GE Creates Platform to Show Outage Planning and Analytics (OPA) for Nuclear Processes
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and GE Digital introduced Outage Planning and Analytics (OPA), designed to help nuclear plant operators plan, schedule, and execute outages.
Developed by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and GE Digital, Outage Planning, and Analytics (OPA) can be used for evaluating schedule status, tracking activities, estimating impacts, and improving decision-making for nuclear plant operations.
GEH's OPA interface. Image used courtesy of GEH
OPA could potentially save nuclear operators millions of dollars per outage by reducing 10% or more outage duration.
GE and Hitachi Partner on Nuclear Process Control
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy was founded in 2007 and headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina. GE and Hitachi collaborated to establish this global nuclear alliance as a provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services.
This partnership aims to create solutions and offer technological leadership for effectively enhancing the reactor and expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities.
OPA Aims to Minimizes Outage Duration and Costs
Outage Planning and Analytics is a software solution created to maximize the outcome of the entire nuclear refueling outage process, including planning, scheduling, and execution. The experts from GEH and the nuclear sector incorporated 50 more years of outage experience into OPA, combined with the software expertise of GE Digital.
OPA provides data, analytics, and visibility to help the plant operators make decisions with the “best possible” information, eliminating the need for other IT system management. This digital solution fits for replacing existing dashboards, power-points, and spreadsheets on outage process.
Nuclear plant OPA. Image used courtesy of GE Digital [PDF]
According to GEH, OPA helps reduce 10% outage variability with multiple sites with a single standard to bring outliers back to the mean. Over 10,000 outage activities might overwhelm solution teams and lead to errors, so the analytics provided by OPA hopes to identify easily overlooked areas quickly. The virtual outage control center is integrated into an export control (EC) compliant platform.
OPA Drives Cross-Functional Collaboration
Planning outage for refueling and maintenance is complex but a routine part of the operations cycle of nuclear plants. This task could involve hundreds of operators, employees, and contractors to conduct thousands of activities. Outage durations vary significantly, and schedules are subject to change.
Process engineers can use OPA’s planning features to assess outage readiness at the start of the outage planning cycle. This software solution is designed to integrate data from various sources, including:
- Electronic shift operations management solution (eSOMS)
- Enterprise resource management (ERP)
- Enterprise asset management (EAM)
- Computerized maintenance management system (CMMS)
This process can create a comprehensive view of all aspects of an outage program and provide visibility to the team. The scheduling analytics function is useful to create an “optimal” schedule and identify potential schedule risk in advance of an outage.
Nuclear power plant. Image used courtesy of GEH
OPA’s schedule score reports offer analytics for overall schedule health based on 14 indicator cards. The reports include critical path, system, historical comparisons, trending, and other workforce utilization information.
During the execution of outages, OPA dashboards and tools help to monitor task performance, tracking emerging issues, and schedule performance indicators to improve decision-making.
OPA is built on the Predix Platform of GE Digital and hosted in the AWS GovCloud. This subscription service is available to pressurized water reactors (PWRs) and boiling water reactors (BWRs) in the US. GEH plans to expand OPA to other power plant types and industries.