The WANO Atlanta Centre (WANO AC) recently completed an innovative technical support mission (TSM), requested by the Haiyang nuclear power plant in China's Shandong Province. The utility is building two Westinghouse AP1000 units at the site with room for up to six additional units.
Haiyang leadership's request for the TSM demonstrates their strong commitment to learn from their peers in WANO AC. Visits conducted far in advance of the fuel load allow time to implement suggestions and close gaps prior to startup. The TSM identified beneficial practices, recommendations and suggestions. The team also proposed three future TSMs to provide in-depth assistance.
WANO AC Technical Manager, Pat Musser, led the team of 10 cross-functional, multi-cultural members. "This large and unique TSM team was structured to meet Haiyang's goals", says Musser. The request was for a TSM resembling a pre-startup peer review (PSUR) that would help the staff prepare for commercial operations.
The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) provided members with operations, configuration management, and new plant deployment expertise. Peers from the Vogtle Electric Generating Station Units 3 & 4, and VC Summer Nuclear Station Units 2 & 3, located in the US, served on the team – both are constructing similar stations. This provided the US members an opportunity to help Haiyang staff and learn from their experiences. International support included an Operations member from Sanmen, China, and international utility secondees assigned to WANO's Hong Kong Office and WANO Paris Centre, along with an INPO liaison engineer from South Africa.
One goal was to transfer knowledge. The visit allowed the plant staff to gain experience as counterparts interacting with peer reviewers prior to the PSUR in 2016. Host peers also were assigned to the TSM team for each functional area. Team members also conducted workshops covering topics such as transition planning, simulator scenarios and observations, and maintenance and work management issues that have been identified in other PSURs.
The TSM team conducted crew performance observations (CPOs) - a new concept for many WANO international plants. "Observing crews in the simulator before plant startup allows us to observe control room team capabilities", says Musser. "These observations are particularly important for facilities with newly qualified crews".
Musser also noted the extensive preparations by the utility for the TSM, including their completion of an extensive self-assessment. Thousands of pages of information were gathered and translated. Ten interpreters were provided who had previous WANO Peer Review and CPO experience. Their experience greatly helped the team collect accurate observations during CPOs.
"It was rewarding for the TSM team to work closely with the dedicated and professional members of the Haiyang staff as they prepare for a safe and effective startup", added Musser.