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Two of the world's wealthiest men have put their vast resources behind what the nuclear industry calls small modular reactors (SMRs) in the quest for the perfect carbon-free energy source. TerraPower, founded by Bill Gates, and PacifiCorp, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, are sponsors of the project. The first SMR from TerraPower, the Natrium reactor project, will be built in Wyoming--the nation's primary coal producer--at the very location that once housed a coal station, where the infrastructure for a steam-cycle power plant and distribution to the electrical grid already exist. Last year, the state legislature passed a law authorizing utilities to replace coal or natural gas generation with small nuclear reactors and the US Department of Energy awarded TerraPower $80 million in initial funding to demonstrate Natrium technology; the department has committed additional funding subject to congressional approvals. Just ask anyone in Texas where a combination of frozen wind turbines and unprecedented demand last winter darkened the state for days.
Offshore Wind Farm (OWF) projects are fast-paced applications with project cost and schedule pressures exerted on their respective contractors, amplifying the importance of sound QMS documents and the associated practices. The OWF industry can score significant gains by adopting best practices developed by other mature energy industries, such as oil & gas and nuclear. Marine oil & gas operations are inherently complex. Soon after its inception, the industry reached the rightful conclusion that the commercial and operational success of marine operations heavily depends on the thoroughness of the planning that precedes the actual operation. The nuclear energy industry controls quality using a cradle-to-grave approach. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers' (ASME) Nuclear Quality Assurance-1 (NQA-1) document covers the entire range of Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QAQC) applications of a major engineering project and is the backbone of many modern QMS documents developed by large turnkey Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) contractors. The QMS sets the road map for a project from quality point of view. This paper provides an overview of the value that can be added to OWF projects by implementing solid QMS systems tailored to specific needs of a project, as well as best practices inherited from other matured energy industries. These matured energy industries have a successful track record that OWF industry review and adopt to implement its own industry specific procedures.
Much of the effort to build and maintain a robust safety management system is focused on written documents which outline for employees the step-by-step, rule-by-rule expectations of how they should behave. These include procedures, training, job hazard analysis, and many other forms of instruction. Why is it, then, that even companies with very mature safety management systems in place still continue to experience unwanted events and injuries? Why do the best improvement strategies and initiatives sometimes meet resistance and failure? The answer is that often times we fail to recognize and account for the underlying organizational and safety cultures. It is the culture that causes organizations to accept or reject change. It is the culture that influences employees’ interpretations of the meaning of instructions and select behaviors they think meet the intent and are appropriate or acceptable in that environment.
In this paper, the author will review sources of information for the definition of safety culture and share thoughts on the development and implementation of a safety culture management strategy, including the importance of training and engaging front-line leadership.
Defining Your Safety Culture
Elements of Safety Culture
It seems we often hear the term “safety culture” used, but rarely with any clarity as to the real meaning. We use it positively to indicate a low number of unexpected events or a high awareness of safety in the workplace. We use it negatively as a vague causal factor in injuries and unexpected events. It is the author’s experience that the use of the term “safety culture” is rarely paired with an understanding of the desired traits or principles which make up the safety culture and contribute to the positive or negative perceptions and outcomes.
Several models exist for the traits and defining principles that make for a strong positive safety culture. The nuclear industry has extensive experience in managing safety culture. The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) has published a document which is important to the understanding of safety culture titled Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture (INPO 12- 012, April 2013) in which they identify traits and attributes of a strong positive safety culture. While focused on the nuclear power industry, it has broad application across any industry or organization.
ABSTRACT The use of cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) and Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) liners for the rehabilitation of nuclear power plant raw water systems can result in significant cost savings, increased system reliability, and extended piping life. These systems also include the use of internal mechanical seals. The cost advantage for installation of CIPP alone may reach 10:1 for the nuclear power industry versus excavation and replacement of buried carbon steel piping. This paper will present recent examples of these applications, including unique requirements faced in the nuclear industry such as more detailed material and system qualification, licensing, and working within outage and operational restrains, e.g. INTRODUCTION Adoption of composite materials for repair of piping systems at nuclear power generation facilities has gained interest as technology has improved and as more operational experience (OE) becomes available. Evaluations have been performed for several utilities of alternate in-situ repair - replacement technologies for buried and inaccessible portions of piping systems. These piping systems are designated as ASME (1) /ANSI (2) B31.1, "Power Piping" 1 Balance of Plant (BOP) and ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section III Class 2/3 2 . Requests for permission to publish this manuscript in any form, in part or in whole, must be in writing to NACE International, Publications Division, 15835 Park Ten Place, Houston, Texas 77084.
Abstract Technology in the oil and gas industry is continually changing and evolving to support demands on challenging and harsh operational environments. Understanding and working with any technology has inherent risks and benefits. The development of a technology qualification process (TQP) is crucial to ensure that established methodologies for qualification and management are in place. As technology evolves, a common industry challenge is management of obsolescence on system and subsystems, especially newly designed or emerging technologies in components. Using TQPs to assess the potential challenges of obsolescence and the progression of changes as it develops helps minimize the risks and ensure the availability of equipment. This paper will develop a series of case studies that examine the use of integrity & obsolescence management through TQPs, thus, reducing or even circumventing the high risks involved with aging and developing technologies. The first phase of the paper will compare like industries by looking into the aging and developing sectors of the nuclear industry. It will assess the processes used at aging US nuclear reactors and compare methods used to develop and manage technology in the subsea industry. The second phase will be a case study that delves into TQPs and obsolescence management of hardware in subsea control systems. This section will look at a particular set of failure modes found during operation of subsea control systems and valves, identify how to manage these changes as the product develops, and what TQPs could be used to help eliminate failures going forward. The final element of this paper will look at processes and management tools that can be used as best practices going forward and provide insight into methodologies that will best serve developing technologies for the subsea industry.
Abstract A recent Economist Intelligence Unit report on the future of the oil & gassector canvassed the views of nearly 200 board-level executives andpolicymakers on a range crucial industry affairs, from new investmentopportunities to future regulatory challenges and the rise of a new breed of'internationalized' national oil companies over the next decade. One of the key findings from the subsequent round table discussion (facilitatedby GL Noble Denton) was that more needs to be done to develop the nextgeneration of oil and gas professionals. Faced with a period of investment andexpansion, the sector will come against challenges as a result of its failureto attract, recruit and retain highly talented people. The discussion concludedthat the industry needs to work more closely together to address the skillsproblem, rather than trying to pursue each others' technical staff. Withactivity set to rise in the sector, companies need to focus on introducing anddeveloping technical resource now, ensuring that the right talent is in placefor the future. Atkins has been helping the UK nuclear industry to overcome similar challengesin recent years. The UK nuclear supply base had been gradually declining over the last 20 yearssince the completion of the last power station at Sizewell. This has beencompounded by the hold placed on the deep waste repository and the prolongedhiatus between the Vanguard class submarine program and the Astute classSubmarines in the defense sector. This has led to government concerns that theUK capability would not be sustainable, with many of the current UK nuclearsupport needs more design and major project related than the consultancy typework of the last two decades. This requires a greater focus on technicalassurance and process compliance to ensure that project delivery and qualityrisk is managed appropriately. This paper outlines the processes that Atkins is using to increase staffnumbers and develop its in-house technical expertise in response to the currentand anticipated needs of the UK nuclear industry; whilst at the same timeensuring technical quality is maintained and project delivery risk isminimized Introduction The UK supply base had been gradually declining over the last 20 years sincethe completion of the last UK nuclear power station at Sizewell, compounded bythe hold placed on the deep waste repository and the prolonged hiatus betweenthe Vanguard class submarine program and the Astute class Submarines in thedefense sector. Over this period of time the industry has fragmented with the tier 1 providersoutsourcing much of their capability and reducing their core business torelatively small enterprises. This has led to a growth in small and medium sizeenterprises providing manpower substitution and specialist services to the tier1 providers. The current status of the supply base led to government concernsthat the indigenous UK capability would not be sustainable without significantinvestment.
Abstract The commercial nuclear power industry has developed and applied improved methods for safety and performance management since the accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) in 1979. These include methods for risk management, identification and application of lessons learned, risk informed regulation, and safety culture improvement. Methods have also been developed to identify strategies and procedures to manage severe accidents - e.g. events outside the design basis that formed the envelope for the initial operating license. The combined implementation of all these technical, organizational, and regulatory changes has led to a significant industry-wide improvement in the performance of nuclear power plants in the US since TMI. This paper summarizes these developments in the nuclear industry, describes a recent application to risk informed safety culture assessment for a Canadian nuclear power station, and explores the potential to apply these methods for design, operation, and regulation of offshore facilities as part of the industry response to the Deepwater Horizon accident. Nuclear industry practices prior to Three Mile Island From the beginnings of the commercial nuclear power industry in the United States in the 1960's the primary unifying concept for demonstrating safety was the Design Basis Accident (DBA). A design basis accident is a postulated event that the plant must withstand. The Safety Analysis Report (SAR) for each facility was required to demonstrate that the plant could withstand the occurrence of specific prescribed DBAs. Examples include loss of coolant accidents (LOCAs), reactivity accidents, steam generator tube ruptures, loss of offsite power, etc. In addition to forming the basis for demonstrating that the plant could be operated safely within a prescribed " safe operating envelope,?? DBAs also established (perhaps inadvertently) the basic paradigm for the development of emergency operating procedures. Similarly, the design of instrumentation was intended to provide information up to but not beyond the conditions expected during a Design Basis Accident. Hidden within the emergency procedures were the assumptions that plant operators would be able to accurately diagnose the event in progress, and their major role would be to monitor the performance of automatic systems and only intervene when automatic systems failed to actuate or to restore normal conditions once the automatic systems had carried out their assigned functions. Finally, there was likely an unconscious assumption that events more serious than the design basis accident would not (or perhaps could not) occur, and that if a plant could withstand the DBAs then safety was assured for other conceivable accident sequences. Unfortunately, as we shall see later, these numerous, often unspoken assumptions were fundamentally flawed.
The process safety consensus standards for safety instrumented systems (SIS) were originally developed in the aerospace and nuclear industries. For these industries, failures were both highly visible and unacceptably expensive.
The standards were intended to provide assessment, evaluation, and target reliabilities for instrumented systems that served a safety function. To be an instrumented system, the system must consist of:
• One or more sensors (such as a temperature, pressure, or flow sensor, for example)
• One or more logic elements (such as a dedicated programmable logic controller for example)
• One or more actuated elements (such as a pneumatic valve or relay for example)
• The connections between these elements
To be an SIS, the system must additionally serve a safety instrumented function (SIF), as opposed to a purely control function. An example of a control function might be a steam controller to a distillation column reboiler that increases or reduces the steam flow based on the temperature demands of the distillation column. The SIF that the same system might provide is to automatically shut off the steam to the reboiler if a safe maximum temperature is ever exceeded. In this example, the same instrumented system provides both control and safety functions. The SIF, however, is what determines whether or not the system is a safety instrumented system; no SIF, no SIS.
Consensus standards and recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices require analysis of the SIS to determine its existing reliability. This is most commonly done using semi-quantitative risk analysis techniques, such as layers of protection analysis (LOPA). LOPA has by this date achieved good penetration of the process industries, is well understood, and is well accepted by management teams. In cases where LOPA is insufficient or is inappropriate, more quantitative analysis methods, such as event tree or fault tree analysis, are often used. In conjunction with the corporate risk tolerance, analysis can determine whether or not the existing SIS has sufficient reliability.
Abstract Preventing the next accident is a key issue in high risk industries such as the Norwegian offshore oil and gas industry. During the last five years of the positive results in HSE performance on the Norwegian continental shelf has declined. Indicators of this negative trend are:incident and accidents occurring in the offshore oil and gas industry in Norway have become more frequent and severe the operators ability to prevent the next accident could be questioned, since several of these incidents and accidents have been reoccurring events In this paper, concepts, theories and methods relevant to accident investigation in the petroleum industry will be shortly described. Theories and methods used in accident investigation in the Nordic nuclear industry will be presented. We learned that these methods worked also in an offshore context. Introduction/Background Both the industry and the authorities have spent great efforts and resources to achieve a good safety standard in this industry. Historically these efforts have been a success, especially the safety record for personal injuries have been good. In the last five years the safety record for the offshore oil and gas industry in Norway has raised some concerns. The development of to risk for personnel, environment and installations has not improved the way the industry have intended and worked for. Important risk indicators have not improved such as fires and lost time accidents (LTA). Other indicators have had a negative development such as gas leaks, well kicks in producing wells and collisions on Mobile Offshore Units (MOU). This raised the question if the industry was able to learn from previous incidents and accidents and increased attention was put on search for methods and strategies to improve results in this area. This search has also accelerated as a result of planned changes in the Norwegian regulatory regime for offshore installations. These regulations put down requirements on major accident prevention, prevention of personal injuries and work related diseases. The observations and conclusions of this paper are solely the work and responsibility of the authors. Methods Used in the Industry Methods. The methods used in the industry for incident and accident investigation purposes differ from company to company. Some oil companies use advanced methods, others use more simple methods. Generally the methods used are well suited for understanding and preventing injuries. Injuries get attention from management and preventive actions are taken. Other types of incidents without injuries can get less focus and attention, even if the potential for a major accident can't be neglected. No major changes in investigation methods have been introduced by the industry the last decade, despite the development of new theories and methods in other high risk industries in this period. Industry practices. Despite differences in methods, some more general shortcomings in investigation methods and practices are identified. Among these shortcomings are:Classification of causes is arbitrary and therefore it is difficult to perform meaningful trend reports. The significance of reoccurring events is not communicated throughout the organization and therefore not properly investigated and followed up. Identified measures after incidents and accident are often of a technical nature even if the causes identified are of an organizational or managerial nature. Methods. The methods used in the industry for incident and accident investigation purposes differ from company to company. Some oil companies use advanced methods, others use more simple methods. Generally the methods used are well suited for understanding and preventing injuries. Injuries get attention from management and preventive actions are taken. Other types of incidents without injuries can get less focus and attention, even if the potential for a major accident can't be neglected. No major changes in investigation methods have been introduced by the industry the last decade, despite the development of new theories and methods in other high risk industries in this period. Industry practices. Despite differences in methods, some more general shortcomings in investigation methods and practices are identified. Among these shortcomings are:Classification of causes is arbitrary and therefore it is difficult to perform meaningful trend reports. The significance of reoccurring events is not communicated throughout the organization and therefore not properly investigated and followed up. Identified measures after incidents and accident are often of a technical nature even if the causes identified are of an organizational or managerial nature.
INTRODUCTION The nuclear industry practices remote handling as a standard procedure Here I shall focus on remote intervention, that is to say, operations carried out by powered manipulators and vehicles, as ROV's in underwater environment At face value it would appear that there is no remarkable difference between remote intervention underwater or in the nuclear environment In both cases we have an environment where access by man is hazardous, difficult, or even impossible and in which manipulative operations need to be achieved Furthermore, there is a strong probability that a machine used in the nuclear environment will also be immersed while performing its task The question is, are there differences in manufacturing and operating a robot for the nuclear industry or, could any underwater ROV be readily used in the nuclear environment' The answer I am afra d is yes and no From design stage a vehicle or manipulator truly conceived for nuclear intervention needs to incorporate additional features that are not requ red underwater That is not to UTI '97 0 SUT 1997