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Recognizing the great minds behind Southern Nuclear’s innovative solutions

Behind the Scenes

Southern Nuclear prides itself on its culture of innovation, but who is responsible for the innovative work that’s going on behind the scenes?

Our employees are developing innovative solutions every day to improve processes and enhance performance across our fleet.

In an effort to recognize our employees’ contributions to strengthening our fleet and pursuing operational excellence, we’re excited to share these projects and the great minds behind them that strengthen our innovative culture!

Digital Turbine Control Upgrade
Parimal Gandhi

Vogtle 3&4’s turbine-generator analog controls were upgrades to digital turbine controls using GT STRUDL, a structural analysis and design modeling software. Southern Nuclear received the 2016 GT STRUDL Drivers of Success Award for its use of the software.

Fire Watch Cart
Fire Protection: Brian Cason, Dan Bierbrauer, Pat Swinson, Donald Morris, Leonard Casella, John Lattner, Pamela Burns, Eric Jurotich, Lee Hunt

The team developed the fire watch cart and associated monitoring system to reduce the labor necessary for fire watches through the use of technology. 

Automation of BWR Startup Analyses
Nuclear Fuel: Aaron Phillipe, Tim G. Collart, Johnathan Chavers, Ray Seiter, Mike Yenatsky, Zach Howell, Bryce Crosby

The boiling water reactor Fuel Engineering staff developed an automation software package to expedite and improve startup evaluations.

Implementation of FLEX in Hatch Seismic PRA
Risk Informed Engineering: Partha Chadran, David L. Moore, Vish Patel, Faramarz Pourina, Benny Ratnagaran

Southern Nuclear was the first utility to include FLEX in their probabilistic risk assessment model, and this was highly acclaimed by peer reviewers.

On-Site Generation of a New Biocide Eliminates Harmful Cooling Tower Fouling
Chemistry: Jeff Waites, Wes Bausch, Keith Brown, Brandt Anton, Dave Morey

Southern Nuclear generated a new biocide to protect and maintain our cooling towers.

Alternate to BWR Drywell Vent via Containment Scrubbing
Severe Accident Management: Randy Bunt, Derwood Tootle, Kenneth Whitson

Not requiring maintenance of a mandated dry-well hardened vent or an external filter allows the plant to focus on other work. Containment scrubbing used the Severe Accident Water Addition/Severe Accident Water Management strategy piloted by Plant Hatch.

Containment Dome Inspection Completed via Unmanned Aerial System
Engineering: Jeremy Bracewell, Scott Walden, Ken Baity, Joyce Solomon, Chris Comfort, Matt Holt, Corey Hitchcock

Employees collaborated to complete the first-ever unmanned aerial system inspection in the industry.

AP-1000 Simulator for Third Generation Startup
Training/Operational Readiness: Charlie Nesbitt, Chuck Lease (Westinghouse), Dennis Spielman, Randy Miller (Westinghouse), Pietro Porco (Westinghouse), Thomas Rubenstein (Westinghouse), Craig Watson (Westinghouse)

The AP1000 nuclear power plant full-scope simulator has been pivotal in the finalization of instrumentation and controls design, human factors engineering (HFE) and operator licensing. The simulator tool has been an instrumental asset to allow design and HFE engineers to fully understand and demonstrate the capabilities and operability of the AP1000 plant.

Standard Design Process
Industry Team: Rick McAdams, Paul Hayes, Lenny Azzarello (Duke), Denise Brandon (Energy Northwest), Pete Carlone (MPR Associates Inc.), Tom Cezerniewski (Entergy), Brian Dunn (NextEra), Sudesh Gambhir (INPO), Steve Geier (NEI), Rich Hall (Exelon), Colin Keller (FENOC), Sarah Kovaleski (Ameren Missouri/STARS), Kevin Kuhn, Dan Ludwig (Xcel/USA), Mayo Oppenhimer (Dominion), Jed Ruff (SCANA), Ashley Taylor (TVA), Harry Willets (Duke)

Southern Nuclear developed a simplified design change procedure to be used for all domestic utilities and standardized software to streamline the implementation of the new procedure. The standard design process facilitates common industry-wide training, promotes process stability and supports the sharing of design changes between utilities.  

Plant Vogtle Weight Loss
Communications: Elizabeth Adams, Darin Meyers

Plant Vogtle’s Weight Loss Challenge is an innovative, employee-driven program through which low-value, inefficient work practices are either eliminated or improved.

Implementation of Quill/Bosset for Injection of Noble Metals for BWR Fleet
Plant Support: Don Gilbert, Danny Cowart, Reagan Wilkerson, Randy Jones, Hubert Huie (GE-Hitachi), Charles Kincaid (GE-Hitachi), Lucas Martin (GE-Hitachi), Drew Odell (Exelon), John Weber (GE-Hitachi), Laura Beale (GE-Hitachi), Luong Tran (GE-Hitachi), Brian Colson, Ron Horn (GE-Hitachi)

Southern Nuclear, Exelon and GE-Hitachi collaborated to install and implement the use of an injector quill to improve delivery of noble metals in the boiling water reactor.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Photography at Vogtle 3&4
Communications: Joel Leopard, Corey Hitchcock (Georgia Power), John Paul Russell, Scott Campbell, Dexter Lewis (Alabama Power)

To capture unique, never-before-seen angles of aerial footage, Unmanned Aircraft Systems were implemented in 2015.

Relay Life Extension
Engineering: Randy Olson, J. Tom Harrison, Layne C. Gunter, Rick M. Edge

This work provides the justification necessary to extend the service life of Agastat E7000 series timing relays beyond the vendor recommended 10-year life from date of manufacture.

Avoidance of Regulation of Require Additional Severe Accident Instrumentation
Severe Accident Management: Randy Blunt, David Grambrell, Kenneth Whitson, Steven Kraft (NEI), Phillip Amway (Exelon), Greg Krueger (Exelon), Bill Williamson (TVA)

A team of industry and Nuclear Energy Institute personnel developed an accident scenario that would exercise the plant emergency operating procedures, FLEX support guidelines, Severe Accident Management guidelines and Technical Support guidelines. Plant Hatch served as the pilot for this demonstration.

Pilot Plant Application of Risk-Informed In-Service Inspection to New Build Fleet
James Agold, Michael Fanguy (SCE&G), Richard Troficanto (SCE&G)

In collaboration with South Carolina Electric & Gas, the Southern Nuclear team worked to develop more informed operational and maintenance policies. The new policies will decrease the scope of the inspection population between 60 and 90 percent. The project received the 2016 EPRI Technology Transfer Award.

HDPE UT Demonstration for Plant Hatch
Gary Loftus, April Perkins, John Abbot (EPRI), Carl Latiolais (EPRI), Marcus Lee (EPRI)

Southern Nuclear, Plant Hatch and EPRI demonstrated this technology to the NRC to meet a relief request for ultrasonic testing examination.

Technical Justification for Elimination of Reactor Pressure Vessel Threads in Flange Exam
Gary Loftus, Pat O’Regan (EPRI), Jamie Coleman, John Churchwell, Sarah Champion, Tim Wells

The team developed the technical justification to eliminate an examination that has been performed throughout the industry more than 10,000 times with no in-service defect found. Southern Nuclear used this report to submit a first-time relief request to eliminate the examination.

Configuration Information Management System - The Database
Alex Thirkell, George Fegert, Juan Molina, Jennifer Beateau

Based on research led by EPRI, Southern Nuclear designed a data-centric configuration management platform called the Configuration Information Management System. Each silo database will be moved into a central model. The CIMS concept is a paradigm shift for the industry, and Vogtle 3&4 is leading by example.

Instrument and Control Engineering Test Environment
Zee Sultan, Mark Mamo, Butch Jones

Southern Nuclear designed a system for software development and testing called Instrumentation and Control Engineering Test Environment (ICE-TE). The ICE-TE system enables Vogtle 3&4 to develop and test plant logic, graphics and plant control based nuclear applications with complete independence from the vendor, giving Southern Nuclear an added layer of protection to evaluate the software integrity prior to plant software installation.

Dispersant Injection via Condensate System at Plant Farley
Jeff Waites, Wesley Bausch, Danial Soorty, Dave Morey, Leonard Worthy, Keith Brown

A forward-thinking approach allowed for development of an injection methodology that was suited for injection of dispersant into the condensate pump discharge.