Comprehensive Assessments Maintenance Training Nuclear Excellence Operations Training Performance Improvement Technology Training Understanding Nuclear Power

The Case for Change: INPO Performance Continuum 

The US Nuclear industry has witnessed remarkable improvements in plant reliability and performance over the past four decades, with capacity factors experiencing a significant rise from 55.9% in 1975 to 88.1% by 2000 and reaching a peak of 92.3% in 2015. Since, it has consistently maintained performance within a 1% range. At the 2014 ANS Winter Meeting, Bob Willard, CEO of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO),  introduced a visionary concept: implementing a performance continuum, a proactive, performance-based approach to identify early signs of station performance decline and enable targeted interventions for sustainable high performance.  

Initial Changes: A New Era

In order to materialize the CEO’s vision, INPO introduced the Neural Plant Performance Index (NPPI), a groundbreaking metric accurately predicting plant performance using industry data. Initially complementing Plant Evaluation team ratings, the NPPI highlighted variances between assessment and predictions. Now that the tool evolved, it effectively predicts overall station performance. What’s more is that this breakthrough enabled a performance-based evaluation process, reducing the size of plant evaluation teams. Correspondingly, this laid the foundation for INPO’s recently adopted operating model, the “Performance Continuum”. 

Performance Continuum: Embracing Continuous Monitoring

During the fall of 2021, the Performance Continuum model was implemented, gradually transitioning all US stations and fleets throughout 2022. This innovative model embraced continuous monitoring, eliminating the INPO Plant Evaluation process. The Continuum Leader, a newly established position, serves as the primary point of contact, coordinating activities within the functional areas. An annual Continuum Leader visit is scheduled, aligning with the WANO Peer Review and Crew Performance Evaluations. 

Performance Continuum and Accreditation: A Harmonized Approach

As part of the INPO operating model redesign, strategic integration of training and accreditation-related activities into the Performance Continuum has commenced. Particularly, this ensures compliance with the training requirements defined in 10CFR55 and 10CFR120. This merges performance continuum observations with accreditation-related observations and, moreover, streamlines the evaluation process. 

Key attributes of the new strategy include:   

  • Ongoing training observations by the performance continuum team, replacing the current Accreditation Team Visit process. 
  • Assigning a training point of contact to the performance continuum team, overseeing accreditation-related activities for their assigned utility. 
  • Conducting periodic training observations and program data reviews throughout the six-year accreditation process renewal period, rather than only in the two years before the Accrediting Board. 
  • Implementing training interventions based continuum observations, contributing to station performance metrics. 

To support the INPO operating model and incorporate training and accreditation-related activities in evaluation strategies, roles and responsibilities of Training Point of Contacts (TPOCs), Training Evaluators, Senior Management Representatives (SMRs) and Training Industry Advisors and Peers will require adjustments. 

Future Perspective: Embracing Continuous Improvement

At this point with industry performance reaching record highs, INPO’s adopted model holds immense promise for the US Nuclear industry. This paradigm shift demands continuous monitoring to identify early signs of decline and implement targeted interventions for sustainable high performance. By prioritizing continuous training and skill enhancement, accreditation renewal evolves from a six-year project to a valuable opportunity ensuring operators and technicians possess the knowledge and skills required for safe plant operation and maintenance while driving overall performance improvement. 

For more information about our comprehensive training services, please contact us today at To delve deeper into insightful topics and stay updated on industry trends, explore more of our engaging blog posts.  


Dan Geraghty

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights