Thinking on supporting the Nuclear Value Chain
On occasion of our Fourth SAP for Nuclear Infodays next march 24th and 25th (link) I think it is a good occasion to highlight our contribution and commitment to leverage sophisticated technology and solutions during the last decades in order to help the nuclear industry improving efficiency, help ensure safety and reliability and increase visibility into costs. The result of this relationship for more than two decades is that SAP is providing applications to support maintenance activities at nuclear reactors over twelve countries around the world as well as other activities of the nuclear value chain such as Mining, Machinery and Construction, Public Services and Chemicals.
Defining the scope: which are business processes?
As for the picture above, the nuclear industry are oriented to the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). Main challenges are related with the lack of standardization and poor integration between the various process areas this is the departments of complex nuclear power organizations. Up until now, there was no overall standardized concept and architectural plan for generating plants in many organizations and therefore each installation is unique. This approach runs counter to accepted practice in other industries and countries.
The lack of standardization leads to complexity of the internal systems that run nuclear plants and therefore a lack of integration. This fact offers many opportunities to improve performance through greater integration between departments and processes. For example, work management and supply chain systems do not have visibility of critical spare part levels or expected delivery times. Another great area is human resources where the sophistication of the business requires to leverage talent management in order to hire the right talent, transferring skill sets across business units, and developing new skills internally.
The deployment of new technologies enable plants as well to be operated longer and more safely. Asset management systems, with improved techniques in reliability analysis, are providing decision-support data that helps to optimize plant operations without unduly stressing equipment. The challenge is how to leverage technology to streamline the operation of existing facilities and improve the design of new plants.
How do companies support the nuclear value chain using SAP application portfolio?
First example is Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) , this is a large company in Korea which runs several nuclear power plants in their country. They have an engineering division which also builds NPPs across the world. They are using SAP application portfolio for these business processes and have packaged all this functions in a system called DREAMS in order to re-use this content in new constructed nuclear power plants resulting a coverage of the End to End Nuclear Plant Lifecycle:
Second Example is AREVA, the world leader in the nuclear industry. This Company is supporting complex processes for minnng, chemical and fuel management as well as services for Nuclear Power Plants.
Third example are Slovenske Elektrarne (Nuclear Subsidiary of ENEL) and Electrabel GDF Suez, supporting Maintenance activities at the Nuclear Power Plants using SAP Enterprise Asset Management portfolio
Is there any company supporting the full value chain?. Do they use SAP portfolio? Full value chain is supported by a few companies in the world, like Rosatom (Russia) and CNNC (China) and both are SAP customers.
Improving the support to the Nuclear Value Chain: SAP for Nuclear Infodays
As for any specialized and highly sophisticated industry, an executive network of companies with different roles in the value chain (including regulators) and the suppliers (software, services and other technologies) plays a key role in order to understand current and future challenges and discuss on what solutions can be configured and supplied. For this reason we are supporting on yearly basis a meeting where to work together during two days on a series of discussions, case studies and presentations around the nuclear value chain, mainly power generation but also fuel production or nuclear plant commissioning or decommissioning. All this content is previously discussed and prepared among the regular participants at the Network. Participants of this
network are not only nuclear energy companies but research institutions, governmental institutions, service and technology partner companies and other
organizations of the ecosystem.
Outcome of this activity is very rich and, for example, current year one of the companies has decided to host the infodays in order to enable the
attendance of many of their employees. The fact is that beyond of establishing and maintain a two-way communication with our nuclear power customers,
discussion leads to a great enrichment and common understanding of the processes and provide key insights and thought-leadership background for future product enhancements.