Operating Experience – What is it and why is it important?

“Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”- George Santayana

That is a lesson the nuclear industry takes to heart on a daily basis. Nuclear plant operators understand the importance of learning from past experiences to ensure the industry provides reliable and safe electricity to millions of homes and businesses each day.

The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), whose mission is to promote the highest levels of safety and reliability – to promote excellence – in the operation of commercial nuclear power plants, classifies certain events in the history of the nuclear industry as Must-Know Operating Experience. Teammates at Duke Energy’s nuclear plants regularly review these lessons learned from other power plants, enabling them to take action and operate Duke’s plants in ways that prevent similar occurrences.

In the nuclear industry and within Duke Energy’s nuclear fleet, information is regularly shared between plants in an effort to learn from the challenges experienced by other plant operators. This learning makes our safe facilities even safer. Operating Experience (OE) is used when planning and executing work in the plant and even during training. OE provides needed perspective and operational confidence to plant operators every single day.

Nuclear OE is successful because competing utilities and plants recognize the benefit of learning from other nuclear operators throughout the world in an effort to raise the bar of safe performance and operations, as well as secure the future of the industry.

Get more info on the lessons learned and shared from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan following the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami.