Times are tough in the US nuclear power industry in 2017. Natural gas and renewables are pushing the industry to the limit. Five plants have shut down since 2013, with three more scheduled to close within the next two years. Of the 69 US nuclear plants operating in 2013, nearly 20% will be closed by 2025. Given these headwinds, plants that fail to increase efficiency could soon face similar fates to their shuttering counterparts.
The NEI-led initiative “Delivering the Nuclear Promise (DNP)” is working to breathe life back into the industry. Chiefly, DNP lives on a platform of reducing costs. Labor is one of the largest cost drivers at a nuclear power plant. This is why many of the changes proposed by DNP relate to workforce efficiency.
Given these circumstances, we expect to see a very fluid approach to staffing throughout the industry over the next several years. However, to date, the reductions have been minimal. Average staffing across the industry has continued to stall in 2017, mostly due to the emphasis in cutting costs and improving efficiency promoted by DNP. Referenced with the 1997 peak, the 2017 index of 90.5 is 0.4% less than 2016’s value of 90.8.
You can read more about this topic and much more by downloading the 2017 Goodnight Consulting Staffing Newsletter.