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Title: Development of an Overview Display to Allow Advanced Outage Control Center Management to Quickly Evaluate Outage Status

Abstract

This report describes recent advances made in developing a framework for the design of visual outage information presentation, as well as an overview of the scientific principles that informed the development of the visualizations.

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1356877
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-16-39622
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; Outage Dashboard

Citation Formats

St Germain, Shawn Walter, and Hugo, Jacques Victor. Development of an Overview Display to Allow Advanced Outage Control Center Management to Quickly Evaluate Outage Status. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1356877.
St Germain, Shawn Walter, & Hugo, Jacques Victor. Development of an Overview Display to Allow Advanced Outage Control Center Management to Quickly Evaluate Outage Status. United States. doi:10.2172/1356877.
St Germain, Shawn Walter, and Hugo, Jacques Victor. 2016. "Development of an Overview Display to Allow Advanced Outage Control Center Management to Quickly Evaluate Outage Status". United States. doi:10.2172/1356877. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1356877.
@article{osti_1356877,
title = {Development of an Overview Display to Allow Advanced Outage Control Center Management to Quickly Evaluate Outage Status},
author = {St Germain, Shawn Walter and Hugo, Jacques Victor},
abstractNote = {This report describes recent advances made in developing a framework for the design of visual outage information presentation, as well as an overview of the scientific principles that informed the development of the visualizations.},
doi = {10.2172/1356877},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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  • The long-term viability of existing nuclear power plants in the United States (U.S.) is dependent upon a number of factors, including maintaining high capacity factors, maintaining nuclear safety, and reducing operating costs, particularly those associated with refueling outages. Refueling outages typically take 20-30 days, and for existing light water NPPs in the U.S., the reactor cannot be in operation during the outage. Furthermore, given that many NPPs generate between $1-1.5 million/day in revenue when in operation, there is considerable interest in shortening the length of refueling outages. Yet refueling outages are highly complex operations, involving multiple concurrent and dependent activitiesmore » that are somewhat challenging to coordinate; therefore, finding ways to improve refueling outage performance, while maintaining nuclear safety has proven to be difficult. The Advanced Outage Control Center (AOCC) project is a research and development (R&D) demonstration activity under the LWRS Program. LWRS is an R&D program that works closely with industry R&D programs to establish technical foundations for the licensing and managing of long-term, safe, and economical operation of current fleet of NPPs. As such, the LWRS Advanced Outage Control Center project has the goal of improving the management of commercial NPP refueling outages. To accomplish this goal, INL is developing an advanced outage control center (OCC) that is specifically designed to maximize the usefulness of communication and collaboration technologies for outage coordination and problem resolution activities. The overall focus is on developing an AOCC with the following capabilities that enables plant and OCC staff to; Collaborate in real-time to address emergent issues; Effectively communicate outage status to all workers involved in the outage; Effectively communicate discovered conditions in the field to the OCC; Provide real-time work status; Provide automatic pending support notifications; Provide real-time requirements monitoring; Maximize their collective situational awareness to improve decision-making; and Leverage macro data to better support resource allocation. INL has partnered with several commercial NPP utilities to develop a number of advanced outage management technologies. These outage management technologies have focused on both collaborative technologies for control centers and developing mobile technologies for NPP field workers. This report describes recent efforts made in developing a suite of outage technologies to support more effective schedule management. Currently, a master outage schedule is created months in advance using the plant’s existing scheduling software (e.g., Primavera P6). Typically, during the outage, the latest version of the schedule is printed at the beginning of each shift. INL and its partners are developing technologies that will have capabilities such as Automatic Schedule Updating, Automatic Pending Support Notifications, and the ability to allocate and schedule outage support task resources on a sub-hour basis (e.g., outage Micro-Scheduling). The remaining sections of this report describe in more detail the scheduling challenges that occur during outages, how the outage scheduling technologies INL is developing helps address those challenges, and the latest developments on this task (e.g., work accomplished to date and the path forward)« less
  • The long-term viability of existing nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the United States (U.S.) is dependent upon a number of factors, including maintaining high capacity factors, maintaining nuclear safety, and reducing operating costs, particularly those associated with refueling outages. Refueling outages typically take 20-30 days, and for existing light water NPPs in the U.S., the reactor cannot be in operation during the outage. Furthermore, given that many NPPs generate between $1-1.5 million/day in revenue when in operation, there is considerable interest in shortening the length of refueling outages. Yet, refueling outages are highly complex operations, involving multiple concurrent and dependentmore » activities that are difficult to coordinate. Finding ways to improve refueling outage performance while maintaining nuclear safety has proven to be difficult. The Advanced Outage Control Center project is a research and development (R&D) demonstration activity under the Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program. LWRS is a R&D program which works with industry R&D programs to establish technical foundations for the licensing and managing of long-term, safe, and economical operation of current NPPs. The Advanced Outage Control Center project has the goal of improving the management of commercial NPP refueling outages. To accomplish this goal, this INL R&D project is developing an advanced outage control center (OCC) that is specifically designed to maximize the usefulness of communication and collaboration technologies for outage coordination and problem resolution activities. This report describes specific recent efforts to develop a capability called outage Micro-Scheduling. Micro-Scheduling is the ability to allocate and schedule outage support task resources on a sub-hour basis. Micro-Scheduling is the real-time fine-tuning of the outage schedule to react to the actual progress of the primary outage activities to ensure that support task resources are optimally deployed with the least amount of delay and unproductive use of resources. The remaining sections of this report describe in more detail the scheduling challenges that occur during outages, how a Micro-Scheduling capability helps address those challenges, and provides a status update on work accomplished to date and the path forward.« less
  • This research effort is a part of the Light-Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program, which is a research and development (R&D) program sponsored by Department of Energy (DOE) and performed in close collaboration with industry R&D programs that provide the technical foundations for licensing and managing the long-term, safe, and economical operation of current nuclear power plants. The LWRS program serves to help the U.S. nuclear industry adopt new technologies and engineering solutions that facilitate the continued safe operation of the plants and extension of the current operating licenses. The purpose of this research is to improve management of nuclear powermore » plant (NPP) outages through the development of an advanced outage control center (AOCC) that is specifically designed to maximize the usefulness of communication and collaboration technologies for outage coordination and problem resolution activities. This technical report for industry implementation outlines methods and considerations for the establishment of an AOCC. This report provides a process for implementation of a change management plan, evaluation of current outage processes, the selection of technology, and guidance for the implementation of the selected technology. Methods are presented for both adoption of technologies within an existing OCC and for a complete OCC replacement, including human factors considerations for OCC design and setup.« less
  • This research effort is a part of the Light-Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program, which is a research and development (R&D) program sponsored by Department of Energy (DOE) and performed in close collaboration with industry R&D programs that provides the technical foundations for licensing and managing the long-term, safe, and economical operation of current nuclear power plants. The LWRS program serves to help the U.S. nuclear industry adopt new technologies and engineering solutions that facilitate the continued safe operation of the plants and extension of the current operating licenses. The long term viability of existing nuclear power plants in the U.S.more » will depend upon maintaining high capacity factors, avoiding nuclear safety issues and reducing operating costs. The slow progress in the construction on new nuclear power plants has placed in increased importance on maintaining the output of the current fleet of nuclear power plants. Recently expanded natural gas production has placed increased economic pressure on nuclear power plants due to lower cost competition. Until recently, power uprate projects had steadily increased the total output of the U.S. nuclear fleet. Errors made during power plant upgrade projects have now removed three nuclear power plants from the U.S. fleet and economic considerations have caused the permanent shutdown of a fourth plant. Additionally, several utilities have cancelled power uprate projects citing economic concerns. For the past several years net electrical generation from U.S. nuclear power plants has been declining. One of few remaining areas where significant improvements in plant capacity factors can be made is in minimizing the duration of refueling outages. Managing nuclear power plant outages is a complex and difficult task. Due to the large number of complex tasks and the uncertainty that accompanies them, outage durations routinely exceed the planned duration. The ability to complete an outage on or near schedule depends upon the performance of the outage management organization. During an outage, the outage control center (OCC) is the temporary command center for outage managers and provides several critical functions for the successful execution of the outage schedule. Essentially, the OCC functions to facilitate information inflow, assist outage management in processing information and to facilitate the dissemination of information to stakeholders. Currently, outage management activities primarily rely on telephone communication, face to face reports of status and periodic briefings in the OCC. Much of the information displayed in OCCs is static and out of date requiring an evaluation to determine if it is still valid. Several advanced communication and collaboration technologies have shown promise for facilitating the information flow into, across and out of the OCC. Additionally, advances in the areas of mobile worker technologies, computer based procedures and electronic work packages can be leveraged to improve the availability of real time status to outage managers.« less
  • The research effort is a part of the Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program. LWRS is a research and development program sponsored by the Department of Energy, performed in close collaboration with industry to provide the technical foundations for licensing and managing the long-term, safe and economical operation of current nuclear power plants. The LWRS Program serves to help the US nuclear industry adopt new technologies and engineering solutions that facilitate the continued safe operation of the plants and extension of the current operating licenses. The Outage Control Center (OCC) Pilot Project was directed at carrying out the applied researchmore » for development and pilot of technology designed to enhance safe outage and maintenance operations, improve human performance and reliability, increase overall operational efficiency, and improve plant status control. Plant outage management is a high priority concern for the nuclear industry from cost and safety perspectives. Unfortunately, many of the underlying technologies supporting outage control are the same as those used in the 1980’s. They depend heavily upon large teams of staff, multiple work and coordination locations, and manual administrative actions that require large amounts of paper. Previous work in human reliability analysis suggests that many repetitive tasks, including paper work tasks, may have a failure rate of 1.0E-3 or higher (Gertman, 1996). With between 10,000 and 45,000 subtasks being performed during an outage (Gomes, 1996), the opportunity for human error of some consequence is a realistic concern. Although a number of factors exist that can make these errors recoverable, reducing and effectively coordinating the sheer number of tasks to be performed, particularly those that are error prone, has the potential to enhance outage efficiency and safety. Additionally, outage management requires precise coordination of work groups that do not always share similar objectives. Outage managers are concerned with schedule and cost, union workers are concerned with performing work that is commensurate with their trade, and support functions (safety, quality assurance, and radiological controls, etc.) are concerned with performing the work within the plants controls and procedures. Approaches to outage management should be designed to increase the active participation of work groups and managers in making decisions that closed the gap between competing objectives and the potential for error and process inefficiency.« less