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WESTINGHOUSE VICE PRESIDENT: COOPERATION, COST REDUCTION ESSENTIAL TO NUCLEAR INDUSTRY

 SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Nuclear energy must and can become more competitive with fossil-fueled and cogeneration power plants if it is to continue to play a major role in the United States' energy mix, Nathaniel D. Woodson, vice president of Westinghouse Electric Corporation's (NYSE: WX) Energy Systems Business Unit, said here today.
 Woodson, participating in a panel discussion at the Nuclear Energy Forum, said that cooperative programs such as the Westinghouse "50/20 initiative" are already beginning to drive down nuclear operating and maintenance costs.
 "The 50/20 integrated outage initiative is our vision to reduce the average nuclear plant outage in the United States to 50 days or less by 1995," he said. "Concurrently, average outage costs should drop by 20 percent to $20 million or less."
 As a result of performance-oriented programs like the 50/20 initiative, utilities are already reaping performance and financial benefits. "A decade ago," Woodson said, "Westinghouse- supplied nuclear power plants achieved an average capacity factor of about 65 percent. In cooperation with our utility customers, we've moved the Westinghouse average to 75 percent. By 1995, it should be up to 85 percent."
 In spite of these accomplishments, Woodson warned that the industry must remain steadfast in its effort to reduce operating costs.
 "Utilities are operating in a new competitive environment which puts a premium on power generating sources that consistently provide excellent performance at the lowest cost," he said. "Nuclear power can be one of those sources, which top-performing plants demonstrate consistently. The challenge now is to move the average or below average plants up to the highest standards of performance."
 Woodson pointed out, for example, that some poor-performing plants still have O&M costs that are sometimes double those of the top performers.
 "Clearly we face a challenge," he said. "But it is a challenge that I am confident can be met. To be successful, though, we must tear down the barriers that have stifled productivity. We must examine and then change the way we do things.
 "For example, suppliers must work closely with their customer partners to apply innovative approaches to process improvement, cutting costs primarily by eliminating unnecessary tasks and by cutting the amount of time it takes to do the work that must be done.
 "If we take this approach, we will succeed. And any utility, even those operating a single, isolated nuclear plant, will be able to improve dramatically its performance by combining its resources and needs with supplier partners."
 -0- 11/17/93 R
 /CONTACT: Vaughn Gilbert of Westinghouse, 412-642-5564/
 (WX)


CO: Westinghouse Electric Corporation ST: California, Pennsylvania IN: OIL SU:

OP -- PG001R -- 5515 11/17/93 12:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1993
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