This is how maintenance keeps nuclear in remarkable condition

We know that the great things in life always involve maintenance. Whether it is our relationships, our homes, cars, toys – anything! Enjoying the best in life always comes with a few chores.  

The same is true with nuclear energy. To enjoy the benefits of nuclear energy – clean, reliable, always-on electricity – there are some chores involved. We have experienced, dedicated maintenance teams who work around the clock to keep our plants running in tip-top shape. Each of Duke Energy’s six nuclear plants has a full-time staff to support that plant, plus provide back-up support to the other plants.

Turbine deck - MNS

Our maintenance teams include teammates specializing in mechanical maintenance, instrumentation and electrical maintenance. We also have dedicated teams focusing on refueling outages and a team whose focus is on the main turbine and generator. These are highly specialized teams. In the U.S., there are 96 operating commercial reactors at 58 plants. That means there are less than 60 crews supporting Nuclear main turbine generators in the U.S., each supplying electricity to about 500,000 homes.

The maintenance team is dedicated and has adopted a program we call “Craftsmanship” which is built upon the foundation of the fundamental behaviors and technical skills that separate a nuclear maintenance worker from the average repair person. This process involves the maintenance team designating the best and brightest among them as “Master Craftsmen” and appointing them to a committee that is self-critical in nature to identify opportunities to improve performance and be more skilled tomorrow than they were today.

Maintenance also has a multi-discipline, quick response team that addresses items emergently known as the “Fix it Now Team” (FIN Team). This team does not have a traditional schedule but reacts tactically to support day-to-day needs of the site. These men and women are highly skilled and seasoned craftsmen who perform precise trouble shooting and urgent repairs to support the operating shift and keep the plants running safely and reliably each day, providing clean, reliable electricity to our homes and businesses around the clock.

Update: The original article does not reference ever facet of the Maintenance organization in nuclear generation at Duke Energy.

Work Management is responsible for building the work schedule for all work groups, ensuring schedules are built to ensure the safety of our employees and the integrity of each facility. Their work can begin 6 months before the job takes place and continue until well after to ensure any lessons learned are included in future work schedules.

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