Idox EIM teaming up with NIRMA to support the NEI Nuclear Promise Initiative

NIRMA, the Nuclear Information Records Management Association, is partnering with leading engineering information management company, Idox EIM (McLaren Software) to launch a new benchmarking study. The survey will assess the levels of maturity when leveraging information technology in the design change process, across the US Nuclear industry.

Nuclear Cooling Towers

With the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) embarking on a three year industry initiative, there is a renewed focus among nuclear operators on improving efficiencies and reducing costs. Delivering the Nuclear Promise: Advancing Safety, Reliability and Economic Performanceis a multiyear strategy to transform the industry, seeking to analyze technological and operational changes that could enhance safety and provide greater efficiency. The strategy is also concerned with leveraging technology to ensure widespread adoption of innovative tools and techniques that could reduce costs.

Rebecca Wessman, President at NIRMA, commented: "As every plant already has some degree of automation in managing the design change process, we felt it useful to try and measure the level of maturity to which each plant is performing today. To achieve this, we have identified a series of design change maturity levels to support a self-assessment approach. We are conducting an online survey, in partnership with Idox EIM, of all the nuclear operators and will publish the aggregated findings - without any mention of specific plant operators - at the NIRMA Annual Conference in August. This will allow each nuclear plant to perform a benchmarking assessment on their maturity ranking against the industry as a whole and gain insight into how they measure up with best practice."

Tim Fleet, VP of Business Development with Idox EIM commented: "A key aspect of every nuclear plant is managing the design change process and making sure it is performed in a consistent and repeatable manner. Every plant already does this in order to maintain compliance with its own quality guidelines and federal regulations. What varies, however, is the method to achieve the compliance and the level to which information technology is leveraged as part of the process."

Tim continued: "We have been providing solutions to the nuclear industry for over 20 years and believe there is an opportunity to raise the bar in this area by increasing the level of automation when managing design change, so nuclear plants can increase efficiencies and lower costs. We conducted a benchmarking study with NIRMA back in 2014 and it will be interesting to see how much progress has been made with those outcomes: parallel working, less paper-driven activity and improved communication since then."

He explained: "The results of this new study will help us provide advice on how nuclear plants can advance upwards within the maturity model. It might be a single leap to the current best practice, or just a small incremental step up the maturity ladder but the results will provide us with a picture of the current environment and what more needs to be done to achieve the aims of the NEI Promise."

If you are a nuclear operator and want to see how your design change process measures up, take the survey or contact Idox EIM for vendor neutral advice on how to improve your processes.

 

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About NIRMA

Nuclear Information and Records Management Association (NIRMA) is the nuclear industry's leader in information and records management. Since 1976, NIRMA has been uniquely qualified to provide guidance to commercial and Department of Energy facilities in the areas of quality records programs, regulatory compliance activities, electronic records initiatives, document management technologies, and knowledge management issues.