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Pursue Excellence and Exceed Limits for a Brighter Future 

MA Mingze from CNNP explains his organisation's committment to excellence in nuclear operations

CNNC was established in 1999 and has over 1,300 affiliated enterprises and 180,000 employees. In the complete industry chain that it has built, CNNP is dedicated to the development and operation of nuclear power generation, wind and solar power generation, and other clean energies. CNNP owns 25 nuclear power units in operation and 8 under construction. The fleet now has operated with a safe record for 235 reactor years, creating robust operation performance.

China is among the countries with the fastest nuclear power development and has maintained a sound nuclear safety record. This is closely related to WANO’s support and the excellence-oriented nuclear safety culture which is practiced by everyone in the industry in China. A good construction and operation performance is essential in winning the trust from members of the public and governments at different levels. 

The pursuit of excellence is our goal to achieve and the tenet of WANO. The Action for Excellence (AfE) industry led initiative is highly aligned with CNNP’s corporate culture and development plan. We are delighted to see the overall improvement of the safe operation performance of the nuclear power industry and provide enthusiastic support.

In the bid to reach the industry 2030 goals, CNNP has formulated and implemented a series of work plans for functional area improvement. In addition, we are deeply aware that good credit is the foundation for the development of the nuclear industry, and the trust from the government, the market and the public in nuclear power enterprises is based on our good performance in safety and environmental friendliness. Therefore, we treat the industrial safety and environmental safety of nuclear power plants as equally important as nuclear safety. 

With continuous improvements and upgrading, we have fully rationalised our work processes in safety and production, and creatively developed a nuclear safety & production business model for CNNP nuclear power plants. In this model, critical components important to the safety, quality and environmental protection of the nuclear power plant and to the reliable operation of units are clearly defined. The development of a preventive maintenance management system has been delivered, the standardised management of preventive work orders is also promoted, and the system is continually optimised. This has formed a refined management system with the urgent repair, production plan, and condition report management as the core process, and the work orders as the core drivers. In the meantime, CNNP has developed the ASP series computer management platform for nuclear power plant work management, to support quantities of work orders in achieving better performance.

We volunteered to join the pilot on Enhanced Performance Monitoring (ePM) under the AfE. From December 2020 to April 2022, Unit 1 and Unit 2 of Qinshan II actively participated in the first global ePM pilot work by WANO, and then the ePM pilot was extended to the whole Qinshan site with 9 units of different capacities and different reactor types. 

In the pilot, we overcame some challenges: to ensure the consistency of our understanding and implementation of indicators, we compiled the ePM indicator manual in Chinese, to make the definition of indicators, data source, measurement methodology, precautions, and specific examples clear. The manual was revised and updated several times according to operating experience feedbacks. In the collection of raw data for indicators, to better link to the plant’s own indicator management system, we incorporated the ePM indicators into the existing performance indicator system of the plant, clarified the division of responsibilities and conducted data statistics on monthly and quarterly basis. Reports and status lights were generated as reference for plant management.

The pilot made Qinshan NPP identify weaknesses previously neglected and promoted management enhancement and performance improvement in equipment reliability, timeliness of correction actions, and simulator maintenance. We also identified problems with ePM and provided feedback to WANO so they could make improvements. The pilot enabled us to see more clearly the critical role of top management’s attention and active participation in performance improvement, which is the key to the successful implementation of AfE. Next, we will further explore better applications of ePM, and the improvements of prolonged red light alert areas.

There is a Chinese saying that goes, “Never forget your initial aspiration because that’s what takes you to success” As we recall the original purpose when setting up WANO in 1989, all nuclear industry practitioners should bear in mind that we are a community with a common destiny for nuclear safety. 

CNNP bears our ideal in mind at all times. At times when our performance is lagging temporarily, we benchmark with the best practices in the industry, to identify our gaps and make continuous improvements; at times when our performance is on the rise, we are never complacent, instead we are brave to innovate, and dare to challenge ourselves for higher goals. We believe that action leads to success. Let’s join together to drive our nuclear power industry towards a better future that is more advanced, reliable and safe.