Every year, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) recognizes the nuclear industry’s leading innovations with its coveted Top Innovative Practice (TIP) Awards. Our Exelon team’s entry has won a TIP Award this year for our Parts Quality Initiative (PQI) program. Representing Exelon BSC Supply are Meghan McQuiston, Senior Manager Nuclear Supply Operations and John Makar, Senior Supply Operations Specialist. Representing Exelon PowerLabs is Scott Danehower, Manager Technical Services. Our representatives will accept the award on behalf of Exelon at the Nuclear Energy Assembly in Atlanta, GA on May 22nd.

In 2005, 43% of the total Exelon fleet capacity factor losses resulted from parts-related quality issues classified as “manufacturing and vendor”. The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) designated cause code AP-913 for “Quality Parts and Services” to categorize consequential equipment challenges based on their impact to a plant’s operations, and to address the high rates of generation loss due to equipment reliability issues. When there is a seemingly inconsequential failure of a critical component, the results can be devastating for the utility, community, and the economy.

We founded the PQI program in 2006 as a preventative safeguard against this problem. Before parts are issued to a plant, we perform pre-receipt inspections and testing of the inbound parts in our testing labs. Only parts that pass the PQI requirements make it to inventory. Parts that are rejected are returned to the customer for replacement under the vendor’s warranty.

Since its inception, PQI has significantly reduced the number of equipment failures that arise as a result of AP-913. We have tested more than 27,000 parts through PQI and prevented over 2,000 (7%) deficient parts from making it to inventory. We also record all PQI data for the fleet in our central database — OneLab. The availability of OneLab data enables Exelon’s nuclear fleet, and the nuclear industry as a whole, to identify key performance indicators and trend reliability issues due to specific parts and/or manufacturers. OneLab is designed to drive improvement in supply chain quality, and ensure the utmost equipment reliability across the nuclear power industry.

We are proud that NEI has chosen PQI for a TIP award. PQI has become a staple of Exelon’s quality program, and a cornerstone solution for the entire industry.