TVA Boosts Efficiency at Nuclear Sites
TENNESSEE VALLEY Authority (TVA) is working to develop more efficient and economic operation of its nuclear power plants. In an attempt to conduct more scheduled maintenance during full power operation, TVA allowed EPRI to develop and install its Oram-Sentinal software at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant and at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant.
Maintenance must be scheduled in conformance with the plant`s technical specifications and administrative requirements, which are part of its operating license. The software is a configuration management system that interfaces with plant scheduling software and assists operators and planners to minimize risk and to conform to technical specifications and administrative requirements.
The project team encoded the software with qualitative information about defense-in-depth for engineered safety systems for at-power conditions. The Westinghouse Functional Restoration Guidelines were modeled as part of the basis for the safety functions assessment. Using information provided, the software evaluates the level of defense-in-depth of key plant safety function, overall level of safety, and impact of planned out-of-service periods. Results are displayed by color indicators ranging from green to red to show decreasing safety conditions.
The software has been installed in the nuclear facilities for more than a year, assisting station personnel in maintenance scheduling during power operations rather than deferring work into outage periods. This maintenance tactic is thought to enhance plant safety and reliability while optimizing out-of-service time of important systems for equipment.
Scheduling improvements have resulted in increased system and unit reliability and reduction of equipment and system deficiencies that could impact operations.