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Qinshan pioneers enhanced performance monitoring at its plant to achieve excellence

The article below is based on an interview with Mr Zhaohong YAO, General Manager Assistant at Qinshan/CNNO  

1. Why did you decide to become a pilot for the worldwide industry’s Action for Excellence initiative?
CNNP Nuclear Power Operations Management Co., Ltd. (CNNO) is committed to continuously improving the safer operation of four nuclear power plants at Qinshan site. We have established a comprehensive internal Performance Index System including current WANO PIs. However, the coverage is relatively narrow and lacks detail, when benchmarked with international best practice. 

The Enhanced Performance Monitoring (ePM) pilot expands the quantity and scope of current WANO performance indicators and provides a methodology to analyse and predict performance trajectory. This will help our plant detect any performance decline and take corrective measures much earlier than before. By being a pilot for the global industry, this will help make AfE a success.  

2. What are the key objectives for the pilot?
The overall objective is to continuously improve our plant performance, by learning and adopting best performance monitoring practice across the world. Further goals of this pilot are as follows: 

  • Understand the purpose and calculation method of ePM indicators.
  • Provide experience and feedback to improve EPM index definition and calculation for WANO - based on Qinshan piloting experience.
  • Learn about the methodology to analyse and predict performance trajectory.

3. How is the pilot progressing, what activities have been undertaken?
Key milestones achieved include:

  • Set up an ePM working group, leading by senior company management and engagement by all department for piloting.
  • Carry out the trial calculation of historical indicators, feedback to WANO on the questions encountered in the trial calculation; seek clarification and suggestions from WANO and submit proposals to WANO as well.
  • Develop and publish an ePM manual in Chinese, including index definition, basic data, calculation methods, precautions, examples and other information. The EPM manual   was upgraded from version 0 to version 2 when accumulate the experience from the pilot. 
  • Develop the basic data collection and calculation of ePM indicators in Excel sheet. Collecting the basic EPM data monthly, develop tools to calculate the index from data and dashboard status automatically to reduce the statistical workload.
  • Two batches of ePM indicators were submitted to WANO (Q2 and Q3, 2021).
  • On July 19-22, Qinshan 2 received the first site visit from WANO team. Both parties confirmed the data accuracy; verify calculation methods and results of the indicators one by one. Several index data unclearly defined and inappropriate tags in the WERs identified during site visit. A specific processing to deal with those data has agreed on site. Qinshan 2 has issued condition reports for tracking and further analysis. The ePM manual and basic data collection and calculation sheet were revised following the site visit.

4. Which functional areas at the station are involved in the pilot, and how?
In the ePM working group, experts from several departments are involved, including Operations, Production Planning, Maintenance, Outage Management, Engineering, Training, Nuclear Safety and Human Resources. A coordinator from Nuclear Safety is responsible for the overall coordination of the ePM working group. 

5. Have there been any key learnings or benefits from the pilot yet?
We identified several shortfalls caused by insufficient management focus during the pilot, such as the average time of plant modification not yet installed in the simulator is rather longer compared to the criteria (OR-3.7), the plant does not explicitly require the observation of the training for engineering staff (OR-3.3). These weaknesses have been addressed by our staff.

6. What activities still need to be completed on the pilot, and when will it be finished?
Qinshan 2 plans to put the ePM indicators into current internal Performance Index System in the second quarter of 2022. A meeting on site is planned to summarise the pilot’s results in April 2022.