Project Management Institute

Project management risk, strategy and structure in the nuclear industry

a historical perspective

In the mid-1970s, the United States government and its citizens demanded that all utility organizations which owned nuclear power plants become more responsible for the construction and operation of these facilities, a demand created from more than twenty years of poor nuclear industry performance, a demand that led to more complex and unpredictable nuclear power plant licensing, designing, building, and managing processes. This article examines the management strategies that utility companies have implemented to more effectively and efficiently design, build, and operate their nuclear power plants. In doing to, it explains the history of nuclear power plant operation in the United States, describing the project management approach utility companies adopted to better manage operational risks and to effectively comply with government regulations. It then details a five-strategy organizational framework for managing large construction projects, a framework developed from the results of a mid-1970s study of larg
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