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OPG employee recognized for collaborative R&D project

 OPG employee recognized for collaborative R&D project

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An OPG employee was recognized recently for his part in implementing a collaborative training project between the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Bruce Power and OPG that improves safety and plant performance.

Alex Crichton, Manager of Radiation Training for OPG’s Pickering and Darlington Nuclear stations, received the Technology Transfer Award from EPRI at an awards ceremony on Feb. 5.

Working with Erik Rasmusson, Training Front Line Manager at OPG, and Kevin Bridge, a Training Officer at Bruce Power, Crichton helped develop and implement the Standard Task Evaluation (STE) program. The online testing tool ensures nuclear plant workers at both OPG and Bruce Power possess the right knowledge and skills to do quality work and allows more seamless transferability of workers between the two power generators.

OPG employee Alex Crichton, left, received the Technology Transfer Award from EPRI.
OPG employee Alex Crichton, left, received the Technology Transfer Award from EPRI.

​Presented annually, the EPRI award recognizes industry leaders and innovators who help companies transform research into results and solutions that can improve the efficiency of power plants for the benefit of utility customers. As part of the program, EPRI, a non-profit, independent organization conducting research in the energy sector, is keeping track of the testing database and workers’ transferable credits.

“What we found during this process is that there is a lot of commonality in what we do between Bruce Power and OPG,” said Crichton. “The benefits of this training program is that it reduces training duplication, improves the quality and efficiency of training, enhances plant safety, and allows workers to more easily move between OPG and Bruce Power.”

Workers who support nuclear outages and other plant activities must possess the required knowledge and skills to ensure independent performance of specific tasks. This is vital to maintain safety, but also to ensure quality work and reduce costs. The STE program identifies common industry tasks and develops evaluation tools to make sure workers possess the right knowledge and skills to get the job done safely prior to their arrival to the site.

The STE was fully implemented in 2018 for orange and yellow badge qualification training and to date more than 3,500 individuals have successfully completed the program. This includes a wide range of skilled tradespeople – boilermakers, welders, pipe fitters, iron workers – who are working at OPG and Bruce Power’s nuclear plants.

“This program has allowed us to create a workforce of individuals with transferable credits between the two utilities,” Crichton said. “We are avoiding redundancies, saving money, and improving worker proficiency and plant safety all at once.”