News

USA staff changes - a letter from Carl Parry

December 14th, 2015
As the year comes to an end I want to advise you of some changes to the USA staff to support the fleet.  First, two long time staff members, Bill Ponec and Kevin Moles, will be retiring from USA at the end of the year. Please join me in thanking both of these folks for their years of dedication and commitment to...
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Prairie Island completes ambitious refueling outage

December 11th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
Prairie Island Unit 2’s main electrical generator, which had reached its 40-year operational life, was replaced during the plant’s fall outage. The new generator - weighing approximately 500 tons – was manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Company in Kobe, Japan. It includes a new digital Automatic Voltage Regulator and is expected to be more efficient.  The...
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New USA CFAMs meet

December 11th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
The new USA fleet CFAMs met in early December to review fleet progress this past year and goals for 2015. “Looking back on the past year, USA continues to make progress as a fleet,” said USA CEO Carl Parry. “With our new operational model led by our CFAMs and the commitment of our members will...
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PSEG Nuclear hosts regional WIN conference

December 10th, 2015
Author: Grace Hymer, PSEG Nuclear
USA fleet member PSEG Nuclear recently hosted the Region 1 Women in Nuclear (WIN) conference. PSEG Nuclear President and Chief Nuclear Officer, Bob Braun, provided opening remarks regarding the current state of the nuclear industry and the need for change to deliver on the Nuclear Promise which is to provide safe, reliable, and economic energy....
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USA fleet supports Delivering the Nuclear Promise initiative

December 9th, 2015
America’s nuclear energy facilities including USA fleet members are launching a multiyear initiative to safely generate the electricity that the nation uses more efficiently and economically. Named “Delivering the Nuclear Promise: Advancing Safety, Reliability and Economic Performance” the initiative was announced recently by the Nuclear Energy Institute, which is coordinating the multifaceted effort in tandem with member electric utilities, the...
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Final EIS issued for PSEG’s early site permit

November 20th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, have issued the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Early Site Permit (ESP) application from USA fleet member PSEG. The statement concludes environmental impacts would not preclude the NRC from issuing the permit for the site, adjacent to Salem and Hope Creek. The approximately 1,900-page report...
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Susquehanna’s Mjaatvedt named USA Engineering CFAM

November 17th, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
Mark Mjaatvedt, Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC, has been selected to serve as Utilities Service Alliance (USA) Site Representative and Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Engineering. Mark replaces Susquehanna’s Vince Kelly, who recently announced his retirement from Talen Energy. Mark will be dedicated full-time to USA fleet activities and serve as a technical functional area expert....
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Prairie Island completes FLEX building

November 16th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
USA fleet member Prairie Island recently completed the construction of its FLEX Beyond Design Basis Building that houses the FLEX response equipment. The building’s robust design is due to withstand a missile generated from a design basis tornado. It also meets the site’s license design basis (USAR) for extreme high wind, airborne tornado missiles and seismic loading in accordance...
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NRC to hold final hearing on STP Units 3 & 4

November 16th, 2015
Author: Buddy Eller, STP
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding a mandatory hearing this month for final review and approval of the Combined License (COL) for STP Units 3 &4. In the hearing, the Commission will determine whether the staff’s review supports the findings necessary to issue the license. Following the mandatory hearing, the Commission will vote on whether to authorize staff to issue...
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Energy Northwest receives military friendly designation

November 16th, 2015
Author: Anna Markham, Energy Northwest
A message from Mark Reddemann, CEO Energy Northwest Last week Energy Northwest honored those who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. More than 25 percent of Energy Northwest’s workforce has served in the uniformed services and it’s a privilege to work with such a team of professionals who gained their job skills and reinforced core values...
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Susquehanna successfully completes NRC 95001 inspection

November 16th, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Inspection Team concluded its evaluation of Susquehanna Station recently and announced during its exit meeting that the Utilities Service Alliance (USA) member had satisfactorily completed objectives of the 95001 Inspection. As a result, Susquehanna will return to Column 1 of the Regulatory Response Matrix at the end of the fourth quarter, December 2015. Since...
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USA members give a hand at Prairie Island

November 13th, 2015
Author: Alicia Grave, Xcel
Prairie Island recently hosted six industry peers through its partnership with the Utilities Services Alliance fleet shared resources program. Arriving in September from the Columbia, Cooper, Cook and Susquehanna stations, the workers were in familiar territory in the radiation protection, mechanical maintenance and I&C maintenance shops. With sincere appreciation, Prairie Island bid farewell to workers...
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Gebbie named to lead Cook

November 10th, 2015
Author: Dave Lefor, Cook
Joel P. Gebbie has been named senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of USA fleet member American Electric Power’s Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant effective Jan. 1, 2016. Gebbie is currently site vice president at Cook, a dual-unit nuclear site with a total generating capacity of 2,150 megawatts. Gebbie, 52, is replacing Larry Weber, who is retiring after 17 years...
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USA Supplier Fairs draw crowds

October 20th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island & Anna Markham, Energy Northwest
The Utilities Service Alliance hosted supplier fairs recently at fleet members Columbia, Monticello and Prairie Island. Page Content With more than a dozen vendors and a steady flow of employees visiting booths, the supplier fairs provided a unique opportunity for employees to network with industry suppliers and to learn about new and existing products and services available through the USA agreements. “The...
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NRC Chairman, U.S. congressman visit Fermi 2

October 19th, 2015
Author: Stephen Tait, Fermi 2
Stephen Burns, the chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and U.S. Congressman Tim Walberg visited USA fleet member Fermi 2 on October 14, taking a tour of the plant and getting an update on the plant’s Fukushima modifications. Burns and Walberg met with senior leaders at Fermi 2 including with Paul Fessler, the plant’s senior vice president and Chief Nuclear...
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Senior nuclear plant management course participants visit Energy Northwest

October 19th, 2015
Author: Marian Kellett, Energy Northwest
Nine participants of the senior nuclear plant management course visited USA fleet member Columbia Generating Station recently as part of the field activities portion of the course. The intense five-week SNPM course gives senior management participants a running start on augmenting their leadership skills while working with industry mentors who are proven plant managers, site vice presidents and chief nuclear...
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Susquehanna’s industry leading fuel performance on display at Paris conference

October 13th, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
USA fleet member Susquehanna’s industry leading fuel performance was recently recognized at an international nuclear conference hosted by the Societe Francaise d’Energie Nucleaire in Paris, France, where AREVA presented a paper describing the unique composition of Susquehanna’s fuel deposits. The paper, which was accepted by and presented at Global 2015: Nuclear Fuel Cycle for a Low-Carbon Future Conference is titled “Susquehanna...
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Logistics Planning Services honored by Inc. magazine

October 12th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
USA supplier Logistics Planning Services was recently honored by Inc. magazine when it was named to the 2015 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in America. The honors also include further distinction: Logistics Planning Services is one of the 50 highest-growth companies on the Inc. 5000 that happens to be led by a woman. In honor of that...
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Salem welcomes new main power transformers

October 2nd, 2015
Author: Karen Miller, PSEG Nuclear
USA fleet member Salem recently had seven new main power transformers (MPTs) arrive. Three are being prepped for installation during this fall’s Unit 2 refueling outage while three will be installed during the Unit 2 refueling outage next spring. An additional MPT will remain as a spare. In preparation for installation during the Salem S2R21 refueling outage in October, personnel from...
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Congressman Norcross visits PSEG's Salem & Hope Creek

September 24th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
U.S. Congressman Don Norcross visited USA fleet member PSEG Nuclear’s Salem and Hope Creek Generating Stations recently. As part of his visit, Congressman Norcross first toured the Energy & Environmental Resource Center (EERC) with Mike Tuosto, general manager of public affairs. He then met with PSEG Power President Bill Levis for a discussion on energy and nuclear power. Led by Salem...
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STP’s McGalliard named Site Rep/Operations CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Buddy Eller, STP
STP’s Alec McGalliard has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Operations. “I am very excited about serving as the STP USA Site Representative and CFAM for Operations,” said McGalliard. “I started my career at STP in Operations and am looking forward to working with the operations teams at STP...
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Comanche Peak’s Davis named Site Rep/Maintenance CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Mitch Warren, Comanche Peak
Comanche Peak’s Doug Davis has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Maintenance. “I look forward to working with this great team of nuclear professionals and leaders,” said Davis. “I am dedicated to not only helping Comanche Peak and the USA fleet achieve excellence, but learning from each of them...
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Prairie Island’s Adams named Site Rep/Radiation Protection CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
Prairie Island’s Richard Adams has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Radiation Protection. “I am very excited to bring my background to the new position of USA CFAM where I expect I’ll be able to foster team work between the RP programs at each of the sites,” said Adams...
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Monticello’s Jepson named Site Rep/Chemistry CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
Monticello’s Kevin Jepson has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Chemistry. “This is an opportunity to go back to my roots, and my passion for Chemistry,” Jepson said. “I spent over a decade in the Chemistry department at Monticello.” During those years, hydrogen water injection and zinc injection were...
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Susquehanna’s Kelly named Site Rep/Engineering CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
Susquehanna’s Vince Kelly has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Engineering. “I’m excited serve on such an innovative team and to use my broad experience as an engineer and manager to serve the USA fleet,” Kelly said. “At the same time, I’m proud of the confidence USA and Susquehanna...
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Fermi’s Davis named Site Rep/Training CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Stephen Tait, Fermi 2
Fermi’s Jim Davis has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Training. “I’m excited to serve in this new role,” Davis said. “The USA fleet model has shown in the past its ability to improve performance in Training, and with an even more focused effort with this new governance model,...
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Cook’s Ebright named Site Rep/Emergency Response CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Dave Lefor, Cook
Cook’s Randy Ebright has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Emergency Response. "Over the last several years, I have had the opportunity to represent DC Cook as part of the USA Management Council and have seen firsthand the value and benefits of our USA participation,” said Ebright. “I will...
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Salem’s Wagner named Site Rep/Performance Improvement CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
Salem’s Jay Wagner has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Performance Improvement. “I look forward to leading the USA Performance Improvement Core Peer Team, providing governance and oversight that achieves positive results, all the while adding high value for PSEG,” said Wagner. Wagner has worked in nuclear power for...
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Hope Creek’s Canziani named Site Rep/Work Management CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
Hope Creek’s Rich Canziani has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Work Management. “I am excited and honored to have been selected to serve as a member of an experienced team of Nuclear Professionals,” said Canziani. “I’m looking forward to helping the USA Fleet make a step change improvement...
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Columbia’s Ehr named Site Rep/Outage CFAM

September 15th, 2015
Author: Anna Markham, Energy Northwest
Columbia’s Dick Ehr has been named as the USA Site Representative/Corporate Functional Area Manager (CFAM) for Outages. “I’m excited about this opportunity and looking forward to the new role and challenges,” said Ehr. “I have always been energized by my involvement in the USA and BWROG groups and have always wanted to devote more time...
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USA announces new Site Reps/CFAMs

August 31st, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
The Utilities Service Alliance (USA) fleet announced the selection today of ten new USA Site Reps/Corporate Functional Area Managers (CFAMs). Effective January 1, 2016, these new positions will be dedicated full-time to USA fleet activities and serve as a technical functional area expert with a focus on governance and ongoing responsibility for USA activities at...
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Lu De La Garza leaves a legacy at STP

August 17th, 2015
Author: Buddy Eller, STP
With STP’s spring Unit 2 refueling outage -- 2RE17 -- winding down, Lu De La Garza leans back in his chair and reflects on an STP career that has spanned more than three decades. “I am living proof that we can take just about anybody and turn them into a pretty good employee,” jokes De La Garza. “Before I...
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USA supports Columbia with first-of-a-kind evolution

August 17th, 2015
Author: Anna Markham, Energy Northwest
Utilities Service Alliance fleet members rallied to support Columbia Generating Station repair options of a reactor feedwater valve in July. After Columbia’s refueling and maintenance outage, the plant was unable to return to full power due to one of the 24 inch feedwater discharge isolation gate valves remaining closed resulting from a stem-disc separation (Reactor...
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USA SLT holds face-to-face meeting

August 17th, 2015
The USA SLT recently held a face-to-face meeting at Energy Northwest. The attendees gathered for this group photo below.
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Xcel Energy nuclear fleet reaches zero TISA rate

August 3rd, 2015
Author: Jeff Dehn, Xcel
USA fleet member Xcel Energy and its nuclear fleet reached a milestone on July 10, 2015 when the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant accomplished a zero Total Industrial Safety Accident (TISA) rate. Prairie Island accomplished the same feat in April of this year. This places both stations in the top quartile of INPO performance among the U.S. nuclear fleet. “This...
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Shikoku Electric visits Prairie Island

July 31st, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
Senior executive leaders from the Shikoku Electric Power Co, Inc. met with leaders from USA fleet member Xcel Energy’s Nuclear Department and the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant to foster a technical exchange relationship, which has been more than 24 years in the making. Shikoku Electric owns the Ikata Nuclear plant, located in Ikata, Japan, which is also a sister...
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PSEG WIN chapter receives award for public outreach

July 27th, 2015
Author: Grace Hymer, PSEG Nuclear
USA fleet member PSEG Nuclear’s Women In Nuclear (WIN) chapter recently attended the National Conference in Austin, Texas where they received the large chapter Public Outreach Award. This achievement reinforces the chapter's commitment to their community. The WIN National Conference provided perspectives from national authorities on key issues, as well as ample professional development opportunities...
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New USA Director Performance Sustainability

July 22nd, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
Talen Energy’s senior executive and nuclear professional Jeffrey M. Helsel, who currently serves the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) as a Performance Monitoring Leader (PML), has been selected by the Utilities Service Alliance (USA) Board of Directors to serve as its first Director Performance Sustainability. As a result of corporate governance changes announced just weeks ago within the USA organization, the...
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Changes focus on performance improvement, INPO alignment

July 8th, 2015
Author: Stephen Tait, Fermi 2
The Utilities Service Alliance is changing its corporate governance with the aim of improving performance across the fleet and to better align with INPO.    The initiative creates 11 new positions, all of which are focused at moving each plant in the fleet toward excellence. They will specifically focus on cross-functional fleet performance areas such as the INPO index, Equipment Reliability,...
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USA recovery station support

July 8th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
As a part of the new USA Governance and Oversight model, the USA BOD has also authorized the Vice President – Operational Performance to assume a corporate fleet role for stations in recovery.  A recovery plant is designated as any station that has been assigned to the Escalate, Increased Involvement or Special Focus category by INPO.  The Vice President...
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New USA fleet positions

July 8th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
To drive sustained performance excellence throughout the USA fleet, a USA Director - Performance Sustainability (DPS) will be selected by the USA Site Leadership Team (SLT) and Board of Directors. In alignment with the INPO performance monitoring leader (PML), this position will assist in the development and implementation of fleet assistance to stations to address performance trends impacting excellent...
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USA board approves USA governance positions

June 29th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
As previously communicated, the USA board of directors unanimously approved changes recently to the fleet’s Governance, Oversight, Support and Perform (GOSP) model in April of this year. The changes will take effect January 1, 2016. The first phase of the change is underway with the development of job descriptions and governance documents approved at the June board of directors meeting. “The...
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Columbia receives USA Optimizer Award

June 16th, 2015
Author: Anna Markham, Energy Northwest
Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station received USA’s Optimizer Award at the 2015 USA Executive Summit Thursday. During calendar year 2014, Columbia saved more than $9 million through the use of USA’s programs and contracts.This is the first time Energy Northwest received the Optimizer Award. During 2014, the agency achieved $1.5 million in savings through participation...
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USA Suppliers of the Year announced

June 16th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
The votes are in. The 2014 USA Suppliers of the Year are AP Services (Curtiss-Wright), Material Supplier of the Year, and Rolls-Royce, Services Supplier of the Year. The winners were announced last week at USA’s 21st Annual Executive Summit. Suppliers are chosen for this prestigious award by representatives from the twelve USA member utilities. Fleet...
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Comanche Peak HAB Emergency Exercise preliminary results

June 16th, 2015
Author: Mitch Warren, Comanche Peak
USA fleet member Comanche Peak successfully performed the biennial FEMA and NRC evaluated Hostile Based Action emergency exercise recently. The scenario was challenging involving simulated mass casualties, large scale fire, significant equipment damage and a radiological release. Alternate facility activation and integration with the Incident Command Post was demonstrated. The federal, state, and local governments participated. As with any exercise or drill,...
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USA raises money for Operation First Response

June 15th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
Through the combination of corporate donations and a charity casino night held at this year’s USA Executive Summit, more than $20,000 was raised for Operation First Response – Serving Wounded Heroes and Their Families. Operation First Response supports our nation’s Wounded Heroes and their families with personal and financial needs. Services are provided from the...
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USA Executive Summit a success

June 12th, 2015
The Utilities Service Alliance (USA) recently concluded its 21st Annual Nuclear Generator and Supplier Executive Summit in Amelia Island, Florida. Close to 500 conference attendees and their guests from 149 different companies attended this leading industry event. This year’s theme was Simple, Cost-Effective Excellence. Speakers included several chief nuclear officers, the Institute of Nuclear Power...
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Monticello implements SFPI and FLEX orders

June 10th, 2015
Author: Margie Church, Monticello
During its recent refueling outage, USA fleet member Xcel Energy’s Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant completed the final projects required in EA-12-049 Mitigation Strategies for Beyond Design Basis External Events (FLEX) and EA-12-051 Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation (SFPI). The station implemented the NRC’s Orders May 19. The most significant outcome of all the improvements is that...
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Cook wins NEI TIP Maintenance Award

June 4th, 2015
Author: Dave Lefor, Cook
USA’s Cook Nuclear Plant was this year’s winner of the NEI TIP Maintenance Award. Cook Plant pioneered a first-of-a-kind evolution for nuclear industry maintenance with the installation of a 250-ton bridge crane into the turbine building of an operating plant. This is the second 250-ton crane at Cook, and it will support a reduced shutdown...
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Talen Energy Corporation debuts

June 3rd, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
Talen Energy Corporation was established as June 1, as one of the largest independent power producers in the United States with a diverse portfolio of generating assets located primarily in the country's two largest competitive electricity markets. Talen Energy was formed when the competitive power generation business of PPL Corporation was spun off and immediately combined with the competitive generation business...
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Prairie Island takes home first place trophy in local competition

May 15th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
Once again, USA fleet member Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant employees took possession of the first place trophy in this year’s Red Wing YMCA Challenge Games. It is the fourth year in a row the Prairie Island team demonstrated that energy is not just a day job for them; it’s a way of life. On...
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New Mexico governor tours Prairie Island & Monticello with civic and business leaders

May 12th, 2015
Author: Randy Fordice, Xcel
USA fleet members Prairie Island and Monticello hosted the New Mexico Amigos, the official goodwill ambassadors of New Mexico, including Gov. Susana Martinez and civic and business leaders from the state recently. New Mexico is experiencing significant economic and industrial growth, especially in its southeast, and offers Xcel Energy the opportunity to meet the state's...
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Susquehanna FLEX electrical validation demonstration success

May 11th, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
In early May, the FLEX Electrical Deployment Validation - part of the process to prove USA fleet member PPL Susquehanna could respond to an unimaginable disaster the size and scope of Fukushima - and all the work that has been done by a dedicated group of nuclear professionals in the past three years - became real. On that day, Susquehanna...
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Columbia Generating Station sets longest run record

May 11th, 2015
Author: John Dobken, Energy Northwest
USA fleet member Columbia Generating Station set a new record for its longest continuous operational run – 683 days – when operators shut down the reactor for start of the station’s biennial refueling and maintenance outage Saturday, May 9. Columbia achieved what’s known as a “breaker to breaker” run for the first time in its 30-year history, meaning the plant...
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Cook adds video camera to weather buoy

May 6th, 2015
Author: Dave Lefor, Cook
USA fleet member Cook Nuclear Plant has again launched its high-tech weather buoy in Lake Michigan. This year, in addition to making the extensive weather and water data available to the public online, there is also a camera providing still and video clips. The buoy is equipped with a range of high-tech instruments that can transmit air temperature, wind speed...
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USA board approves changes to fleet’s GOSP model

May 5th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
The USA board of directors unanimously approved changes recently to the fleet’s Governance, Oversight, Support and Perform (GOSP) model. The changes will take effect January 1, 2016. “These changes are designed to improve alignment with INPO and provide stronger oversight of improvement activities for the USA fleet and its members,” explained USA Board Chairman Tim Rausch, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer...
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Standardized approach to help USA fleet members

April 22nd, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
The Utilities Services Alliance (USA) Performance Improvement Core Peer Team is taking a leading role to develop an effective, standardized approach to implement the guidance provided in INPO 14-004, Conduct of Performance Improvement. As a coordinated effort, the team is developing a standard, simplified evaluation template that can be used at USA fleet stations. Upon completion, the template will provide...
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USA fleet support helps Cook with plant challenge

April 21st, 2015
Author: Dave Lefor, Cook & Joe Delmar, PSEG
During Cook’s recent refueling outage, a challenge arose with the plant’s circ water valves. Requesting support through a USA fleet jump up call, fellow USA members offered input and feedback. During the call, it was discussed how PSEG Nuclear’s Salem Generating Station had previous operating experience dealing with the same issue of taper pin failures on the valves. A follow up discussion...
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Team Susquehanna responds to On-Line & Refuel Outage Work Management

April 17th, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
T-Week Meeting engagement, work schedules posted early, material availability, personal responsibility for being prepared and staying safe: It adds up to better teamwork. And better teamwork is what helped Work Management improve last year at USA fleet member PPL Susquehanna. In the last quarter of 2014, Team Susquehanna experienced multiple weeks of schedule adherence at...
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Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group tours Prairie Island

April 16th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
The Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant hosted the Nuclear Energy Tribal Work Group (NETWG) for a plant tour and presentation March 31 in conjunction with a meeting held between the group and the U.S. Department of Energy. Members of NETWG received a presentation on the generation of nuclear power, a view of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) pad and...
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Monticello hosts Mississippi ‘low flow’ planning group

April 16th, 2015
Author: Pat Thompson, Monticello
A group of Mississippi River stakeholders couldn’t agree more with Mark Twain’s conclusions. USA fleet member Xcel Energy hosted 35 public and private power generators, federal-state-regional regulatory officials, American Indian community and environmental entities at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant Tuesday, March 24, as part of the Mississippi River System-wide Low-Flow Management Plan (above St. Paul) efforts to improve communications among all those...
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Fermi 2 begins construction on FLEX buildings

April 15th, 2015
Author: Stephen Tait, Fermi 2
Seth Borowski, a member of the Local 2 Bricklayers and Allied Craft workers in Detroit, works on one of Fermi 2’s two FLEX buildings. Fermi 2, the entire Utilities Service Alliance fleet and the commercial nuclear industry, is in the process of implementing new standards to help plants respond to beyond-design basis events. The initiative,...
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USA Cyber Security meets in the Pacific Northwest

April 14th, 2015
Author: Anna Markham, Energy Northwest
The USA Cyber Security Project Team met in Richland, Washington in early April to continue their work on implementing the requirements of Nuclear Energy Institute 08-09, Revision 6, Cyber Security Plan for Nuclear Power Reactors. The team covered many topics during the meeting. The topics included: Cyber Security Event Notification, Regulation Guide 5.83. 2015 USA peer assessment schedule. Current...
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Factors lead to successful Unit 2 TIP replacement at PPL Susquehanna

March 17th, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
The last time USA fleet member PPL Susquehanna changed out Unit 2’s Traversing In-Core Probe (TIP) was in 2002. In 2002, nobody was on Facebook, no one had an iPhone and no one watched a single YouTube video - because none of those things had been invented yet. But for all of our technological advances,...
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Selection process for Suppliers of the Year

March 12th, 2015
Author: Jim Kitchens, USA Supply Chain
The selection process for 2014 USA Suppliers of the Year gets underway this month. Each year members vote for the top USA suppliers in both the Materials and Services categories. These coveted awards are presented at the USA Executive Summit in June and include a Nuclear News advertisement recognizing the accomplishment as well...
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Training conduit for USA & INPO

March 5th, 2015
Author: Stephen Tait, Fermi 2
Being plugged into the activities and decision making at the Institute of Nuclear Operations is important for any plant or fleet. For training within the Utilities Service Alliance, consider Jim Davis your conduit. Davis, training manager at USA fleet member Fermi 2, is the newest member of the Council of the National Academy for Training...
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PSEG’s Joyce to retire; Braun named president & CNO

February 18th, 2015
Author: Joe Delmar, PSEG Nuclear
Tom Joyce, president and chief nuclear officer (CNO) of PSEG Nuclear, has announced his intentions to retire after a 40 year nuclear industry career effective March 31. Joyce spent the past 10 years of his career at PSEG and served in his current role since 2008. “Tom’s leadership and impact on our operations as well...
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STP’s Unit 2 leads the nation in generation and capacity factor

February 13th, 2015
Author: Buddy Eller, STP
In 2014, USA fleet member South Texas Project’s Unit 2 led the U.S. nuclear industry in both generation and capacity factor. Unit 2 safely produced 11.632 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) last year, the highest in site history. The unit also had the highest capacity in the industry at 103.7 percent. Combined, overall site generation was the eighth highest in STP’s commercial...
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USA recognizes Columbia’s Supply Chain Services

February 12th, 2015
Author: Anna Markham, Energy Northwest
Columbia Generating Station’s Supply Chain Services received USA’s Super Saver award at the 2015 USA Supply Chain Winter Conference held late last month. During calendar year 2014, the station saved approximately $7 million by taking advantage of the USA Supply Chain Management program. Historically USA presents the award to the member utility that achieved the best return on investment for the past...
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Fukushima response actions for the USA fleet continues

February 11th, 2015
Author: Randy Ebright, USA
The USA fleet’s efforts to support plant Fukushima response actions have shifted into high gear for 2015, with many plants implementing actions in response to NRC orders, industry commitments and Operating Experience from the 2011 accident in Japan. During 2014, the first domestic nuclear plants completed plant modifications, equipment purchases, installation of Spent Fuel Pool Level instrumentation, NRC FLEX audits, INPO Emergency Response...
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Susquehanna’s Rob Littles earns USA Excellence Award

February 10th, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
PPL Susquehanna’s Rob Littles recently won the Utilities Service Alliance (USA) Excellence Award during its 12th Annual Supply Chain Management (SCM) Winter Conference. Rob, who led PPL Susquehanna’s Procurement Services organization for nearly three years and very recently transitioned from Supply Chain and Nuclear Procurement organization into PPL’s Energy Supply Information Technology (IT) organization, has helped to lead USA’s SCM Team...
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USA fleet 2014 performance summary

February 6th, 2015
Author: Chip Palazzo, Susquehanna
The 2014 Utilities Service Alliance Business Plan Performance Summary was recently published and shared with USA leadership. According to the Executive Summary, this year, USA fleet members were more engaged and more involved as the year progressed, participating in 170 Jump-Up Calls (predominantly in Engineering and Operations functional areas) and 168 Assessments (not including MRM support, mid-cycle assessment support or safety culture assessments). Net economic...
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Xcel Energy names Northard Vice President

January 29th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
Scott Northard was recently named the Vice President of Licensing and Common Services for the Xcel Energy nuclear fleet. “Since taking on the role in an acting position late last summer, Scott has continued to move our fleet in a direction that will help position the nuclear department for long-term success in the Xcel Energy...
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Plona to retire; Fessler named CNO at Fermi 2

January 20th, 2015
Author: Stephen Tait, Fermi 2
Joseph H. Plona, who served as senior vice president and Chief Nuclear Officer at DTE Energy’s Fermi 2, is retiring later this quarter after more than four decades in the industry. His replacement is no stranger to the industry or to Fermi 2, a Utilities Service Alliance fleet member. Paul Fessler, a long-time DTE executive...
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Xcel Energy adopts a ‘One Fleet Focus’ strategic vision

January 16th, 2015
Author: Lisa Kuehl, Prairie Island
Xcel Energy’s Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Tim O’Connor rolled out a strategic vision and business strategy for their nuclear plants: Monticello and Prairie Island. The vision centers on ensuring nuclear as a part of Xcel Energy’s generation portfolio in the long term by becoming industry leaders in strategic business areas, reducing overall costs and maximizing output from...
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USA Supply Chain reorganizes

January 16th, 2015
Author: Kevin Moles, USA
USA Supply Chain has done some reorganizing. The Supply Chain activities are now divided between two people with two sets of complimentary responsibilities. Jim Kitchens, Manager Supply Chain Portfolio Management, will continue to focus on maintaining existing USA contracts, and adding additional value to the USA contract portfolio through the addition of new contracts. Jim...
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Susquehanna tackles Fire Protection Reliability Issue with New Technology

January 15th, 2015
Author: Tim Sweeney, Susquehanna
A ‘Catch 22’ is defined as a “difficult situation for which there is no easy or possible solution.” That is precisely what members of USA fleet member Susquehanna Station’s Fire Protection (FP) System Recovery Team faced when looking for solutions to degraded FP piping in the Circulating Water Pump House (CWPH). The main issue faced by the team? How...
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Columbia Generating Station sets third straight generation record

January 12th, 2015
Author: John Dobken, Energy Northwest
USA fleet member Columbia Generating Station produced more clean, nuclear energy for the Northwest power grid during 2014 than any other year in its 30-year history. Columbia sent nearly 9.5 million megawatt-hours of electricity to the grid, beating the previous calendar year generation record set in 2012 (9.3 million MWhrs). Columbia also set a generation record for a refueling outage year...
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Columbia Generating Station celebrates three decades of clean energy production

January 9th, 2015
Author: John Dobken and Anna Markham, Energy Northwest
Like most days at a nuclear energy plant, if it passes without hoopla or fanfare or excitement, that's probably just fine with most people. Saturday, December 13 marked 30 years since USA fleet member Columbia Generating Station first began commercial operations. Since that December day in 1984, Columbia has generated more than 214 million net megawatt-hours of electricity. Some current team...
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Another Initial License Training Class, another 100% pass rate for Cook

January 8th, 2015
Author: Dave Lefor, Cook
For the fifth straight time, USA fleet member Cook Plant’s Initial License Training Class received a 100% pass rate on the NRC exam -- something all of us can be extremely proud of. It was a point well-noted by Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Larry Weber at a dinner honoring the 16 newly-licensed operators recently. “We’re looking at the future...
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