USA 2.0 Changes FAQ

November 27, 2017

Q. We keep changing what USA is and does. Why the change now?

A. USA leadership was asked by the USA Board of Directors (BOD) to review changes made in 2017 and determined that the current model is having several unintended consequences, most notably a lack of engagement at all levels of USA participation. The USA leadership team decided to go back to the basics and focus on only those USA activities that offer members the most value, while reducing costs and administrative burden. Based on member feedback and BOD direction, this change to 'Core Business' will provide more value to our member stations.

Q. In a nutshell, what are the changes?


  1. USA will no longer provide a Governance and Oversight Role to members. We will focus on a Service, Support, and Facilitation Role. Our three strategic objectives will be to:
    1. Improve Operational Performance through facilitation of lessons learned, conduct of assessments, industry benchmarking, and best-practice sharing
    2. Improve Economic Performance through use of our Supply Chain agreements, personnel sharing, and other cost-savings opportunities
    3. Facilitate common response to targeted and focused fleet performance gaps or issues as approved by the BOD
  2. USA will go to a single membership level – 'Full Member' that covers all 'Core Business' activities and services. Additional projects or gap closures will be supported A' la carte. If the cost is too high for an identified project or gap area, it will not be pursued.
  3. USA will no longer invoice for membership dues. Membership dues will be paid from station rebate dollars.
  4. The Site Leadership Team will be disbanded, and a Site Rep team will be created to facilitate implementation of the new model. Revised accountability and engagement criteria will be implemented for team members.

Q. So, what is "Core Business?"


  • Supply Chain Services and Tools including:
    • Supply Chain Agreements
    • Supplier Performance Monitoring (SPM) Tools
    • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Savings Reporting
    • Process for adding new agreements (Initiative Proposal Summary [IPS] Review and Support)
  • USA Annual Executive Summit
  • USA Annual Winter Supply Chain Conference
  • USA Facilitation of Member Support of stations in INPO Elevate, Escalate, or Recovery
  • USA Nuclear Safety Culture Assessments
  • USA Mid-Cycle Assessment Support
  • Shared Personnel for Outages and other key activities
  • Shared Tools and Equipment
  • USA Networking Team Monthly Calls
  • USA Jump-Up calls for emergent issues
  • USA Communications Team Calls and Support
  • Regulatory Affairs T&Q Program*
  • USA Valve Team support*

* These industry initiatives are facilitated by USA, but are self-funded and separate from USA dues.

Q. What about Projects or Gap Focus Areas? What happens with them?

A. Projects and Gap Focus Areas will be offered A' la carte, or as menu options to be paid for separately by any member wishing to participate in the project or service. If a station does not wish to participate it can choose not to.

Q. Do we have any Projects or Gap Focus Areas for 2018 already approved?

A. Yes, we have the following Projects and Gap Focus Areas approved*:

  • Material Cost-Reduction
  • Cyber-Security
  • Training CFAM Support
  • Operations IER 17-5 and Ops Fundamentals

* - final station participation is being determined

Q. I am on the USA Supply Chain Team. Does anything change for me?

A. No, participation and engagement by you on the SCM team is critical to providing savings and value to all of our stations.

Q. I received an Outlook calendar invite for a USA Networking Team telecon. What am I expected to do?

A. You are invited to attend these calls, but you should check with your station management to ensure attendance is in line with their expectations. It is safe to say that the more people who participate and share the better off we all are. Under the new model we have restructured our monthly networking team calls to focus on sharing information, lessons learned, and current station/department challenges. We feel the ability to share information with peers provides a tangible value to stations and helps all of us as we work together.

Q. Are you going to track if I attend these calls or not?

A. We will not report attendance by teams or individuals. We will track overall station attendance on the calls to ensure it aligns with the expectations of your BOD members. In addition, we will provide incentives for individuals to get on team calls over the first half of 2018. More information will follow on this program.

Q. What's the role of the Site Representative?

A. The USA Site Rep is responsible for:

  • Reporting to their respective BOD member on a routine basis the status, progress and current issues regarding the operation of USA;
  • Facilitation of all USA interface activities at their respective sites;
  • Serving as an "entry" point of contact for USA members regarding needs, questions, and issues for their respective stations;
  • Serving as active members of the USA Site Representative team; and,
  • Facilitating identification of site resources for USA projects (including mid-cycle assessments and Nuclear Safety Culture Assessments).

Q. When will these changes take place?

A. We will implement these changes in January 2018.

Q. Will the jump-up call module still be available for me if I need help?

A. Yes. The USA jump-up call module has been very beneficial to stations and we want to not only keep it but increase its use.

Q. I have been asked to go to another USA station to help with an assessment. Do I still go?

A. Yes. Assessment support should continue as planned unless someone notifies you that it is no longer needed.

Q. How is USA supporting the Nuclear Energy Institute Delivering the Nuclear Promise Initiative?

A. USA has a specific role in the DNP effort on targeted Efficiency Bulletins (EB). One area is the Supply Chain project on Material Cost-Reduction. This project specifically supports EB 16-30. An Advanced Remote Monitoring EB is being developed with heavy USA participation. A new USA agreement has been developed with the Luminant Power Optimization Center that specifically addresses this new EB, and has the potential to positively impact the entire industry while providing special benefits to participating USA members.

Q. What is the benefit to nuclear plants in the alliance?

A. The benefit to nuclear plants who are members of USA is fleet savings through our supply chain initiatives, and targeted savings and value through participation in our projects, Gap Focus Initiatives, networking teams, and assessment programs. Average savings per member in 2016 was more than $8.2M for an average return on investment of $33.71 for every dollar spent to participate in USA. In addition, there is tremendous benefit and burden reduction enjoyed by members as they collaborate with one another and share best practices on station issues and concerns. Instead of each station having to develop their own process, response, etc. for a given issue, we can all share a common approach or work together to take advantage of a diverse and broad range of input.

Q. Can I expect more changes in six months?

A. Our goal will be to avoid significant changes as we move forward. Our 'back-to-the-basics' approach provides maximum value at minimum cost and will remain the foundation for years to come.

Q. What changes has the USA leadership team made to strengthen the alliance?

A. USA leadership has taken actions to aggressively reduce the costs to operate the business as well as the associated costs to the member stations and developed strong leadership within the USA team. These two items allow us to offer significant services, value and opportunity to our members while keeping our operating costs very low. The new model is also flexible enough to adapt to member needs and requests while eliminating unnecessary burden from our members. In addition, the USA Leadership Team has taken the organization from a traditional Governance/Oversight/Support/Perform (GOSP) model to a Service and Support only organization. The support provided is determined by the member stations. This ensures USA is providing only services needed by the member stations.

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