Tim Ingram (in back, ninth from the left) at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, with delegates of the Technical Meeting on Economic Considerations of Asset Management for Nuclear Power Plant Operation and Maintenance last month.
With many of the world’s nuclear power plants approaching or exceeding their natural lifespans, and economic forces inhibiting new construction, effective asset management of existing plants offers a viable solution for increasing plant longevity. The growing interest in improving the efficiency of nuclear power and its competitiveness in the electricity market has led to a need for relevant guidance on nuclear asset management.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), headquartered in Vienna, Austria, is the leading organization for global cooperation in the nuclear field. One of its functions is to develop expert guidance on how asset management can support sustainable nuclear power plant operation. Because it reports to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, the organization also aims to deliver on the UN’s overall sustainable development goals.
Last month, the IAEA’s Technical Meeting on Economic Considerations of Asset Management for Nuclear Power Plant Operation and Maintenance called United Nations member states to review and provide feedback on its current guidelines. Among the attendees at the meeting at IAEA’s headquarters was Thornton Tomasetti Senior Associate Tim Ingram, who presented guidance on asset management systems and enablers.
“It was such a privilege to stand in front of UN member states and present guidance that can support climate change initiatives and have a positive impact on the world’s energy markets,” said Tim, who is chair of the Asset Management System Standard mirror committee in the UK (ISO55000).
A systems engineer and asset management specialist, Tim has developed support solutions for all parts of the nuclear cycle, from new build programs to the spent fuel cycle, as well as for other sectors such as defence, oil and gas, research and more. While working on behalf of Office of Nuclear Regulations, he led a review of the relevant good practice in asset management across the UK’s nuclear fleet.
“The current perception is that nuclear is hard to invest in new, because of significant upfront costs and the time required to design, build and commission, which spans a number of political terms. Asset management can be used to build a framework to help make confident decisions on where to place resources in order to get the greatest return in value. The process is auditable and transparent, which allows you to be confident in the decisions. The result is a very reliable, low-carbon energy supply that aligns with the UN’s sustainable development goals.”
The asset management fundamentals that can enable an organization to meet its corporate social responsibility and sustainable development goals. (ISO Technical Committee for Asset Management Systems image.)
The three-day meeting in Vienna allowed for the exchange of ideas, best practices and information regarding member activities. The results of the discussions are now being used to develop IAEA guidance on the economic considerations of asset management for operation and maintenance, with the draft guidance set to be published next year.
“I’m really excited to see where we can take this work,” Tim said. “Within the ISO committee, we are looking to use the UN’s sustainable development guidelines to influence government policy in all sectors. We are creating a new standard to deliver that scope.”
In a webinar on Dec. 4, Tim and other asset management experts will provide an introduction to the 55000 standard series and discuss the recent launch of ISO 55002. The international standard provides guidance for implementing, maintaining and improving an asset management system as well as how to increase value for all stakeholders for a range of physical and non-physical assets. The conversation will be opened up to listeners with a question and answer session.
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