Award Honors Arkansas Nuclear One For New Shielding Technology

Mike Kansler Receives Utility Leadership Award; ANO Recognized for Innovation

- Edited By Tom Lamar -

Retired Entergy Nuclear CEO Mike Kansler and employees at Arkansas Nuclear One garnered industry recognition at the 2010 American Nuclear Society Utility Working Conference this week. Kansler, a 30-year industry veteran who served at Entergy for nearly a dozen years, received the Utility Leadership Award. Arkansas Nuclear One was honored with the ANS Meritorious Performance in Operations Award for developing a new type of radiological shielding.ANO

Given only to a prestigious group of industry leaders in recent years, Kansler's achievements in his career - and specifically at Entergy during his rise as president of the second largest nuclear fleet in the United States - earned him this national utility distinction. Kansler led efforts to improve plant performance while decreasing outage times, to implement the Entergy Continuous Improvement program across all sites, and to standardize operations while building fleet culture. All the while, Kansler was a national voice for the nuclear industry, remaining active in local, regional, national and international organizations and initiatives.

"Recognition by our peers is a powerful statement. Mike Kansler has always been a sound voice that advanced our industry in tough times. He is an outstanding leader who shaped Entergy and the industry with a positive, productive and safe approach to operations," remarked Entergy Nuclear President, CEO and Chief Nuclear Officer John Herron. After serving as Kansler's chief operating officer, Herron assumed the helm in November 2009 following Kansler's retirement.

Kansler is the first to note that it is his excellent, hard-working management team and talented employees who are responsible for the accolades in company operational performance.

"My philosophy has always been to learn methods, trade resources and share experiences between the plants to benefit the fleet and the industry overall," Kansler said. "I am honored by this selection and want to encourage my peers to lead - not just within their company - but take action as a nuclear leader that owes our industry a share of their leadership time and talent."

Tungsten shielding innovation earns accolade

ANO drove the development of a novel heat-resistant shielding made of tungsten and iron metal powder immersed in a silicone polymer that attaches itself using imbedded magnets. As a polymer material, this shielding becomes form-fitting with ease and is remarkably effective. The ability to cut shielding with scissors or knives allows for a "field fit" that works exceptionally well around obstructions. Whether using the tungsten (duct) tape to plug small areas or custom cutting a sheet to cover significant areas next to the reactor wall, the ANO innovation offers versatility and radiation protection that is unequaled.

The radiation protection team at ANO then took the innovation a step further in completely new ways by creating the personal shielding tungsten vest.

"It was a natural extension of the tungsten shields developed for surfaces. I wanted a vest to shield a person when we couldn't effectively shield a source of radiation," said team lead Jim Bacquet, Radiation Protection supervisor. Already, the vest has proven to be a safe and cost-effective method to reduce dose.

"When I talked to colleagues around the country, they thought it was a crazy idea," Bacquet admitted. "The more I talked to my peers, the more they liked the idea and agreed with the science of this dose savings."

"In nuclear plants, it is very important that we question and develop new ways to improve safety and radiation protection," Herron added. "I am proud of our ANO staff and commend their innovative, scientifically-sound engineering approach with tungsten, plus the team's tenacity to expand this improvement into a vest. It is a revolutionary solution."

ANS established the Utility Leadership Award in 1994 by the Operations and Power Division to recognize an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and has contributed greatly to the success of the nuclear industry. The Meritorious Performance in Operations Award was established in 1984 to recognize and honor outstanding achievement in the field of nuclear reactor operations and is also administered by the Operations and Power Division of ANS.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and more than 15,000 employees.

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