An ounce of prevention, a ton of cure

Posted: June 24, 2015 - 3:11pm

Y-12 recently saved time, taxpayer dollars, effort and potential injuries by taking a 72-hour planned simultaneous outage of power, steam and air systems. The weekend outage allowed a small army of Y-12 infrastructure, facilities and utilities workers to make repairs and perform preventative maintenance that will help avert unexpected outages and costly damage to equipment.

During that time, 88 skilled workers completed 137 work orders (mostly multiple tasks) with no reported injuries. The majority of Y-12 employees returning to work Monday morning had no idea the outage had occurred — which also was as planned.

Some savings will be measured through reduced power, water and natural gas usage. However, it’s impossible to estimate the costs saved, injuries prevented and productivity preserved through preventative maintenance and repairs. For example, crews worked on 20 of the plant’s 100-ton, 13.8-kilovolt transformers. If a single large power transformer was to fail, the replacement cost is $1 million and manufacturing/installation time is 8 to 10 months.

Jobs well done
The tasks accomplished list is too lengthy to include, but here's a sampling:

  • Utilities Distribution Systems workers right-sized HVAC systems, reducing electricity, steam and air waste to buildings no longer used.
  • Steam and Condensate workers installed isolation valves enabling work on parts of the system; and also repaired or replaced 50 steam traps, reducing wasted electricity, natural gas and water.
  • Filter crew members exchanged 202 filters in one day.
  • Work on 20 of Y-12's 13.8 kV large power transformers.
  • Found and removed 450 feet of dead-ended abandoned cable.
  • Replacement of two power poles and installation of fiberglass cross-arms three times stronger than wood.
  • Replaced six high pressure sodium lights with LEDs.
  • Air conditioning and refrigeration completed seven jobs.