Having the right team makes all the difference. And when outage timing is critical for sustaining the viability of a plant, an all-star team can create success. Framatome worked with a plant that had historical outages of 35 days, but the utility wanted to improve that timing. We worked with the site director and looked at previous outage lengths, processes and adjusted crew sizes for a shorter outage plan. With the Framatome work on critical path, we came up with an aggressive 25-day outage schedule which, for this plant, was a significant improvement.

A lot of time was spent on pre-outage planning and working with the utility to make sure an all-star team was ready to go. Twelve people from the plant came to Lynchburg for training at our Technical Training Center. Then, the integrated team had to collaborate, but also be aligned with a shared vision for working faster, yet safely and economically. Once the team was on site, we did pre-outage checks to ensure a successful outage. During the outage, we encountered unforeseen issues inside the reactor with the site’s polar crane. We re-sequenced the work around this issue to save time. We were also able to do reactor cavity and top of the head work during the outage, which helped improve the schedule. Despite the additional work, the team finished the first half of the outage on schedule, and the Framatome part of the outage finished 24 hours ahead of schedule.

In the end, the plant outage team had good performance metrics with safety as a top priority. As a result, the team was able to prove their economic viability to the utility.