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The Role of Enterprise Project Performance (EPP) in Advancing the Nuclear Industry in Europe

As the global demand for clean energy sources intensifies, Europe is witnessing a significant shift in its stance towards nuclear energy, now reclassified as a green energy source. There is a demand for more energy to support the electrification of various sectors, such as vehicles. 

Solar and wind energy are currently insufficient, emphasizing the need for nuclear energy. This shift has led to an anticipated increase in investments in nuclear projects. In response, an EU "nuclear alliance" has emerged with countries such as Belgium, Bulgaria, and Croatia. This alliance is dedicated to positioning nuclear power in Europe's energy strategy; safety and waste management; industrialization and sovereignty; skills; and innovation.  

In order to replace Europe's aging nuclear reactors, there is an urgent requirement for new, innovative models, making Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) an attractive option. SMRs are emerging as a promising next-generation solution in the nuclear energy sector. According to the OECD, SMRs could become commercially viable by early 2030, resulting in a larger number of projects, emphasizing the need for effective portfolio management. 

As the reality of the development of new reactors nears under the alliance scope, the nuclear industry is confronted by issues such as project delays and cost overruns, thus underlining the utmost necessity for advanced project management to ensure the construction of nuclear plants within the scheduled time frame and budget. 

In this article, discover the essential tools, such as EPP (Enterprise Project Performance), needed from the beginning of a nuclear project up to its running. 

The need for tracking project tools from the execution project to the application. 

Within the nuclear industry, the stakes are high, and delays or cost overruns can have significant repercussions. Delays in construction and start-up significantly elevate costs due to factors like escalated prices and increased interest during construction. Cost control is achievable through proper planning, construction supervision and timely political decisions. An EPP solution allows better control over expenses and schedules, ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget. 

Project Portfolio management 

Nuclear companies frequently manage multiple construction projects simultaneously, highlighting the importance of robust portfolio management. In the nuclear sector, resource allocation is of utmost importance. Whether it involves human resources, machinery, or finances, each project has its distinct requirements. Having a clear view of a project's performance throughout its lifecycle allows for informed decisions that impact the results. In the context of EPP, portfolio management integrates project control mechanisms, ensuring that projects stay on schedule and within budget. The process of monitoring a portfolio includes collecting data from the ongoing projects and comparing it to the planned funding, budget, and capital plan information. 

A 360 vision of the project performance and execution with Hexagon integration 

The commissioning phase for nuclear plants is extensive, sometimes taking years. EcoSys™, the EPP solution from Hexagon provides a single, configurable platform to house, manage, and track all project data on an enterprise-wide scale. Ecosys can be integrated with other tools used in project execution, such as design tools and construction frameworks. 

When EPP solutions are combined with these tools, stakeholders can effectively analyze project performance, make decisions, and implement corrective actions as needed. This integrated method allows for early risk detection, timely intervention, and enhanced project predictability. 

 The enhanced visibility enabled by EcoSys empowers better decision-making and asset maintenance, provides more time to pivot resources to higher-value projects, and more. 

Hexagon provides a comprehensive suite of tools to support customers throughout the project lifecycle. These tools not only optimize project management but also streamline its execution. Hexagon's range of solutions fosters the digital transformation of project data and documentation such as:  

SDx®, A streamlined single source of truth 

SDx® is a streamlined system that integrates project data into daily workflows. It centralizes information, simplifying decision-making and enhancing team efficiency. As a collaborative platform, SDx ensures clear communication with stakeholders, maximizing visibility and accountability in all project interactions. 

Smart Materials, A comprehensive material and subcontract management solution 

Smart Materials delivers accurate and high-quality data by utilizing specific codes to define commodities and materials. This not only enhances procurement effectiveness but also diminishes risks and reduces project costs. Smart Materials stands as a flagship program for materials management, streamlining workflows in the nuclear sector. 

HxGN EAM for Nuclear asset maintenance 

HxGN EAM is a comprehensive enterprise asset management software that helps organizations extend asset lifecycles and boost productivity. The implementation of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is particularly crucial for new nuclear plants. As these plants are designed with the latest technology and infrastructure, integrating EAM from the onset ensures a streamlined and efficient operational foundation. 

When EAM is combined with Ecosys, organizations gain a holistic solution for physical asset management. This unified platform offers a strategic approach and helps in making informed decisions about maintenance, upgrades, expansions, or replacements of assets, considering performance goals, risk management, and cost constraints. 

Hexagon a trusted partner  

Hexagon has been a reliable partner of nuclear power utilities for many years. We proudly collaborate with partners like Areva, a global leader in nuclear energy. Learn why EcoSys was chosen as the enterprise standard for project controls and EVM due to its comprehensive capabilities, robust interfaces and user-friendliness. Explore the details of the case study here. 

Conclusion 

In the nuclear industry, where the construction of new nuclear reactors requires precision, safety, and efficiency in the process are paramount, a solution like EcoSys can be transformative. Providing a comprehensive view of project portfolios with real-time data and insights, EcoSys ensures that challenges in the nuclear sector are navigated with confidence and effectiveness. When combined with Hexagon's complementary solutions, optimal project execution and maintenance throughout the nuclear plant's entire lifecycle are ensured. Discover our broad range of solutions at the WNE World Nuclear Exhibition from November 28-30, 2023, in Paris, France, at booth L107. More details are available here

About the Author

Jean-Luc Ozoux is currently in charge of EcoSys Business Development at Hexagon, a company that supports its customers in their digital transformation by offering innovative solutions to adopt new technologies applied to the management of large industrial projects. He is an MBA graduate of Paris University in Information Systems and Management. He has been helping organizations implement their Capital Project Management solutions for 30 years. His experience with major project management software, as well as the advice he provides to major companies in France and Europe, allows him to take a critical look at the very rapid evolution of tools and technologies that are transforming the working methods, culture and tools that need to be mastered today.

Profile Photo of Jean Luc Ozoux