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Nuclear Reactor Condenser Replacement

The Value of Learning: Continuous Innovation at the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant Project

VerticalNuclearSITUATION

Quite often projects look a lot different in reality than they do on paper. The consequences can be especially problematic if the project is unique, complex, and large in scale. Nooter Construction routinely encounters such situations and has a highly effective culture to meet and exceed customer expectations which is particularly important in those situations.

APPROACH

The multi-billion dollar upgrade at Florida Power and Light’s Turkey Point Nuclear Plant near Miami illustrates how learning and continuous innovation are essential to project success. Nooter was selected by project contractor Bechtel to remove and replace eight condensers at Turkey Point’s two reactors in one of the largest projects ever at a commercial nuclear plant. But Nooter’s detailed plan that won the project had to be changed almost immediately after the team arrived to begin the job when they discovered the condenser floors could not support equipment they intended to use.

Nooter solved the problem for the first set of condensers by designing a miniature rail system to haul away demolished condenser components without damaging the condenser floor. The solution was judged highly successful during a series of Lessons Learned meetings which took place prior to work on the second identical set of condensers. The Nooter team believed they could work even more efficiently by modifying the rail system and adjusting logistics to replace demolished components more quickly.

OUTCOME

Combined with other essential learnings, the entire project was completed $2 million under budget, extended Nooter’s safety record to 20 million Man-hours without a lost time injury and earned Nooter Bechtel Power’s 2012 Subcontractor of the Year award.

“We have the ability to what-if situations, to look beyond the surface and really involve ourselves in the nuances of that job. We can increase productivity and give customers a vision of what they are looking for in the completed task,” said John Walling, Construction Vice President, Nooter Construction.