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ScottMadden assisted Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a large nuclear generator, to execute its Security Upgrade Project to comply with the Code of Federal Regulations 10 CFR 73.55 and meet its Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) commitment dates.

TVA’s nuclear fleet consists of three plants: Browns Ferry, Watts Bar, and Sequoyah. TVA embarked on a major project to upgrade the nuclear security systems across the Nuclear Power Group fleet. The effort was designed to address new NRC security requirements. TVA retained ScottMadden to complement existing project leadership to ensure that the project was on a successful path and to provide the support structure to help leadership monitor and oversee project status.

The Challenge

With the NRC commitment date fast-approaching, TVA had to be absolutely certain that all three sites would meet NRC’s schedule requirements. There were two parts: (1) the new rule, 10 CFR 73.55, which involved the access control computer (site access) and the access security system (cameras, microwave fields, door card readers, etc.), and (2) the old rule, which involved underground pathways from the protected area to the owner-controlled area.

ScottMadden was brought in to provide project management expertise with a particular focus on the project organizational structure (roles and responsibilities), project schedule, project status reporting, and project budget.

How We Helped

ScottMadden was hired to facilitate more detailed communications on project status and issue reporting to senior TVA leadership through the creation and maintenance of the Project Management Organization (PMO), which was led by a high-performing TVA project manager.

As part of ScottMadden’s support, TVA standardized the project organization, defined a common baseline schedule, tracked budget performance, and established and ran the PMO. Senior management also requested the design of a detailed unit/unit rate schedule for its fleet to track the installation and testing of new site security system hardware.

ScottMadden performed this work in three steps:

  • Step one included standardizing the organizational structure and reviewing each site’s project organization to identify opportunities for improvement. ScottMadden also recommended adding resources, where appropriate, to ensure the project controls were strong and meeting all reporting requirements.
  • Step two focused on standardizing the schedule. ScottMadden brought the fleet together to develop a common schedule including milestones. The project team also focused on motivating its design-engineering firms and EPC vendors to execute their assigned portions of project scope in a timely manner to minimize downstream impacts on execution. After all parties were onboard with the new milestones and committed delivery dates, ScottMadden worked with TVA fleet and site leadership to develop a detailed unit/unit rate schedule.
  • Third, ScottMadden held fleet alignment meetings to share operational experience and to mitigate any additional project risks. The team also tracked progress against the detailed unit/unit rate schedule through project completion.


TVA succeeded in meeting all NRC commitment dates for all sites—ahead of schedule and under budget. The collaboration spanned many organizations: TVA’s personnel in Computer Engineering, Licensing, Supply Chain, Site Maintenance, Power Services Shop, Security, the Site Security Upgrade project teams, ScottMadden, and outside vendors such as: ARINC, Day & Zimmerman, Sargent & Lundy, Employee Retirement Services (ESI), Lawson Electric, Garnet Electric, and Worley Parsons.

The successful collaboration allowed the fleet to save more than $15 million in costs and to come in ahead of schedule at all three sites. “The successful installation of the final access control computer equipment marked a major milestone in achieving compliance with NRC’s security upgrade requirements,” said Tony Elms, Security Upgrade Project Manager at TVA. “This was achieved because multiple groups came together to ensure each critical step happened on schedule and is a credit to the TVA project team and all the supporting organizations.”

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