Utilities that utilize carbon-free nuclear energy as part of their energy portfolio are tasked daily with maintaining safe operation whether the plant is generating power or is in a shutdown mode for a planned maintenance outage. Tight schedules, strict federal regulatory requirements and employee safety awareness create a much more strenuous plan to complete tasks as needed.Included in safe operation training programs at U.S. nuclear power facilities is ALARA, an acronym for “As Low As Reasonable Achievable.” ALARA means making every effort to maintain exposures to radiation as far below the dose limits as practical, ensuring an enhanced safety factor already considered to be safe annual doses for workers. Many factors are taken into account by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal nuclear regulator, when analyzing the radiation safety principle, such as state of technology and public health and safety.To help ALARA training, maintenance and planning, utilities today have access to state-of-the-art technology to support ALARA human work planning. Siemens and Microsoft, building on underlying dose rate calculations from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), are working together to help utilities transition to this next generation technology to ensure that the health and safety needs of radiation workers are met. Armed with software from Siemens PLM Software and Microsoft, utility management can make sound decisions based on accurate information while supporting Employee Health and Safety compliance initiatives, such as ALARA, with innovative, simulated 3D environments that are perfect for immersive decision-making.
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