Every year, the nuclear industry recognizes top industry performance through the Top Industry Practice (TIP) awards. These awards are presented annually at the Nuclear Energy Assembly and recognize innovative achievements in the nuclear industry.
This year, Duke Energy teams won the Operate Plant Award and the TIP Vision, Leadership and Ingenuity Award.
Operate Plant Award
A team of Duke Energy employees from the Robinson Nuclear Plant in South Carolina were awarded the Operate Plant Award for the industry’s first large-scale application of a product called NeverWet®. NeverWet® is a system designed to create a highly water repellent coating on materials like metal, wood, aluminum, concrete, fiberglass and plastics. The Duke Energy team tested NeverWet® in a laboratory environment and found the treatment prevented radioactive contamination from sticking to submerged materials. The team successfully applied NeverWet® to a container used to transfer uranium fuel from the reactor to the used fuel pool. By using NeverWet®, the team eliminated the need to decontaminate the container, significantly reducing time and money while also further improving personnel safety by limiting employees’ exposure to radiation.
Vision, Leadership & Ingenuity Award
Another team of Duke Energy employees received the Vision, Leadership and Ingenuity Award for the Excellence in Cost Management (ECM) program. ECM is a program developed by Duke Energy in response to the competitive economic pressures facing nuclear power plants. ECM focuses on maintaining safety and reliability, while eliminating non-value added work and costs from the operation of Duke Energy’s nuclear fleet. ECM is not a “cost-cutting initiative,” but a program to enable sustainable cost savings and improved nuclear fleet performance. In all, the program has increased worker safety, innovation and employee engagement and saved Duke Energy more than $35 million in 2014.