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News

In keeping with the new USA strategy established at the end of 2016, the USA BOD has established the USA Fleet’s 2019 Focus Areas.

Cyber Security will continue as a Focus Area in 2019. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is performing “Full Implementation” Cyber Security Inspections at plants through 2020. They are performing 18 in 2018, 24 in 2019, and 13 in 2020. During these inspections the regulator is identifying areas for improvement that the Cyber Team will address as a team/industry and incorporate what is learned from each inspection at each of the USA plants. They will also continue to provide USA “Full Implementation” Peer Assessment Support. As part of the team’s other activities, they will continue to provide input to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI)/NRC through the Cyber Security Task Force, they will continue Team Benchmarking at each of the plants, draft and share procedure revisions and other documents, and work together to make sure industry issues identified at USA plants as well as all other nuclear plants are corrected before any subsequent USA plant inspection. PSEG has been part of the Cyber initiative since they departed the alliance at the end of 2016. As of this writing, it is anticipated that they will remain part of the initiative in 2019. Jesse Smith will continue as the Project Manager for the Cyber Team.

Training will also remain a focus area in 2019 but will no longer have a dedicated project lead. In 2018, the team experienced several successes. USA sites had three presentations to the national academy for nuclear training accrediting board — Columbia, Prairie Island, and South Texas Project presented and were all renewed. Also, the sites made an effort to strengthen efforts in meeting criteria associated with objective three. To ensure the Training Managers retain everything they learn as they work through the expected changes the industry will make in 2019, oversight of the Training program will be placed back in the hands of the Training Managers in 2019. After some of the challenges experienced throughout the industry in 2016, USA had used the services of Marios Kafantaris to help navigate the changes. Marios has done a great job of helping us since the second quarter of 2017, and the fleet wants to say a big “thank you” to Marios for his help. The specifics of how Marios’ duties will be split between the Training Mangers will be included in an article in the next issue of Inside USA.

The BOD voted unanimously to add two focus areas in 2019 and leant the services of two very talented individuals to lead the areas. J.R. Trautvetter, from Columbia Station and John Tripoli from Susquehanna will be responsible for initiatives in Maintenance and Plant Status Control in 2019.

Tripoli is an experienced power plant manager with a proven track record of improving productivity, leading diverse teams and solving problems through effective communication. His expertise includes regulatory affairs, licensing and permitting, industrial safety, auditing, performance assessment, quality control, engineering, maintenance, operations, and chemistry. He has successfully interfaced with external regulatory agencies including the NRC, department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Mr. Tripoli holds a Doctor of Law (JD) from Widener University School of Law, an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix, a Master-of-Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University, and a Bachelor-of-Science in Marine Engineering and Nuclear Engineering.

Trautvetter is currently the Maintenance Services Manager at Columbia Nuclear Station and has extensive experience in Regulatory Affairs, Operations (former Shift Manager and CRS), Nuclear Oversight, Maintenance, Training and Engineering. Mr. Trautvetter graduated Magna Cum Laude in Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and held a Senior Reactor Operator license from the NRC. J.R. also has extensive Naval Military Training and experience.


These two gentlemen are great candidates to take the stations forward in the identified areas in 2019. Additional information will be provided about the 2019 initiatives as the final details and assessment standards are determined.