR, VVER and PHWR designs.

The IAEA study concluded there were a number of management practices that contributed to good plant performance, e. g. organisational structure, strategic planning and objectives, management involvement, internal communication, quality management, relationships with contractors and financial management.

Management philosophy should embody a wide range of core values, which should be conveyed to all its employees. These include diverse aspects including environmental respect, economic competitiveness, the engendering of team spirit and also the characteristics of trust and integrity. It should also include technical aspects such as adherence to ALARA principles and ageing.

Factors that had a direct influence on plant performance included personnel characteristics, the training and development of personnel and the behaviour and attitude of personnel. This conclusion was common for all staff in the workforce, including permanent employees and contractors.

Another conclusion concerned working practices. These included the monitoring of the plant states, the quality of operating procedures, maintenance policy, technical support and interaction and communication between different work groups.

There is general agreement across nuclear plant operating countries, on the necessary working practices for plant performance improvements. These relate to plant status control monitoring, the quality of operating procedures, maintenance policy, technical support and interaction between various informed working groups. The implementation of these practices inevitably varies from plant to plant, depending on local strategies. It is also widely recognised that there are benefits in utilising all levels of local, national and international experience to continue to improve performance.

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