Inside NIRMA Summer 2021

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Issue # 11, <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

<strong>Inside</strong><br />

Leading the way in Nuclear Information and Records Management<br />

magazine<br />

Visit us at: <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>’s 45th Conference<br />

Remembering the Past, Celebrating the<br />

Present, Enthusiastic about the Future!<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Conference Keynote Speakers<br />

Overcome Microfiche Challenges, nextScan<br />

Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning Are<br />

Changing the Face of Document Digitization, iBridge<br />

Visual Navigation, Integrated Scanning of America/ISAUSA<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>: The Beginning - How <strong>NIRMA</strong> Came to Be, KISMET<br />

Consulting, Inc.

Contents<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

5<br />

7<br />

9<br />

12<br />

Overcome Microfiche Challenges<br />

By Matt Anderson, Vice President of Marketing, nextScan<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Conference Keynote Speakers<br />

Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning Are Changing the Face<br />

of Document Digitization<br />

By Desh Urs, CEO and President, iBridge LLC<br />

Visual Navigation<br />

By Manual Bulwa, Integrated Scanning of America/ISAUSA<br />

14<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>: The Beginning: A How <strong>NIRMA</strong> Came to Be<br />

By Eugene Yang, KISMET Consulting, Inc.<br />

16<br />

18<br />

20<br />

21<br />

22<br />

26<br />

27<br />

Lifetime Member Profile: Meet Cheri Susner, CRM/NS<br />

From the CRM: It’s Time to Take Your Career to the Next Level<br />

By Rick Surber, CRM, IGP<br />

Working in New Ways with Robotic Process Automation<br />

By Bob Larrivee, <strong>NIRMA</strong>’s Director of Technical Programs<br />

ICRM Exam Prep Workshop Series Registration Summary<br />

Chronicles of NIM: A Retrospective on Information Management in Nuclear Power<br />

By Eugene Yang, KISMET Consulting, Inc.<br />

NRC’s Implementation Plan to Comply with M-19-21<br />

By Margie Janney, CRM/NS/FED<br />

On Becoming a Leader<br />

By Lou Rofrano, PDBU Co-Director<br />

2 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>


<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

in every issue<br />




PDBU NEWS—30<br />

RIMBU NEWS—31<br />

M&MBU NEWS—32<br />


Letter from the Editors<br />

We at <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>, value your opinion and are<br />

always looking to improve our magazine. Let us<br />

know what you like and dislike and what you’d<br />

like to see more of. Share your thoughts with our<br />

Communication Team at<br />

DevereauxInc@outlook.com.<br />

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moment to follow us on Twitter and Instagram,<br />

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Thanks for reading. Please keep in touch!<br />

Neal and Sandra Miller<br />

Editors<br />

Editors<br />

Neal and Sandra Miller<br />

DevereauxInc@outlook.com<br />

Advertising<br />

Neal.F.Miller@gmail.com<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Headquarters<br />

Sarah Perkins<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Administrator<br />

245 Sunnyridge Ave., #41<br />

Fairfield, CT 06824<br />

nirma@nirma.org<br />

In addition to our own<br />

articles, <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong><br />

publishes guest articles from<br />

agencies and vendors. Please<br />

be advised that the views and<br />

opinions expressed in these<br />

articles are those of the<br />

authors and do not<br />

necessarily reflect the<br />

opinions of <strong>NIRMA</strong> or its<br />

Board of Directors.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 3

Overcome Microfiche<br />

W<br />

Challenges<br />

By Matt Anderson,<br />

Vice President of Marketing, nextScan<br />

hile fiche is an excellent<br />

medium for long term<br />

storage of documents and<br />

files, retrieving the<br />

contained information can be<br />

challenging. Beyond the difficult<br />

nature of the medium, the three<br />

unique challenges microfiche<br />

presents include the condition of<br />

the microfiche, how the documents<br />

were filmed onto the microfiche,<br />

and how the files should be sorted.<br />

In addition, conversion should<br />

provide assurance that all the<br />

information was<br />

captured. nextScan approaches<br />

these challenges head-on delivering<br />

the fastest and smoothest<br />

microfiche conversion solution.<br />

Is All Microfiche Flat?<br />

Since microfiche is a flat sheet,<br />

it is very stackable and made for<br />

simple storage. In perfect<br />

condition, a stack of microfiche<br />

should be able to be loaded and<br />

scanned automatically. We have<br />

experienced instances that a group<br />

of microfiche will be combined,<br />

with a paperclip or with a rubber<br />

band, to keep them together. Over<br />

months, years, and possibly<br />

decades, the tightness of being held<br />

together will warp the microfiche.<br />

Now, instead of neat, flat pieces of<br />

microfiche, you have microfiche<br />

that may curve from the middle to<br />

the edges or be wrinkled in some<br />

areas. This may require individual<br />

attention and is not ideal for a<br />

quick conversion project.<br />

Imperfections with fiche must<br />

be addressed before being able to<br />

properly convert the microfiche to<br />

a digital format. To keep<br />

microfiche in place, it is placed<br />

between two pieces of glass. One<br />

effective solution that nextScan<br />

employs is to use a heavy piece of<br />

Continued on next page.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 5

Continued from previous page.<br />

glass to hold the microfiche in<br />

place. This will ensure the media is<br />

as flat as possible as it is being<br />

scanned. When converting, make<br />

sure your scanner can handle the<br />

condition of your microfiche.<br />

Microfiche Irregularities<br />

Microfiche created today uses a<br />

machine called an archive writer.<br />

This machine essentially takes a<br />

picture of an open digital file and<br />

records it onto the piece of<br />

exposed film. The microfiche is<br />

then processed using chemicals to<br />

create the visible image on the film.<br />

With so many variables, if one is<br />

not performed properly there is a<br />

chance the produced images could<br />

be in poor quality. Special highdefinition<br />

scanners will be required<br />

to bring the lost information back<br />

to life.<br />

Another issue a microfiche user<br />

may experience is if the files were<br />

not filmed straight, or the images<br />

are skewed on the microfiche. This<br />

happens when the microfilmer<br />

does not line up the documents<br />

correctly. nextScan’s software<br />

automatically recognizes the image<br />

as being crooked and automatically<br />

straightens the image.<br />

Microfilm Archive<br />

Orderliness<br />

One aspect often overlooked in the<br />

microfilm conversion process is<br />

refiling the documents to their<br />

original position in the archive.<br />

Many times, these files are in<br />

sequential order or filed by date.<br />

nextScan’s autoloader on the<br />

FlexScan has been designed to hold<br />

hundreds of microfiche,<br />

automatically move the microfiche<br />

to the scanning area, scan the entire<br />

document, and move the<br />

microfiche to a holding tray. Not<br />

only does this recreate the same<br />

stack of microfiche from where it<br />

started, but it also frees up the<br />

operator for other tasks.<br />

Line Scanning Technology<br />

Finally, the only suitable way to<br />

guarantee a 100% capture rate is<br />

with a line scanner used in all<br />

nextScan equipment. Cameras and<br />

imaging systems utilize different<br />

techniques and components for<br />

capturing images. Two common<br />

methods for capture are line scan<br />

and area scan. Line scanning<br />

technology is best applied to large,<br />

high-resolution and/or high-speed<br />

capture, such as high-speed<br />

microfiche conversion. This<br />

technology allows for movement<br />

of the media during the continuous<br />

capture process, guaranteeing a full<br />

digital copy. Comparatively, the<br />

area scan method relies on the<br />

software to determine each frame,<br />

move to position, stop to capture,<br />

and find the next frame. Not only<br />

is that a longer process, but it does<br />

not guarantee full capture of the<br />

microfiche.<br />

Your archives hold some of the<br />

most important documents. Many<br />

may have been there for decades.<br />

Make sure to use a system designed<br />

to meet the challenges of scanning<br />

microfiche. Whether the media is<br />

flat, curved, skewed, straight,<br />

ordered or not, your scanner<br />

should create an exact digital<br />

replica of your documents. Don’t<br />

leave your conversion project to<br />

chance.<br />

nextScan manufactures a wide<br />

range of scanners designed for the<br />

high-speed conversion of<br />

microfilm, microfiche, and aperture<br />

cards. For more information on<br />

our microfilm conversion scanners,<br />

call us at 208-514-4000 or email us<br />

at sales@nextScan.com.<br />

Register for the<br />

45th Annual <strong>NIRMA</strong><br />

Conference Today.<br />

6 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

<strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>2021</strong> CONFERENCE<br />


David Nelson<br />

currently serves as<br />

the Chief<br />

Information Officer<br />

(CIO) and Chief<br />

Data Officer<br />

(CDO) of the<br />

Nuclear Regulatory<br />

Commission<br />

(NRC). Mr. Nelson<br />

was selected for this<br />

role in 2016 to<br />

oversee the NRC’s<br />

information<br />

technology/<br />

information<br />

management (IT/IM) portfolio, including those IT<br />

systems supporting nuclear reactor safety and nuclear<br />

materials and waste safety. In addition to the IT/IM<br />

portfolio, Mr. Nelson is responsible for the NRC’s<br />

information resource management, enterprise<br />

architecture program, cybersecurity program,<br />

information and records management program,<br />

information collection program, and the agency’s<br />

implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and<br />

the Federal Privacy Act of 1974.<br />

Mr. Nelson previously held several executive roles at<br />

the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS),<br />

including CIO and Director, Office of Enterprise<br />

Information; Director, Office of Information Services;<br />

Director, Office of Enterprise Management; and<br />

Director, Data Analytics and Control Group for the<br />

Center for Program Integrity. Mr. Nelson’s office<br />

managed the CMS’s $2.6 billion IT portfolio, including<br />

the complex ecosystem of applications and trusted data<br />

exchanges supporting Healthcare.gov, the Medicare<br />

claims processing system, and the Medicaid support and<br />

quality reporting systems. Mr. Nelson joined CMS in<br />

2004 as the Director, Division of Call Center Systems,<br />

Office of External Affairs and Beneficiary Services, and<br />

was charged with improving access to information for<br />

40 million Medicare beneficiaries.<br />

Before joining CMS, Mr. Nelson served in a variety<br />

of challenging private sector leadership roles, including<br />

co-founder of two broadband development companies<br />

that provided access to underserved markets in the<br />

United States. Mr. Nelson also served in executive<br />

operations roles both in the United States and abroad<br />

for several leading IT development and<br />

telecommunications companies, and as Vice President<br />

of Operations for a telecommunications firm where he<br />

managed the commissioning of several hundred satellite<br />

earth stations in 50 countries across Europe, Latin<br />

America, and the United States.<br />

Whitney McCollum<br />

is the Vice President,<br />

Assistant General<br />

Counsel for Data<br />

Protection &<br />

Technology at<br />

AECOM, a Fortune<br />

500 company that<br />

designs, builds,<br />

finances and operates<br />

infrastructure assets<br />

for governments,<br />

businesses and<br />

organizations. With<br />

offices in over 100<br />

countries, Whitney is<br />

responsible for AECOM’s global privacy compliance<br />

program, and works with AECOM’s Information<br />

Security and Technology, legal, HR, compliance, and<br />

business teams worldwide on mitigating privacy risk. As<br />

AECOM’s technology counsel, Whitney partners with<br />

business teams globally to protect AECOM’s intellectual<br />

property. Whitney is based in Washington state and is<br />

an alum of the IP litigation teams at Morrison Foerster<br />

and O’Melveny & Myers, is CIPP/US certified and a<br />

member of the U.S. Patent Bar.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 7

Are You Still Just<br />

Scanning Media?<br />

Artificial Intelligence not only enhances digital<br />

conversion…<br />

It is the POWER TO TRANSFORM!<br />

Sentiment<br />

Analysis<br />

Thematic<br />

Modeling<br />

Syntactic or<br />

Structural<br />

Matching<br />

Intelligent<br />

Document<br />

Processing<br />

Text<br />

Segmentation<br />

Relationship<br />

Analysis<br />

Topic Discovery<br />

For more details go to<br />

www.ibridgellc.com/IDP<br />

Information<br />

Extraction<br />


By Desh Urs, CEO &<br />

President, iBridge LLC<br />

Natural Language Processing and Machine<br />

Learning Are Changing the Face of<br />

Document Digitization<br />

T<br />

he operational flexibility<br />

that business process<br />

outsourcing (BPO) offers<br />

has long been a key growth<br />

driver for enterprises. Document<br />

Digitalization has helped accelerate<br />

this growth, and emerging<br />

technologies are pushing it even<br />

further.<br />

At its core, BPO has been a<br />

mechanism for improving cost<br />

efficiency. Enterprises face a<br />

complex landscape of client<br />

requirements, changing<br />

methodologies, and regulatory<br />

mandates. External partners provide<br />

the necessary expertise and<br />

experience to cost efficiently close<br />

operational gaps.<br />

How Do Enterprises<br />

Utilize BPO?<br />

BPO vendors add value by<br />

supplying external resources to<br />

complete mission critical tasks for<br />

the organization. When enterprises<br />

outsource business processes that<br />

are outside their core value, they<br />

earn the ability to dedicate valuable<br />

time and resources towards highimpact<br />

strategic initiatives.<br />

Some of the most commonly<br />

outsourced business processes<br />

include:<br />

• Document Digitalization – 68%<br />

of enterprises outsource their<br />

document, film and fiche<br />

digitalization, indexing and image<br />

enhancements.<br />

• Accounting – 37% of enterprises<br />

outsource accounting processes to<br />

specialty firms.<br />

• IT services – 37% of enterprises<br />

outsource IT services to managed<br />

service providers.<br />

• Digital marketing – 34% of<br />

organizations outsource their<br />

digital marketing processes to<br />

agencies.<br />

• Lead generation – 28% of<br />

companies outsource lead<br />

generation to cut costs.<br />

• Customer service – 24% of<br />

organizations believe outsourcing<br />

customer service gives them<br />

enough time to focus on higherimpact<br />

processes.<br />

Outsourcing to Optimization<br />

Emerging technologies like natural<br />

language processing, artificial<br />

intelligence, robot process<br />

automation (RPA) and cloud<br />

integration are rapidly changing the<br />

traditional cost-arbitrage thinking<br />

that has historically defined BPO.<br />

Vendors that invest in these<br />

technologies are not only able to be<br />

Continued on next page.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 9

Continued from previous page.<br />

more cost effective than internal resources, but these<br />

elements also transform BPO to return optimization<br />

benefits. Thus, making their role even more important<br />

to operational success.<br />

Emerging Technologies and Their Impact on<br />

Document Digitalization<br />

That is why enterprises of all sizes are turning towards<br />

vendors that deploy emerging technologies that<br />

automate the time-consuming manual tasks. Natural<br />

language processing, artificial intelligence, and machine<br />

learning have demonstrated powerful efficiencies in<br />

completing a variety of document conversion functions.<br />

Natural Language Processing<br />

Natural language processing (NLP) is a type of<br />

artificial intelligence that allows computers to read and<br />

identify key words, phases, document context, and<br />

topographic map symbols and fashion thematic<br />

understanding.<br />

NLP delivers a cost-efficient way to automatically<br />

filter and categorize large volumes of content.<br />

NLP algorithms are also behind many other useful and<br />

innovative technologies. These include voice-activated<br />

personal assistants, real-time translation tools, and email<br />

spam filters.<br />

Artificial Intelligence<br />

Artificial intelligence (AI) in digital conversion is a<br />

broad collection of emerging technologies designed to<br />

handle large quantities of unstructured data quickly and<br />

accurately. It achieves this using computational<br />

techniques designed to mimic the way the human brain<br />

processes data through structures called neural<br />

networks.<br />

One of the transformative technologies artificial<br />

intelligence enables is optical character recognition.<br />

Allowing computers to recognize document text and<br />

formatting makes a significant amount of costly and<br />

time-consuming data entry work redundant. Data can be<br />

indexed and accessible the moment an employee<br />

introduces it into the system.<br />

The ability to interpret large quantities of unstructured<br />

data is key to enabling next-generation document<br />

control processes. Instead of painstakingly entering data<br />

into a database manually, artificially intelligent data<br />

repositories can index scanned document images directly<br />

– with no need for file format conversion.<br />

The practical benefit of this approach is minimaltouch,<br />

straight-through processing. Any process that<br />

relies heavily on manual, high-touch processes is a<br />

potential candidate for AI-powered restructuring.<br />

Higher impact operational benefits are achievable<br />

through AI as well. Artificially intelligent support<br />

systems can cost-effectively read through years of<br />

complex documents, land records, and contracts and<br />

store them digitally for ready access.<br />

Machine Learning<br />

Machine learning (ML) is a subset of AI that focuses<br />

on teaching computers to process data without giving<br />

them explicit instructions on how to do so. Machine<br />

learning systems can interpret data without relying on<br />

human intervention influencing the results.<br />

Basic optical character recognition (OCR) systems are<br />

unable to decipher the location of text in icons or<br />

symbols. Digitizing intricate paper documents,<br />

especially land maps and blueprints, which often contain<br />

numerous geometrical figures, complicates the<br />

recognition of the text.<br />

An ML-based system first identifies the objects, icons<br />

or symbols and inherently searches for the text within<br />

these objects. A ML-based workflow prevents the OCR<br />

system from overlooking potentially important<br />

information.<br />

Machine learning enables AI equipped vendors to<br />

automate analytics processes that traditionally come with<br />

steep learning curves and operating costs.<br />

10 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

Optimize Business Processes with Tech-Enabled<br />

Outsourcing<br />

It’s important for executives and leaders to<br />

understand that these new outsourced technologies do<br />

more than digitize documents. They enable your<br />

employees to maximize their productivity by focusing<br />

on the tasks that only humans can do.<br />

This puts greater value on the human element of the<br />

process itself – whether it’s helping a customer solve a<br />

technical problem, processing an insurance claim, or<br />

identifying a malware attack. In each case, tech-enabled<br />

business process outsourcing vendors make it possible<br />

for enterprises to emphasize the value their employees<br />

generate.<br />

Deploying automated solutions to high-volume, lowimpact<br />

processes is key to achieving best-in-class<br />

workflow efficiency throughout the enterprise.<br />

Records managers and administrators who look for<br />

vendors that incorporate these technologies into their<br />

organizations will enable smarter decision-making and<br />

more flexible leadership.<br />

Business process outsourcing vendors that<br />

implement emerging technologies can facilitate this by<br />

making process efficiency their core value.<br />

For an enterprise, whose core value may not include<br />

emerging technologies, it’s a strategy that prioritizes<br />

efficiency, flexibility, and agility.<br />

About iBridge:<br />

iBridge Is a Digital Transformation Company. We help<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> members, manage, and analyze their data to create<br />

meaningful operational control and improved profitability. For<br />

more than a decade, iBridge has successfully distilled complex<br />

information into actionable results.<br />

www.ibridgellc.com<br />

“It is my pleasure to introduce to you our new digitalization<br />

Solutions Account Executive, Suzanne King. Suzanne is based in<br />

Atlanta and brings a decade of digitalization experience to iBridge.”<br />

Desh Urs, CEO and President, iBridge LLC.<br />

Suzanne’s contact information:<br />

Direct: 503.906.2596<br />

Email: Suzanne.king@ibridgellc.com<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 11

By Manuel Bulwa, Integrated Scanning of America<br />

www.isausa.com<br />

m<br />

ost DMS products provide search capabilities<br />

based on a combination of structured index<br />

fields and full text search (FTS). Structured<br />

indexing and full text search are two legs<br />

supporting the proverbial search stool, so we need to<br />

add a third leg: Visual Navigation (VN). Visual<br />

Navigation allows users to refine their search looking at<br />

folder tree structures, bookmarks and thumbnails.<br />

These visual entities convey valuable information and<br />

are captured from covers, folders, staples, clips, divider<br />

tabs, barcoded target sheets, envelopes, microfilm blips,<br />

email attachments, title blocks, headers, footers, logos,<br />

etc.<br />

Visual Navigation markers are small raster images<br />

that can be captured automatically or with the mouse,<br />

drawing rectangles around divider tabs, title blocks,<br />

headings, dividers, etc.<br />

In the example below, visual markers were captured<br />

through mouse rectangles, barcoded sheets on stapled<br />

or clipped pages and automated capture of text<br />

headings. As you navigate through the multiple pages of<br />

a document, the corresponding visual marker will be<br />

highlighted in blue (left pane). Conversely, if you click<br />

on a visual marker, the first page pointed at by that<br />

marker will become visible (top right, blurred to protect<br />

confidentiality), showing any highlighted keywords used<br />

in the full text search (green box, bottom right):<br />

Visual marker images are also snippets that can be<br />

distributed to remote (even off-shore) data entry<br />

operators, volunteers and interns, making human<br />

capture more efficient and less costly.<br />

Besides paper documents and books, visual<br />

navigation proves very helpful in other areas. Examples:<br />

Smart video inventorying: used to reduce costs and<br />

liabilities creating a manifest/inventory of a collection:<br />

An operator wearing smart glasses (shown above)<br />

captures (hands-free) a video of the contents of a box<br />

or drawer. Using his/her hands, the operator simply<br />

makes sure that every label is exposed for a fraction of a<br />

second before exposing the next label or tab. A typical<br />

box or drawer can be captured in two to four minutes,<br />

depending on how packed the folders are, their<br />

orientation and their location.<br />

A legible still frame is extracted via software off the<br />

video for each label. Using Binary Search (a<br />

combination of automation and visual navigation that<br />

relies on responding to Yes/No or Lower/Higher<br />

questions) a user can locate any of 2 n records with zero<br />

indexing cost in less than n clicks. For example, a<br />

collection of over 30,000 documents would require less<br />

than 15 clicks to locate any document or to determine<br />

that it does not exist.<br />

See also: https://youtu.be/9TltKt5HGi0<br />

COM Fiche: Every<br />

fiche sheet has a title<br />

block that is visible as<br />

pdf file names that can<br />

be navigated visually<br />

and/or through windows<br />

search. Double<br />

clicking on a named<br />

PDF file will show all<br />

12 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

An improved variation of this method is based on<br />

defining “hot spots” in the fiche index frame, so clicking<br />

on a coordinate will link straight to the image without<br />

having to use the bookmarks.<br />

frames in that fiche sheet. The last frame of a sheet<br />

(“fiche index frame”) contains the coordinates of the<br />

row and column that will show the starting frame of the<br />

document sought. All you need to do now is to click on<br />

the bookmark matching that coordinate and visually<br />

navigate the document frames:<br />

This makes possible the finding of records:<br />

• without the cost of keying in certain title<br />

block data fields ...<br />

• without the risk of keying or recognition<br />

errors and the cost of subject matter<br />

expertise to decide which ones to<br />

capture.<br />

• adding the convenience of improvising<br />

selection criteria on-the-fly …..<br />

Large Format Drawings and Maps: A drawing set<br />

typically includes one or more sheets. After a quick<br />

search, the few sheets of the selected set can be visually<br />

navigated through a small number of images of the title<br />

blocks (bottom right). This makes possible the finding<br />

of records:<br />

• without the cost of keying in certain title block data<br />

fields such as sheet number, revision number,<br />

section, task, etc.<br />

• without the risk of keying or recognition errors and<br />

the cost of subject matter expertise to decide which<br />

ones to capture.<br />

• adding the convenience of improvising selection<br />

criteria on-the-fly by seeing stamps, signatures,<br />

handwritten annotations, logos, etc.<br />

Microfilm Rolls: If the filming is blipped and that a<br />

catalog or manifest exists naming each blip, then the<br />

entire roll could be contained in a bookmarked PDF<br />

file. The bookmarks can be navigated visually and/or via<br />

text search. Producing separate smaller PDF files per<br />

bookmark is not recommended, as blips are known to<br />

be less than perfect, so document frames may extend<br />

beyond a blip.<br />

In summary, visual navigation provides the third leg<br />

needed to stabilize the search stool. It can also save<br />

money, defer costs, reduce errors and facilitate<br />

progressive indexing as dictated by use and practical<br />

experience.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 13

<strong>NIRMA</strong>: The Beginning<br />

I<br />

t’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s SUPERMAN!<br />

Those stirring words announced the arrival of a<br />

superhero who fought for truth, justice, and the<br />

American Way. But, in the beginning…<br />

On the far-off world of Krypton, its destruction<br />

imminent, a scientist and his wife place their infant son,<br />

Kal-El, in a small spacecraft and send him to Earth.<br />

The spacecraft plows into a farm field upon arrival and<br />

is discovered by an older couple named Kent. They<br />

adopt Kal-El and name him Clark. They (and<br />

eventually the people on Earth) discover that Clark has<br />

superhuman abilities, such as the ability to fly,<br />

incredible strength, and x-ray vision. Clark, aka<br />

Superman, then strives to fight crime and protect Planet<br />

Earth.<br />

I just love origin stories. They set a historical<br />

context for a person, place, or thing. They provide<br />

insight into the whys and fundamental motivations for<br />

what we see today. Typically, from humble beginnings<br />

(Apple started in a garage, HP started in a garage,<br />

grunge rock started in a garage…wait, what’s with<br />

garages?), brands and companies emerged that grew<br />

into multi-billion-dollar behemoths.<br />

Here’s an origin story you probably haven’t heard<br />

much about, and it’s “how <strong>NIRMA</strong> came to be…”<br />



Back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, nuclear energy<br />

was being embraced wholeheartedly by electric utilities<br />

as cost-effective for putting electric power on the grid;<br />

this surge is known as the Great Nuclear Bandwagon<br />

Era. In June 1970, the Atomic Energy Commission<br />

(AEC) issued 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, “Quality<br />

Assurance Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants and Fuel<br />

Reprocessing Plants”. The Commission then issued<br />

Regulatory Guide 1.28, that endorsed the implementing<br />

By Eugene Y. Yang,<br />

Principal Consultant<br />

KISMET Consulting, Inc.<br />

ANSI nuclear standard, N45.2-1971. However, the<br />

guidance was deemed not sufficient to answer the<br />

“how” to implement a QA program, let alone<br />

implement a records management program to address<br />

Criterion XVII. In 1974, ANSI published ANSI<br />

N45.2.9-1974, establishing a standard on the collection<br />

and storage of quality assurance records; the AEC<br />

endorses this standard through Regulatory Guide 1.88.<br />

Finally, in 1975, the creation of the Nuclear Regulatory<br />

Commission is finalized. It is from this regulatory<br />

environment that the Association emerges.<br />


In 1976, a call was put out to the industry (utilities,<br />

A/E’s, NSSS vendors, services consultants, etc.) to 1)<br />

gain further understanding of the ANSI Standard’s<br />

requirements, and 2) provide a forum to share<br />

implementation lessons learned and methods. The<br />

common need was to find solutions for maximizing the<br />

value of the flood of information, while bringing a<br />

sense of order and cost effectiveness. This initial adhoc<br />

meeting was held in Miami, FL, attended by 135<br />

charter members.<br />

The general consensus from this meeting was that<br />

a) the information presented was of high value to the<br />

industry, b) another meeting (and subsequent meetings)<br />

need to occur, and c) the industry needs standards and<br />

guidance in the methods for managing documents and<br />

records. To that end, in 1977, a Steering Committee<br />

was formed; from this committee, the Nuclear Records<br />

Management Association (NRMA) was incorporated in<br />

1978.<br />

NRMA Logo, circa 1978<br />

14 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>


NRMA was challenged from the beginning on<br />

several fronts. First, the Association needed to get<br />

organized, with mission and purpose, and codified into<br />

bylaws. Second, the Association needed to be on the<br />

forefront on anticipating and reviewing proposed rule<br />

changes from the NRC – and providing feedback.<br />

Third, the Association wanted to continue to meet<br />

annually, providing a venue where lessons learned, new<br />

methods, and the use of emergent computer<br />

technologies could be presented and discussed. Finally,<br />

to be in a position to provide guidance for standardizing<br />

methods, committees needed to be formed to carve out<br />

specific areas of work.<br />

Then, the Three Mile Island event occurred.<br />

Though the Association’s overall mission and purpose<br />

didn’t change, many members saw dramatic changes<br />

occur at their plants in accountability and traceability<br />

rigor, and the accessibility and availability of records<br />

when needed. As the political aftermath wended its way<br />

through the general population and Congress, rule<br />

changes were coming fast and furious, many of which<br />

were deemed burdensome to the utilities. NRMA<br />

established a liaison with the Office of Management and<br />

Budget to provide input and feedback on these issues;<br />

interestingly enough, many of the proposed rule changes<br />

never saw the light of day.<br />

The big issues back then were a) how to overcome<br />

the huge volume of paper flooding the workplace and<br />

vaults; b) configuration management issues like drawing<br />

updates and accuracy; c) records retention schedules; d)<br />

the processing and use of microfilm, and e) anticipating<br />

issues concerning plant life extension and plant<br />

decommissioning.<br />

industry. Others felt that the Association needed to<br />

expand its vision; the rapid increase and use of<br />

computer technologies was beginning to blur lines on<br />

“what’s data”, “what’s a record”, as well as the promise<br />

of establishing integrated suites of plant management<br />

applications. In 1985, the vote was taken, and the<br />

Association changed its name to the Nuclear<br />

Information and Records Management Association<br />

(<strong>NIRMA</strong>).<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Logo, circa 1985<br />


And, in 1986, a certain young engineer resigned his<br />

job with a southern utility, where he was part of the IT<br />

staff that supported plant applications for that utility’s<br />

nuclear plants. He went to work at a consulting<br />

engineering firm out of Boston, MA, and thus attended<br />

his first <strong>NIRMA</strong> Symposium in 1987…<br />

Current <strong>NIRMA</strong> Logo<br />

THE “BEGINNING” OF <strong>NIRMA</strong><br />

Ten years after that first ad-hoc meeting, the<br />

Association met with a piece of controversy of its own:<br />

putting the “I” (Information) in the name. Looking<br />

back, it seems obvious that the Association should have<br />

“information management” as part of its mission, but in<br />

this timeframe, it was met with stiff resistance. Many<br />

felt that there was a compelling argument for the<br />

Association to be dedicated to “records”, as there was<br />

the Appendix B basis, and it carved a niche out in the<br />

Eugene has been a member of <strong>NIRMA</strong> for over 34<br />

years. At the time he joined,<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> had only been in existence<br />

for 11 years. He would love to hear<br />

about stories and anecdotes from<br />

others, so please email him at<br />

eugene.yang@kismetconsulting.com.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 15

Lifetime<br />

Member<br />

Profile<br />

Meet Cheri Susner, CRM/NS<br />

“Cheri was on the Board when I was newly elected. I recall her giving each new Board "the talk" about what it meant to be involved<br />

in <strong>NIRMA</strong> and being on the Board, its history, etc. The Lifetimes seemed to have "skin in the game" in all they do for <strong>NIRMA</strong>,<br />

meaning they weren't going to let <strong>NIRMA</strong> decline on their watch, as they say. That is what makes them special and comes out in their<br />

stories and memories.”<br />

Janice Hoerber, <strong>NIRMA</strong> President<br />

Tell us about the locations have you worked at and<br />

positions held during your nuclear career?<br />

In 1983, I started to work for Exelon Generation,<br />

Nuclear Division. I spent 24 years at Braidwood Station<br />

and the remaining time I worked at the Centralized<br />

Training Center and the Nuclear Corporate Office.<br />

After 30 years, I decided to retire and relax; that didn’t<br />

last long because within 6 months I came back as a parttime<br />

Contract Instructor for Inprocessing for<br />

Braidwood, Dresden, and LaSalle Stations. I retired<br />

from the Training Department at Braidwood Station<br />

where I was an INPO Certified Instructor and I<br />

coordinated the General Employee Training for Exelon<br />

Employees and Contractors. Also, I was the First Line<br />

Supervisor Training Coordinator. However, the majority<br />

of my tenure was spent in Records Management/<br />

Document Control at the Station and at Corporate. I<br />

worked up through the ranks from a member of the<br />

Clerical staff to management, and then as the<br />

Department Head for RM/DC. That was called learning<br />

the RM/DC business by fire.<br />

What are your Professional Affiliations and<br />

Education?<br />

• Nuclear Information and Records Management<br />

Association (<strong>NIRMA</strong>)<br />

• Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM),<br />

earning my CRM designation in January 1999 and<br />

my NS designation in July 1999<br />

• Bachelors Degree in Business Management in 2005<br />

• Masters Degree in Adult Education in 2007<br />

When did you join <strong>NIRMA</strong>?<br />

I attended my very first <strong>NIRMA</strong> Symposium (as it was<br />

called in the ‘old’ days) back in 1994 in Milwaukee, WI. I<br />

remember that first time as being overwhelming and an<br />

awesome experience. After that, I didn’t miss a single<br />

conference until 2017 when I fully retired.<br />

What <strong>NIRMA</strong> Leadership positions have you held?<br />

In 1996 I jumped in the deep end and I joined the<br />

Regulations Committee and became the secretary. I was<br />

on the subcommittee that created the original Technical<br />

Guidelines (TGs) for Electronic Records, which was<br />

recommended to the industry by the NRC. In 2001 I<br />

“I have to say that Cheri was my first introduction to Nuclear<br />

Generation in 1984! Cheri and I progressed through the IBEW<br />

bargaining ranks until we were asked to become supervisors and<br />

managers over the Records & Information Management<br />

environment during the many years of working together. During<br />

the early years not only was I her good friend, but I was Cheri's<br />

Supervisor/Manager in Records Management and it was<br />

incredibly apparent to me that this chick had a lot to offer the<br />

world. She is a people person and never attempts to elevate herself<br />

above anyone no matter what position she holds, and boy can she<br />

carry her own when it comes to debating the ins and outs of<br />

records and information management!!! As Cheri's Manager/<br />

Mentor when she became a Supervisor it was time to let this kid<br />

fly and show her stuff. Given the right opportunities (work and<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>), introducing her to the appropriate audience, getting<br />

the needed guidance on the education needs, she flew to the highest<br />

levels in her job and in <strong>NIRMA</strong>!”<br />

Jo Ann Chovan, Chovan Associates<br />

16 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

was elected to<br />

the Board of<br />

Directors<br />

beginning my<br />

term in 2002. I<br />

was proud to<br />

be the first<br />

Female to<br />

serve two<br />

consecutive<br />

years as<br />

President for<br />

the<br />

Association. I<br />

was Vice<br />

President for<br />

four years and<br />

in 2009, my<br />

last year as a<br />

Board Member, I served as the Secretary. 2009 was the<br />

year I received my Lifetime Achievement Recognition,<br />

and that, my friends, is a humbling experience.<br />

As President, we changed the title of the <strong>NIRMA</strong><br />

Symposium to the Nuclear Information Management<br />

Conference. This move was to stress Information<br />

Management but not lose the importance of Records<br />

and Documents. Also, to have <strong>NIRMA</strong> recognized as<br />

the leading authority as a training organization in IM,<br />

RM, and DC.<br />

During that era, <strong>NIRMA</strong> was faced with financial<br />

issues and my goal was to have the Association be<br />

solvent and to create a strong foundation for the future.<br />

Another change that was important to me, as President,<br />

was to have the Board available and approachable to the<br />

Membership. With the Board taking on the planning<br />

and coordination of the Annual Conference, I felt that<br />

Board Meetings should not be held during the<br />

conference and the expectation was that the Board<br />

Members be out interfacing with the membership<br />

during the entire conference.<br />

How did you get started with <strong>NIRMA</strong>?<br />

My boss at the time, Jo Ann Chovan, brought me to<br />

my first conference and set me loose. My second<br />

conference was in 1995, Washington DC, where I was<br />

taken under the wing of Hans Ebner and he directed me<br />

where to go and what to do. He also told me that I need<br />

to get involved so I can grow in my profession; he also<br />

pushed to do a presentation. The third year, 1996 in<br />

Orlando, FL, I gave my first presentation and from<br />

there I got much more involved with <strong>NIRMA</strong>. I was<br />

lucky to have Bruce Evans and Eugene Yang as mentors<br />

and between Jo Ann, Bruce, and Eugene I got pushed<br />

and prodded to expand my comfort zone.<br />

How did being a member of <strong>NIRMA</strong> assist you<br />

with your career?<br />

Being a member of <strong>NIRMA</strong> increased my knowledge<br />

in IM, RM, and DC through the training and mentoring<br />

opportunities that the Conference provided. Also, giving<br />

presentations provided me with experience in public<br />

speaking, which, in turn, provided a level of comfort to<br />

train the Station personnel in RM/DC processes. The<br />

time spent on the Board also improved my Project<br />

Management techniques, due to serving as VP and<br />

responsible for coordinating the annual conference.<br />

Finally, by serving eight (8) years on the Board provided<br />

leadership skills. All of these pieces to my professional<br />

puzzle was priceless.<br />

“When Cheri first joined <strong>NIRMA</strong>, she was pretty shy, to the<br />

point of being very unassertive. It was clear to me, from her<br />

questions and her personal "OE" at Braidwood that she was<br />

smart, experienced, and could hold her own. It drove me crazy<br />

how she was being so "mamby-pamby" on one hand, and then<br />

being so blazingly insightful on the other hand. During the<br />

opening night festivities one year, I pulled her aside and quoted her<br />

the riot act. She needed to cut out the "mamby-pamby" and step<br />

up; she had too much to offer. So, she started to move up the<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> ranks - secretary of a committee, chair of a<br />

subcommittee, chair of a committee, Board Director, and then<br />

President. And look where she is today...retired and doing a<br />

wonderful job making delightful home-made cards while riding in<br />

a Slingshot!”<br />

Eugene Yang, KISMET Consulting<br />

Cheri in her slingshot with her beloved dog, Chewie.<br />

Continued on page 32.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 17

From the CRM<br />

It’s Time to Take Your<br />

Career to the Next Level<br />

I<br />

t's a great time to be in the<br />

Records and Information<br />

Management (RIM) industry.<br />

Advances in technology and an<br />

increase in knowledge workers<br />

worldwide have enabled a more<br />

efficient and prolific environment<br />

for creating records and information.<br />

This progression has increased the<br />

volume of data and information<br />

created annually from 2 zettabytes in<br />

2010 to 59 zettabytes in 2020. And<br />

people are working from everywhere,<br />

from traditional offices to home<br />

offices, to tropical beaches, which is<br />

contributing to this abundance of<br />

information. An organization's<br />

information is its most powerful<br />

asset, and like tangible assets,<br />

information needs management to<br />

function efficiently. Developing the<br />

capacity to properly manage a<br />

growing volume of records and<br />

information being created and used<br />

in diverse locations has never been<br />

more vital.<br />

The premier certification in the<br />

RIM field is the Certified Records<br />

Manager (CRM). It's the top<br />

certification because it accurately<br />

measures competency to perform as<br />

a records manager. But more than<br />

that, it provides a path to becoming a<br />

well-rounded and knowledgeable<br />

records manager capable of solving<br />

the most complex RIM problems. If<br />

that's not enough, it also offers<br />

opportunities to continue RIM<br />

education throughout your career<br />

while providing opportunities to<br />

network and grow professionally.<br />

My Journey<br />

In high school, a practical law<br />

class taught by one of the best<br />

teachers I ever had, Mr. Carlton,<br />

sparked an interest in regulatory<br />

compliance. He caught on to my<br />

enthusiasm and encouraged setting<br />

law school as a long-term goal. After<br />

a pre-law track in undergraduate<br />

school, law school helped me realize<br />

that I prefer collaboration to the<br />

adversarial nature of litigation. I<br />

gravitated towards classes that waded<br />

into complex areas of statutory<br />

interpretation, like environmental<br />

law and tax. I also found that I<br />

loved performing legal research. I<br />

realized that researching and<br />

analyzing difficult areas of law could<br />

be a way to help people avoid fines,<br />

penalties, and litigation through<br />

regulatory compliance.<br />

What I didn't expect is that my<br />

path would lead me to the RIM<br />

industry. After passing the bar and<br />

dabbling in a few contract research<br />

jobs, I found an opportunity to apply<br />

my research and analysis skills. It<br />

called for extensive research of<br />

statutory recordkeeping law and how<br />

it impacts records retention<br />

schedules. I didn't know what a<br />

records retention schedule was at the<br />

time but recognized that this fit well<br />

with my regulatory compliance<br />

background. Joining Zasio allowed<br />

By Rick Surber, CRM, IGP<br />

me to research the laws in nearly<br />

every industry worldwide. It also<br />

opened the door to the RIM field. I<br />

was privileged to learn the ropes<br />

from great mentors like David<br />

Stephens and Kevin Zasio. They<br />

both encouraged and incentivized<br />

hard work, dedication to clients, and<br />

continuing education through<br />

certifications. The first certification<br />

they recommended was the CRM.<br />

Study Tips<br />

The CRM certification is a set of<br />

six exams designed to ensure that<br />

successful candidates are strong, well<br />

-rounded records managers with the<br />

tools and knowledge to tackle the<br />

most complex RIM hurdles. So, the<br />

biggest tip I can give for studying is<br />

to take the time to learn and<br />

understand the material. If you are<br />

interested in a career in RIM,<br />

shortcuts gained by memorizing and<br />

mastering test-taking strategies at the<br />

expense of truly understanding the<br />

material will hurt you in the long run.<br />

I recommend starting with the<br />

exam outline. My study strategy was<br />

to make the outline my own by going<br />

through and adding what I knew<br />

about each concept. That gave me a<br />

good baseline for what I already<br />

knew and helped me understand the<br />

overall scope of the outline. Then as<br />

I read through the recommended<br />

books and acronyms list, I added<br />

what I was learning to my outline.<br />

18 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

When I finished reading, there were<br />

still some areas where I felt like my<br />

outline was weak. So, I researched<br />

those areas online. Where I was still<br />

unsure whether I had an adequate<br />

understanding, I asked my mentor.<br />

The result was a lengthy outline filled<br />

with details that I continued to study<br />

in the weeks leading up to the exams.<br />

My final step was to understand my<br />

weak points and distill my outline<br />

down to a double-sided page of items<br />

per test that were the least intuitive.<br />

For some parts, especially part five,<br />

which covers technology, this was no<br />

small feat.<br />

Another study tip is to answer as<br />

many practice questions as you can<br />

find. The questions aren't designed to<br />

trick you into picking an incorrect<br />

answer. But many have multiple<br />

answers that aren't blatantly<br />

incorrect. Understanding the<br />

concepts helps you realize why there<br />

is a best answer for each question<br />

and how seemingly correct answers<br />

are flawed. Another thing I noticed<br />

is that the test takers use RIM<br />

concepts as the incorrect answers<br />

instead of making things up. So, in<br />

addition to understanding why each<br />

correct answer in a practice test was<br />

correct, I made sure to understand<br />

why the incorrect answers were<br />

incorrect.<br />

One last resource to mention, if<br />

you are looking for an extra boost to<br />

incentivize studying, consider an<br />

exam preparation workshop. With<br />

virtual options now available, they<br />

are more affordable than ever. I was<br />

lucky to sit through an excellent inperson<br />

workshop and made some<br />

professional connections that I still<br />

keep in touch with and consider<br />

friends. The workshop provided an<br />

instructor-led review of the outline<br />

and also gave me access to additional<br />

practice questions. I found it to be<br />

worthwhile. <strong>NIRMA</strong> is again hosting<br />

a Pre-conference ICRM Online<br />

Workshop this year, as they have in<br />

recent years.<br />

Becoming a CRM is<br />

challenging, demanding,<br />

and requires persistence<br />

and determination. But it's<br />

one of those<br />

accomplishments that you<br />

can be proud of ....<br />

Test Time<br />

There are different approaches to<br />

how close together to take each test<br />

and which ones to take first or last. I<br />

decided I wanted to take the one I<br />

felt most comfortable with first,<br />

which ended up being part four.<br />

Parts two and three are also closely<br />

related, and all have the same<br />

recommended reading. I found that<br />

the concepts in parts two through<br />

four overlapped considerably.<br />

Prioritizing these three tests also<br />

provides you with an initial<br />

certification, the Certified Records<br />

Analyst (CRA), which eliminates the<br />

five-year window to complete all<br />

exams. Unless you have a<br />

background in either IT or project<br />

management, I recommend starting<br />

with parts two through four.<br />

Part one on project management<br />

and part five on IT were the most<br />

difficult because they required me to<br />

explore unfamiliar concepts. I<br />

followed the same outline approach<br />

described above, and I feel like the<br />

studying process gave me a solid<br />

foundation in both areas. The great<br />

thing about part six is that there is no<br />

new material to learn. It's all content<br />

from the first five tests, so as long as<br />

that material is still fresh, you just<br />

have to be prepared to explain and<br />

apply the concepts in writing. I<br />

practiced taking part six, timed, and<br />

trying to mimic testing conditions,<br />

which allowed me to stay focused<br />

with a plan of action when it came to<br />

the actual test.<br />

Continuing RIM Education =<br />

Continuing Professional<br />

Development Opportunities<br />

Once you pass the tests, the<br />

CRM requires completing 100<br />

continuing education credits every<br />

five years to maintain good standing.<br />

While I initially worried completing<br />

all these credits would be difficult, I<br />

found this requirement presents<br />

fantastic professional development<br />

opportunities. Basically one credit<br />

equals one hour of traditional<br />

educational opportunities like<br />

attending webinars. But many other<br />

activities also qualify for credits,<br />

including RIM projects at work.<br />

Initiatives like records retention<br />

schedule creation, RIM procedures<br />

drafting, training, and numerous<br />

other tasks spearheaded by records<br />

managers are all included. There are<br />

also options to write articles, present,<br />

and grade tests to earn credits. The<br />

best part is that a lot of these options<br />

are free.<br />

More traditional methods of<br />

gaining credits like attending local<br />

ARMA chapter speakers provide<br />

valuable opportunities to learn while<br />

networking. These also provide<br />

leadership and public speaking<br />

opportunities. Further, attending<br />

conferences like <strong>NIRMA</strong> or ARMA<br />

allow you to knock out big chunks of<br />

credits at a high value.<br />

Becoming a CRM is challenging,<br />

demanding, and requires persistence<br />

and determination. But it's one of<br />

those accomplishments that you can<br />

be proud of and continues to pay<br />

dividends throughout your career. If<br />

you love RIM and you are ready to<br />

take your career to the next level, this<br />

certification should be high on your<br />

list.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 19

I<br />

Working in new ways<br />

with robotic process<br />

automation<br />

have had a great<br />

opportunity to teach and<br />

talk about process<br />

automation within the<br />

Nuclear Records Management<br />

community over the years. I enjoy<br />

engaging in conversations about how<br />

far we have come in streamlining<br />

operations and business processes<br />

through the use of automation<br />

technologies.<br />

Businesses are gaining their<br />

process independence now more<br />

than ever before, due to increased<br />

emphasis on intelligent information<br />

management (IIM) practices and the<br />

drive to digitalize business processes<br />

across the enterprise. The main areas<br />

of focus are typically on the back<br />

office with finance and human<br />

resources taking the lead.<br />

In the Nuclear industry, there is<br />

great opportunity for process<br />

automation with the use of Robotic<br />

Process Automation (RPA) and<br />

Artificial Intelligence (AI). Within<br />

the Nuclear Information and<br />

Records Management sector for<br />

example, RPA and AI allow these<br />

business units to gain their process<br />

independence away from manual<br />

processes to digitally automated<br />

processes.<br />

Robotic Process Automation and<br />

AI are most suitable for teams and<br />

individuals:<br />

• performing structured,<br />

repeatable, tasks.<br />

• undertaking simple, or in some<br />

cases, complex decisions based<br />

on predetermined rules.<br />

• accessing multiple systems to<br />

accomplish a task.<br />

• with a need to search for,<br />

aggregate, or update information.<br />

• performing tasks that are part of<br />

a workflow sequence.<br />

Some RPA candidate examples<br />

include:<br />

• Inbound digital capture<br />

• Data Entry and Validation<br />

• Data Consolidation<br />

• Data and File Manipulation<br />

• Automated Formatting<br />

• Web Scraping<br />

• User Interface Manipulation<br />

(clicks, input fields et al)<br />

• Uploading / Exporting Data<br />

• Downloading / Importing Data<br />

• Message Creation, Data<br />

• Quality Checks<br />

• More….<br />

By Bob Larrivee<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>’s Director of Technical Programs<br />

Nuclear Age Examples<br />

In my conversations with Records<br />

and Information Professionals in the<br />

Nuclear industry, one topic in<br />

particular seems to surface every<br />

time – decommissioning a power<br />

plant. The amount of information<br />

related to the decommissioning<br />

process is significant to say the least,<br />

and critical to maintain properly.<br />

According to TRS 411 from the<br />

International Atomic Energy Agency<br />

(IAEA), the types of documentation<br />

and records collected as part of<br />

decommissioning include design,<br />

construction, and modification data,<br />

and operating, shutdown, and post<br />

shutdown data. What this means is<br />

that all forms of documentation<br />

must be collected, managed and<br />

archived including drawings, X-Rays,<br />

procurement records, process maps,<br />

test reports and much, much more.<br />

This is where RPA and AI can play<br />

a significant role as part of the<br />

capture process. Inbound<br />

information whether via email,<br />

uploading to a specific directory of<br />

storage locations, or manually<br />

converted from physical to digital<br />

form, can be fully or partially<br />

automated to help identify the<br />

information, classify it, and move it<br />

through a process for further action.<br />

The advantage being one of<br />

consistency, repeatability, and<br />

improved defensibility while freeing<br />

up human resources to focus on<br />

more complex activities or exception<br />

processing.<br />

In my view<br />

Process independence in the<br />

nuclear industry is a reality. RPA is<br />

rapidly being sought after and<br />

embraced by many organizations and<br />

business unit. Immediate<br />

opportunity exists to improve and<br />

automate those processes that are<br />

still likely manual, seen as chaotic, or<br />

where activities are repetitive with<br />

little to no deviation.<br />

The key in all of this is to align<br />

RPA with your operational goals,<br />

20 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

focusing on targeted objectives that support the<br />

corporate vision, operational requirements, and<br />

regulatory compliance. If you are considering RPA<br />

because it is the latest technology and you want to be<br />

the leader in your space to use, think again because that<br />

is the wrong way to approach this.<br />

If you are looking at RPA as a way to enhance your<br />

operations, transform your manual processes and even<br />

some existing “automated” processes to a new level that<br />

will help enhance organizational processes and support<br />

your corporate goals, you are on the right path to<br />

gaining process independence.<br />

About the Author<br />

Bob Larrivee is an Independent Analyst and <strong>NIRMA</strong> Board<br />

member. An internationally recognized subject matter expert and<br />

thought leader, Bob has over thirty-five years of experience in the<br />

fields of information and process management. Bob is an avid<br />

techie focusing on the application of advanced technologies to<br />

enhance and automate business operations.<br />


ICRM Exam Prep Workshop Series<br />

Registration Summary Marketing Partner:<br />

Nuclear Information & Records Management Association<br />

Exam Prep Workshop – 4-hour half day –<br />

CRA - Introduction and Parts 2, 3 & 4<br />

Monday, Aug 2, <strong>2021</strong> - 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. eastern<br />

ICRM Exam Preparation: Certified Records Analyst (CRA) –<br />

Overview & Parts 2-4. This 4-hour half day workshop will<br />

cover the introduction to the ICRM Exams, including<br />

qualification overview & detailed overview of the material<br />

covered in Parts 2-4, with 20 sample questions for Parts 2-4<br />

$129 per person<br />

Exam Prep Workshop – 4-hour half day –<br />

CRM - Parts 1, 5 & 6<br />

Tuesday, Aug 3, <strong>2021</strong> – 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. eastern<br />

ICRM Exam Preparation: Certified Records Manager (CRM)<br />

– Overview & Parts 1, 5, & 6. This 4-hour half day<br />

workshop will cover introduction to the ICRM Exams,<br />

including a qualification overview, and detailed overview of<br />

the material covered in Parts 1, 5, & 6 with 20 sample<br />

questions for each part.<br />

$129 per person<br />

Exam Prep Workshop – 4-hour half day –<br />

Part 6 Written Case Study<br />

Wednesday, Aug 4, <strong>2021</strong> – 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. eastern<br />

ICRM Exam Preparation: Certified Records Manager (CRM)<br />

– Part 6 Written Case Study. This 4-hour half day workshop<br />

involves attendees writing one sample case study w/feedback.<br />

$129 per person<br />

Register for all three 4-hour exam prep workshops:<br />

Exam Prep Workshop – 4-hour half day–<br />

CRA - Introduction & Parts 2, 3 & 4<br />

Monday, August 2, <strong>2021</strong> - 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. eastern<br />

Exam Workshop – 4-hour half day – CRM - Parts 1, 5 & 6<br />

Tuesday, August 3, <strong>2021</strong> - 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. eastern<br />

Exam Prep Workshop – 4-hour half day –<br />

Part 6 Written Case Study<br />

Wednesday, August 4, <strong>2021</strong> – 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. eastern<br />

$387 per person<br />

ICRM Post Certification Specialty<br />

Designation Registrations<br />

Tuesday, Aug 3, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Anyone can attend the post certification specialty<br />

presentations without requiring registering for any of the<br />

workshops. The post certification specialty designation exam<br />

prep sessions will be held after the CRM Exam Prep<br />

Workshop.<br />

1-hour Exam Prep Session for Nuclear Specialist<br />

Tuesday, Aug 3, <strong>2021</strong> – 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. eastern<br />

Description: The Nuclear Specialist (NS) designation is an<br />

advanced certification & established around high rigor<br />

requirements of the nuclear industry (governmental &<br />

commercial). Applicable to both CRAs & CRMs working in<br />

the nuclear profession.<br />

$50 per person<br />

1-hour CRM/Fed Specialist Exam Prep Session<br />

Tuesday, Aug 3, <strong>2021</strong> – 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. eastern<br />

Description: The CRM/Federal Specialist is an advanced<br />

certification & applicable to CRMs whose field of<br />

professional practice involves RIM programs of the U.S.<br />

Federal government, whether as a Federal government<br />

employee, uniformed military, vendor, consultant, or<br />

contractor.<br />

$50 per person<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 21

A Retrospective on Information Management<br />

in Nuclear Power<br />

i<br />

am continuing with my multi-part series on the<br />

fundamentals of electronic records in the nuclear<br />

industry. In the last issue, I discussed “what’s a<br />

record”, that electronic records need a man-machine<br />

interface, and ultimately, how an electronic record is structured. In<br />

this issue, I’ll discuss the evolution of electronic records guidance in<br />

the nuclear industry.<br />


On December 6, 1953, President Dwight D.<br />

Eisenhower presented a speech to the United Nations<br />

General Assembly entitled, “Atoms for Peace.” The<br />

speech was part of "Operation Candor", a campaign to<br />

enlighten the American public on the risks and hopes of<br />

a nuclear future. The speech inspired a focus on<br />

peaceful uses of atomic energy. It catalyzed the United<br />

States’ commitment to design, construct, and operate<br />

electric power plants using nuclear reactors. The<br />

"Atoms for Peace" program also created regulations for<br />

the use of nuclear power and through these regulations<br />

stopped other countries from developing weapons while<br />

allowing the technology to be used for positive means.<br />


When it comes to regulations, the nuclear industry is<br />

subject to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations<br />

(10 CFR). Title 10 created the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory<br />

By Eugene Y. Yang,<br />

Principal Consultant<br />

KISMET Consulting, Inc.<br />

Commission (NRC), and is the basis for the NRC’s<br />

regulatory actions. A plant must receive a license to<br />

operate, and as part of that license, it must have a<br />

quality assurance program based on 10 CFR Part 50,<br />

Appendix B, “Quality Assurance Criteria for Nuclear<br />

Power Plants and Fuel Reprocessing Plants”. This<br />

appendix cites 17 criteria for such a program; two of the<br />

criteria of interest to <strong>NIRMA</strong> members are Criterion<br />

VI, “Document Control” and Criterion XVII, “Quality<br />

Assurance Records”.<br />


The industry wanted to have a say on how to<br />

implement Appendix B requirements, so standards<br />

organizations, such as the American National Standards<br />

Institute (ANSI) and the American Society of<br />

Mechanical Engineers (ASME) stepped to the fore.<br />

Standards, such as ANSI N45.2.9, "Requirements for<br />

Collection, Storage, and Maintenance of Quality<br />

Assurance Records for Nuclear Power Plants," and<br />

ASME NQA-1, “Quality Assurance Requirements for<br />

Nuclear Facility Applications, “ were developed.<br />

Through these standards, more specificity was provided<br />

in term of the “what’s” and high-level “how’s”, such as<br />

additional definition of record types and their related<br />

retentions.<br />



To meet the requirements defined by Appendix B<br />

and the industry standards, management systems were<br />

established to properly manage the documents and<br />

records when operating a plant. Up to this point, plants<br />

were processing a lot of paper: design changes, drawing<br />

changes, procedure changes, work order packages, ad<br />

infinitum…and records, with distribution copy locations<br />

throughout a plant. Sure, microfilm reduced the<br />

amount of paper, but the amount of information<br />

continued to grow.<br />

22 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>


Computers entered into the workplace; applications<br />

were being developed that not only reduced the paper<br />

volume further, but also provided a huge benefit when<br />

searching for and retrieving current and historical<br />

information. Electronically storing and retrieving<br />

record content looks good, but does it comply with<br />

Appendix B, the industry standards, and other<br />

commitments? What follows is a treatise on how the<br />

guidance in electronic records evolved:<br />

Generic Letter 88-18 (GL 88-18):<br />

Plant Record Storage on Optical Disks<br />

that had to be met: for example, that the image is<br />

written to two optical disks; the disks are stored<br />

separately from each other (dual storage); and periodic<br />

random inspection is needed of the images on the disk<br />

to verify no degradation.<br />

Bottomline: If you wanted to have electronic records management<br />

for your site, the NRC approved the use as long as you used<br />

optical disks and you demonstrated compliance to the eight criteria.<br />

EPRI/NCIG-10: Guidelines for Quality Records<br />

in Electronic Media for Nuclear Facilities<br />

During the time that GL 88-18 came out, the<br />

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) convened a<br />

Nuclear Construction Issues Group (NCIG-10) to<br />

better understand the growing trend toward storing,<br />

maintaining, and retrieving electronic quality assurance<br />

records. A document was produced (May 1989) that<br />

presented guidelines and supporting information for the<br />

creation, storage, retrieval, control and approval of<br />

quality records in electronic media for nuclear facilities.<br />

Regulatory Information Summary 00-18:<br />

Guidance on Managing Quality Assurance Records<br />

in Electronic Media<br />

Two utilities and an NSSS supplier requested that<br />

the NRC approve the use of optical disk document<br />

imaging systems for storing and retrieving electronic<br />

quality assurance records. GL 88-18 (issued October<br />

1988) informed addressees that the NRC approved the<br />

use of this method when appropriate quality assurance<br />

controls are applied. GL 88-18 cited eight major criteria<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 23

As computer technologies continued to<br />

improve and more nuclear plants looked for<br />

efficiencies opportunities, in the mid-1990’s,<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>’s Regulations Committee made a concerted<br />

effort to provide guidance to the industry. In 1998, four<br />

Technical Guidelines (TGs) were published pertaining<br />

to the management of, authentication, software<br />

application control, and disaster recovery when storing<br />

quality assurance records in electronic format:<br />

• <strong>NIRMA</strong> TG11, Authentication of Records and<br />

Media<br />

• <strong>NIRMA</strong> TG15, Management of Electronic Records<br />

• <strong>NIRMA</strong> TG16, Software Configuration<br />

Management and Quality Assurance<br />

• <strong>NIRMA</strong> TG21, Electronic Records Protection and<br />

Restoration<br />

Key distinctions of these TGs versus GL 88-18<br />

were: addressing authentication; having a management<br />

program; and the option of storing electronic objects<br />

on magnetic disk. The NRC was engaged to review<br />

these TGs as guidance to the industry. In October<br />

2000, the NRC endorsed the use of the TGs to provide,<br />

for those licensees with QA programs, a way to satisfy<br />

the Appendix B requirements for the maintenance of<br />

electronic QA records.<br />

Bottomline: If you wanted to have electronic records management<br />

for your site, the NRC approved the use as long as electronic<br />

records system complied with the RIS and the 4 <strong>NIRMA</strong> TGs.<br />

• <strong>NIRMA</strong> TG16, Software Quality Assurance<br />

Documentation and Records<br />

• <strong>NIRMA</strong> TG21, Required Records Protection,<br />

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuation<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>, in July 2011, requested the NRC to<br />

re-evaluate the RIS in light of these new revisions;<br />

however, the staff at the time declined to take on the<br />

evaluation, citing that there was little or no interest in<br />

the industry for a guidance update.<br />

Position Paper (PP-06) on Alternative Approaches<br />

in the Implementation of the Nuclear Regulatory<br />

Commission Regulatory Issue Summary<br />

(RIS) 00-018<br />

In 2014, the RIMBU committee grappled with the<br />

confusion that arose in the industry on how to<br />

implement RIS 00-18. <strong>NIRMA</strong> hadn’t stood still; the<br />

TGs underwent numerous changes since publication of<br />

the RIS, the most recent revisions of all four in 2011. A<br />

position paper was developed to provide alternative<br />

approaches to address the use of these latest revisions<br />

since the NRC declined to update the RIS. Besides<br />

continuing to use the RIS-based TGs, this paper<br />

discussed two other alternatives: 1) a utility/nuclear<br />

plant can submit a request to the NRC, an evaluation<br />

through the safety evaluation process; if approved, this<br />

(On the <strong>NIRMA</strong> website, to access the RIS and the<br />

related TGs, you will find a folder called “RIS 2000-18<br />

and Endorsed <strong>NIRMA</strong> TGs (1998)” under the<br />

Technical Guidelines section of the Reference<br />

Documents area.)<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> TG Updates and NRC Petitioned<br />

In 2011, <strong>NIRMA</strong>’s Regulations and Information<br />

Management Business Unit (RIMBU) committee<br />

simultaneously updated and harmonized the four RISbased<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> TGs. These updates were extensive and<br />

reflected more current technology trends, such as e-<br />

authentication, e-transmittal, and sustainable file<br />

formats, as well as the elements of an electronic records<br />

program These became:<br />

• <strong>NIRMA</strong> TG11, Authentication of Records and<br />

Media<br />

• <strong>NIRMA</strong> TG15, Management of Electronic Records<br />

24 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

would set a precedent that other utilities/plants could<br />

take advantage of, or 2) insert electronic records<br />

guidance into a subsequent version of NQA-1 (more on<br />

that later).<br />

Duke Energy Safety Evaluation Report Request<br />

In March 2015, Duke Energy Carolinas submitted a<br />

request to the NRC to approve a change to the Quality<br />

Assurance Topical Report (QATR) for its three nuclear<br />

stations. The request was to revise the QATR to<br />

reference the 2011 versions of the TGs. The NRC<br />

found it acceptable that the requirements of 10 CFR 50<br />

Appendix B would still be satisfied through compliance<br />

with the TGs. Therefore, the Duke SER satisfied one<br />

of the alternatives cited in the PP06 position paper.<br />

Bottomline: If you want to have electronic records management for<br />

your site, the NRC approves the use as long as your electronic<br />

records comply with these 2011 versions of the TGs.<br />

[On the <strong>NIRMA</strong> website, for these TGs, you will<br />

find a folder called “NRC-SER Endorsed <strong>NIRMA</strong> TGs<br />

(2011)” under the Technical Guidelines section of the<br />

Reference Documents area.]<br />

Regulatory Guide 1.28, Revision 5<br />

Quality Assurance Program Criteria<br />

(Design and Construction)<br />

In October 2017, the NRC issued Revision 5 of<br />

Regulatory Guide 1.28. Prior to that, in Revision 4, the<br />

NRC stated that, if electronic QA records were being<br />

stored and managed, its position on electronic records<br />

was based on Generic Letter 88-18 and RIS 2000-18<br />

that references the 1998 <strong>NIRMA</strong> guidelines (TG-11, TG<br />

-15, TG-16, TG-21). In Revision 5, the NRC stated:<br />

“For the management of electronic records,<br />

appropriate controls on quality assurance include the<br />

following:<br />

(a) No deletion or modification of records unless<br />

authorized pursuant to the record retention rule<br />

(b) Redundancy (system backup, dual storage, etc.) is<br />

provided<br />

(c) Legibility is required of each record<br />

(d) Records media are properly maintained<br />

(e) Inspections to ensure no degradation of records<br />

(f) Records are acceptably converted into any new<br />

system before the old system is taken out of<br />

service<br />

The Nuclear Information and Records Management<br />

Association (<strong>NIRMA</strong>) technical guides (TGs), as<br />

listed…, provide guidance to establish the<br />

appropriate quality controls that incorporates the<br />

implementation of enterprise content management<br />

systems, web-based technologies, and higher capacity<br />

LAN/WAN networks. The NRC approves for use<br />

the 2011 versions of the <strong>NIRMA</strong> TGs.”<br />

Bottomline: The NRC, in Revision 5, essentially leveraged its<br />

position stated in the Duke SER and approves the use of the<br />

2011 <strong>NIRMA</strong> TGs.<br />

American Society of Mechanical Engineers:<br />

Quality Assurance Requirements for<br />

Nuclear Facility Applications<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> members, in 2015, began to participate in<br />

the Programs Management Process (PMP)<br />

Subcommittee of NQA-1. It was surmised that the<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> TG content is very extensive, but wordy, so<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> TG (2011) requirements were reduced or<br />

summarized to fit the ASME NQA-1 format and scope.<br />

The advantages for the industry are that the<br />

manufacturers can use these changes very quickly; NSSS<br />

vendors and new build facilities can adjust, as needed.<br />

ASME NQA-1 is the “go-forward” strategy for industry<br />

and NRC review. It will not be tied to any specific TG<br />

version, so the standard can adjust as technology<br />

changes. From a <strong>NIRMA</strong> perspective, there will be<br />

many ASME interpretations, of which answers can then<br />

be sought in the full <strong>NIRMA</strong> TGs.<br />

Bottomline: The electronic records requirements are published as<br />

part of ASME NQA-1-2017. (Caution: You have to be<br />

committed to/and use this standard/year to take advantage of<br />

this.)<br />

Whew! Thanks for hanging in there with me. It’s<br />

been quite a ride in guidance space for over 30+ years,<br />

and <strong>NIRMA</strong> has been in the thick of it! In future<br />

columns, I intend to continue with addressing the other<br />

aspects of nuclear electronic records, such as<br />

authentication, sustainability, disaster planning and<br />

recovery, and more! Stay tuned!<br />

Eugene has been a member of <strong>NIRMA</strong> for over<br />

34 years. At the time he joined, <strong>NIRMA</strong> had<br />

only been in existence for 11 years. He would love<br />

to hear about stories and anecdotes from others, so<br />

please email him at eugene.yang@kismetconsulting.com.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 25

NRC’s ImplemeNtatIoN<br />

Plan to Comply with<br />

M-19-21<br />

By Margie Janney, CRM/NS/FED<br />

t<br />

he Office of Management<br />

and Budget (OMB) and<br />

the National Archives and<br />

Records Administration<br />

(NARA) jointly issued M‐19‐21,<br />

“Transition to Electronic Records,”<br />

on June 28, 2019. The purpose of<br />

the directive is to guide and support<br />

Federal agencies’ transition to<br />

electronic records for increased<br />

efficiency, accuracy, and improved<br />

records storage. M‐19‐21 establishes<br />

four targets with nine requirements.<br />

Thus far, the Nuclear Regulatory<br />

Commission (NRC) has met seven<br />

of the nine NARA requirements:<br />

• Managing permanent electronic<br />

records (by December 2019);<br />

• Designating a NARA-certified<br />

Agency Records Officer (ARO);<br />

• Designating a Senior Agency<br />

Official for Records<br />

Management (SAORM);<br />

• Informing agency personnel of<br />

records responsibilities;<br />

• Ensuring agency records are<br />

covered by NARA-approved<br />

records schedules;<br />

• Ensuring that agency records<br />

schedules are updated as<br />

business processes transition to<br />

electronic records management<br />

(ERM); and<br />

• Closing agency-operated or<br />

commercial records storage<br />

facilities and transferring<br />

inactive, temporary records to<br />

NARA-operated Federal<br />

Records Centers (FRCs);<br />

The staff is actively addressing<br />

the two remaining M‐19‐21<br />

requirements:<br />

• Managing permanent electronic<br />

records with appropriate<br />

metadata (to/from and date/<br />

time) (by December 2022); and<br />

• Managing temporary electronic<br />

records with appropriate<br />

metadata (by December 2022).<br />

The staff developed a strategy,<br />

based on five actions, to address the<br />

requirements of M‐19‐21:<br />

• Assess analog records for<br />

possible future digitization;<br />

• Transfer permanent and<br />

temporary analog records to<br />

FRCs;<br />

• Digitize prioritized analog<br />

permanent and temporary<br />

records, as appropriate;<br />

• Ensure that Federal records are<br />

created, retained, and managed<br />

in electronic formats, with<br />

appropriate metadata; and<br />

• Develop a Communication Plan<br />

and guidance.<br />

The staff is implementing the<br />

five remaining approaches to comply<br />

with these requirements. We believe<br />

we will meet the goal laid out in<br />

M-19-21 to transition the NRC’s<br />

recordkeeping to a fully electronic<br />

environment that complies with all<br />

records management laws and<br />

regulations.<br />

26 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>


By Lou Rofrano<br />

Professional Development Business Unit Co-Director<br />

R<br />

ecently, some members of<br />

the <strong>NIRMA</strong> team were<br />

discussing growing the<br />

organization and<br />

encouraging participation at multiple<br />

levels. I have been fortunate that as<br />

a supplier/vendor, the <strong>NIRMA</strong> team<br />

has been able to find my skills and<br />

experience helpful. It has allowed<br />

me to contribute in a manner I did<br />

not expect when I first started<br />

attending the conferences. Since I<br />

am not a Records Manager, I have<br />

relied on many <strong>NIRMA</strong> members to<br />

help me understand priorities and<br />

developmental needs. It has been<br />

amazing from my perspective.<br />

This year has extra meaning as it<br />

represents the 45 th Anniversary of<br />

the <strong>NIRMA</strong> Conference. We know<br />

we are hoping for a great turnout of<br />

current and past members, some of<br />

which most would consider legends<br />

in the organization. So the question<br />

to be asked is how did some of these<br />

individuals become legends? How<br />

will the organization develop and<br />

create individuals to step into<br />

leadership roles going forward? We<br />

have an amazing group of leaders on<br />

the current board and will have great<br />

candidates going forward. That<br />

being said, the first job of a leader is<br />

to inspire excellence and the second<br />

is to guarantee that a team is<br />

ensuring continued excellence<br />

through leadership development.<br />

Now is the time to ask the question,<br />

how many members would be<br />

interested in a leadership role down<br />

the road?<br />

People often ask how do I<br />

become a leader? Honestly, there are<br />

truly no magic answers, just solid<br />

principles and action to create a<br />

leadership opportunity for yourself.<br />

Here are some things to consider.<br />

• Be Motivated: If you look at<br />

events and elements of the<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> organization and say to<br />

yourself that something could be<br />

improved or augmented as<br />

yourself, what would you do<br />

given the chance?<br />

• Be Willing: Many people see<br />

the need for change and<br />

evolution but are not willing to<br />

get involved or do not have the<br />

time/bandwidth to participate.<br />

Being willing is a key element of<br />

becoming a leader.<br />

• Be Curious: In the case of<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> (and other<br />

organizations as well) there are<br />

usually multiple areas that need<br />

participation and leadership.<br />

Within <strong>NIRMA</strong> there are several<br />

Business Units. If you want to<br />

grow as a leader, you should<br />

know what each Business Unit<br />

does and ask yourself if you<br />

could make a contribution. You<br />

must be curious.<br />

• Broaden Your Range: Be<br />

willing to stretch your current<br />

areas of expertise and gain<br />

experience in things that depart<br />

from your current role. Just<br />

because you are not a marketing<br />

person does not mean you can’t<br />

have ownership in that area.<br />

• Raise Your Hand: If you want<br />

to lead or contribute, you must<br />

raise your hand and let current<br />

leaders know you want to<br />

participate or lead at a greater<br />

level. Current leaders may see<br />

your talent and wonder why you<br />

aren’t doing more. If you don’t<br />

pursue leadership, it will not<br />

happen on its own.<br />

• Be Great: To elevate to<br />

leadership, excel at your current<br />

level and then reach for even<br />

more responsibility. Being great<br />

does not mean being error-free,<br />

it means achieving your goals<br />

with vision and hard work.<br />

• Throw Your Hat in the Ring:<br />

When we try for a leadership<br />

role, sometimes we win and<br />

sometimes we lose. When you<br />

run for office, apply for a job, or<br />

seek a promotion, we must be<br />

prepared to either win or lose.<br />

Don’t let fear get in the way.<br />

Even if you lose, people notice<br />

that you want to grow and make<br />

things better.<br />

Finally, the greatest leaders I<br />

have known personally are dedicated<br />

to making others and teams better<br />

than their current state. They<br />

understand that both recognition<br />

and legacies are best created through<br />

contribution and elevation of others.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 27

T<br />

A MESSAGE From the<br />

his is such a special year as<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> celebrates 45 years<br />

of providing leading<br />

industry guidance and peer<br />

networking relationships that span<br />

decades! My first <strong>NIRMA</strong><br />

conference in 1997 introduced me to<br />

all of it. I saw the value and wealth<br />

of knowledge that <strong>NIRMA</strong><br />

delivered. I was not your typical<br />

attendee, instead coming from the<br />

IT side of my nuclear facility, but I<br />

was welcomed and encouraged to<br />

participate. I listened and I learned.<br />

Looking back, I heard many of the<br />

great legacy names of <strong>NIRMA</strong><br />

presenting and leading the way to the<br />

future for all of us in a nuclearrelated<br />

career. In turn, my company<br />

implemented technology and<br />

solutions over the years that were<br />

grounded in the <strong>NIRMA</strong> Technical<br />

Guidelines (TGs) and the ANSI/<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Standard CM 1.0 for<br />

Configuration Management.<br />

I found my trip report from my<br />

first <strong>NIRMA</strong> conference. Some<br />

topics are still relevant today and<br />

unresolved. Here is a snippet about<br />

one of the 1997 presentations:<br />

Organizational Memory Effects<br />

on Productivity<br />

"This session was quite<br />

interesting as it was presented that<br />

we should not try to justify our<br />

investment in information<br />

management systems by savings in<br />

manpower, but rather by gains in<br />

President<br />

Janice Hoerber<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Celebrates its Past, Present, and Future!<br />

preserving organizational memory.<br />

Organizational memory was defined<br />

as the means by which knowledge from the<br />

past is brought to bear on present activities,<br />

thus resulting in higher or lower levels of<br />

organizational effectiveness. The idea<br />

here is to make the information<br />

available, centrally accessible and<br />

friendly enough that it will be used<br />

on a daily basis to make decisions<br />

that affect the plant. Examples were<br />

given that would allow us to make<br />

better decisions on when to do<br />

work, when not to do work, and<br />

when we may prevent work from<br />

being needed by providing cause and<br />

effect information from other<br />

failures.<br />

This company had offered a<br />

good retirement package and had<br />

many reductions in a short period of<br />

time. They found that they were<br />

sadly lacking in organizational<br />

memory without the people that had<br />

done the work for a long time. He<br />

also challenged the long time<br />

practices of only keeping records<br />

that are required by regulators. He<br />

felt that we should all be evaluating<br />

data for retention based on its value<br />

to the organization in addition to the<br />

required information. He encouraged<br />

the Records Managers to evaluate<br />

the need of keeping E-mail as<br />

records to support plant decisions, as<br />

this is currently not a common<br />

practice. He also encouraged us to<br />

build in to our databases the ability<br />

to maintain multi-media information<br />

to link reports, pictures, audio and e-<br />

mails to capture histories. We have for<br />

some time been concerned about how we will<br />

pass on our plant knowledge to our<br />

successors with such a large group of us in<br />

the same age range, this may be an<br />

opportunity for us to address some of those<br />

concerns."<br />

Today, <strong>NIRMA</strong> continues to<br />

engage its membership to bring the<br />

relevant topics to the table. We<br />

invite you to present a session at the<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> conference or join the<br />

working groups (Business Units) to<br />

share your experiences to help<br />

develop industry guidance or even<br />

standards. As an ANSI Accredited<br />

developer, <strong>NIRMA</strong> is in a unique<br />

position with the platform to lead<br />

information and records<br />

management initiatives to benefit<br />

both the domestic and international<br />

nuclear community!<br />

Looking to the future, the<br />

economic challenges for U.S Nuclear<br />

require us to think differently about<br />

the way we have always done things.<br />

We must ask more questions,<br />

particularly "why" we still do some<br />

things and can it be eliminated or<br />

done through automation or<br />

technology. Earlier this year, the<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Board of Directors<br />

incorporated Process Management into<br />

the <strong>NIRMA</strong> Strategic Plan, which<br />

expands <strong>NIRMA</strong> into the tools,<br />

Continued on next page.<br />

28 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>


Bruce Walters, CRM/NS<br />

T<br />

he <strong>2021</strong> Nuclear<br />

Information Management<br />

Conference (August 9-11)<br />

at the JW Marriott Resort<br />

and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada is<br />

quickly approaching. We have many<br />

wonderful topics and speakers lined<br />

up and are awaiting word from a few<br />

more. Let’s preview some of the<br />

Keynotes and other Sessions.<br />

David Nelson with the NRC is<br />

our intended kickoff Keynote<br />

speaker addressing “Transformation<br />

Initiatives around the NRC.”<br />

Another Keynote is by Laura<br />

Williams with the American<br />

Nuclear Insurers who will address<br />

“Records – The Nuclear Liability<br />

Perspective.” Another is by my own<br />

AECOM company attorney, and<br />

now boss, Whitney McCollum<br />

addressing “Data and COVID –<br />

Now & Future.” We will:<br />

• hear a progress report on our<br />

successful Mentorship Program;<br />

• learn about Robotic Process<br />

Automation and the World of<br />

Robotics;<br />

• Deposition Do’s and Don’ts;<br />

• Decommissioning RM – Lessons<br />

Learned to Date;<br />

• Configuration Management –<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>’s ANSI Standard<br />

overview;<br />

• a panel discussion about the<br />

three ‘balls’ of CM; IG & Privacy<br />

Management;<br />

• Cyber Security;<br />

• Best Practices of Document<br />

Control;<br />

• Capture is No Longer About<br />

Just Paper;<br />

• the ever-popular Government<br />

Updates & Benchmarking<br />

session;<br />

• some Fundamentals sessions;<br />

• and more.<br />

Registration for the Conference is<br />

open on our website (click here). We<br />

encourage you to come and<br />

participate in our 45 th Anniversary<br />

celebration. This year’s Conference<br />

will be well worth your while in<br />

attending. With Las Vegas opening<br />

back up, I look forward to seeing<br />

you there!<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>’s Financial Holdings<br />

As of: June 2, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Michelle Smith<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Treasurer<br />

Investment Account $ 124,300.45<br />

Checking Account $ 16,012.36<br />

Continued from previous page.<br />

techniques, and strategies you need to improve your<br />

business agility and operational performance. These<br />

include:<br />

• RPA, Robotic Process Automation<br />

• AI, Artificial Intelligence<br />

• IG, Information Governance Technologies<br />

We invite all of you to participate with us at the<br />

August <strong>NIRMA</strong> conference, and especially potential<br />

solution providers/exhibitors. These innovative<br />

solutions, among others will be necessary to carry us<br />

into the next generation of Nuclear so we want to hear<br />

from you!<br />

Check the <strong>NIRMA</strong> website at www.nirma.org for conference<br />

details and to register. Attendance may be in-person or virtual.<br />

We look forward to a great anniversary conference!<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 29

Professional Development<br />

Business Unit (PDBU) News<br />

Tammy Cutts, PDBU Director<br />

R<br />

emember: ICRM Exam Prep<br />

workshops are preconference<br />

activities this<br />

year. Read the article here and<br />

be sure to enroll on the registration<br />

page. Also, keep an eye out for the<br />

pre-conference workshop coming<br />

soon!<br />

The Memorial Day Holiday has<br />

come to a close and although<br />

summer does not begin unofficially<br />

until June 20 th most of us see June<br />

1 st as the start of that season. So<br />

many of us, especially after last year,<br />

are busy planning picnics, family<br />

reunions and summer vacations.<br />

This is also an important time to get<br />

ready to invest in your development.<br />

Literally, in about 60 days the <strong>2021</strong><br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> Conference will begin in<br />

Las Vegas. We are hoping that many<br />

of you will be able to attend in<br />

person. Of course, if you cannot<br />

then you are reserving time on your<br />

calendar to attend virtually. I will<br />

lobby here for a few lines that if at<br />

all possible participate in person<br />

within the limits of your comfort<br />

and organizational requirements.<br />

Why? When you attend in person<br />

not only do you grow and learn<br />

during our sessions but also keep in<br />

mind all of the learning and<br />

development that goes on between<br />

colleagues over meals and in the<br />

discussions outside of the formal<br />

sessions. That being said, remote<br />

attendance may be your only option<br />

for various reasons. To maximize<br />

your learning and development in<br />

either attendance method here are<br />

several ideas to help you get the<br />

most of the conference:<br />

1. Focus: I find this is the most<br />

critical aspect of learning<br />

success. Try as much as possible<br />

to stay focused on the session<br />

either in person or remotely.<br />

Limit email, side bar<br />

conversations and cell phone<br />

distractions where possible.<br />

2. Selectivity: Really take the time<br />

to review the agenda in advance<br />

and select the sessions you really<br />

want to attend based on content<br />

and speaker. Choose the<br />

sessions that will help you<br />

advance your knowledge and<br />

skills.<br />

3. Participation: You will only get<br />

from the conference what you<br />

put into it. Ask questions so that<br />

your peers and<br />

you can both benefit from your<br />

curiosity and developmental<br />

needs. Enter your comments<br />

and questions if you are working<br />

remotely and wait for your<br />

answers. This improves your<br />

attention level.<br />

4. Sit Down Front: If you are<br />

attending the meeting live then<br />

move to the front of the room<br />

to the first several rows. We sit<br />

in the back to lessen the chance<br />

of being put on the spot. Sitting<br />

in the first few rows you will<br />

hear better and also likely make<br />

eye contact with the presenter<br />

and that drives enhanced<br />

participation.<br />

5. Take Notes: Nothing drives<br />

retention like active note taking.<br />

It keeps you focused and helps<br />

commit key learning to memory.<br />

It also helps to keep your<br />

listening skills active.<br />

There you have five tricks to keep<br />

your learning and development at<br />

maximum levels during our<br />

upcoming conference.<br />

Not a Member of <strong>NIRMA</strong>?<br />

join today!<br />

30 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

News from the Records &<br />

Information Management<br />

Business Unit (RIMBU)<br />

By Stephanie Price, RIMBU Business Unit Director<br />

ANSI/<strong>NIRMA</strong> CM 1.0 5 Year Revision<br />

T<br />

he 5 year revision to ANSI/<strong>NIRMA</strong> CM 1.0 is<br />

nearing completion thanks to Rich Giska,<br />

long time <strong>NIRMA</strong> and RIMBU member. Rich<br />

has been involved since the inception of this<br />

process, approximately 20 years. The standard is<br />

recognized throughout the industry as the guidance<br />

document on Configuration Management (CM). The<br />

focus of the standard is how to ensure the information<br />

managed and associated with the plant is in sync and<br />

properly accounted for.<br />

The standard was originally published in 2000 with<br />

an initial revision published in 2007 and reaffirmed in<br />

2015. ANSI requires periodic maintenance actions be<br />

taken every 5 years. This revision had no major issues<br />

to address; however, updates were made to reflect best<br />

evolving practices, clarify US-specific terms for the<br />

international nuclear community, and add appendices<br />

with examples of how the CM principles have been<br />

implemented in the industry. The process involves<br />

multiple groups including a working group, <strong>NIRMA</strong><br />

project team, and the consensus body (industry<br />

members responsible for reviewing and approving, by<br />

a vote, the document).<br />

The Consensus Body membership was INPO and<br />

(Configuration Management Benchmarking Group)<br />

CMBG, Nuclear Utilities, Architect Engineer and<br />

NSSS Suppliers. The revision was approved by the<br />

consensus body and is now ready to be submitted to<br />

ANSI for final approval. Once finalized, the standard<br />

will be available for sale by <strong>NIRMA</strong> and ANSI.<br />

of COVID as many companies are continuing remote<br />

working practices and converting to a new normal.<br />

The RIMBU organization strives to provide our peers<br />

with meaningful guidance and best practices for<br />

records management, and that includes recognizing<br />

and addressing the changing landscape of the industry.<br />

Doing less with less has been a topic of discussion for<br />

RIMBU during several of our annual meetings in the<br />

past. Good benchmarking data on best practices has<br />

been shared, including:<br />

• Automation of quality checks on scanned images<br />

• Elimination of convenience copies on distribution<br />

• Automation of records submittal process<br />

• Evaluation of core business processes vs. collateral<br />

duties<br />

In order to best serve our peers in the industry,<br />

RIMBU is attempting to put together a “Less with<br />

Less” document containing further information about<br />

how you have successfully streamlined, simplified,<br />

and/or eliminated things in your organization. If you<br />

have any feedback in this area, please reach out to me<br />

at sjprice@southernco.com.<br />

Get involved with RIMBU<br />

New members are always welcome! RIMBU is a<br />

great opportunity to benchmark with others in the<br />

industry, share valuable operating experience, and<br />

have the opportunity to influence industry standard<br />

guidance in records management.<br />

Doing Less with Less<br />

The concept of doing less with less goes by many<br />

names in the nuclear industry. Streamline/Simplify/<br />

Eliminate, Stop/Start/Continue, digitization,<br />

automation, working smarter, etc. This was an ever<br />

present expectation that has been magnified in the era<br />

Not receiving <strong>NIRMA</strong> Email<br />

communication? Click here &<br />

scroll to the bottom of <strong>NIRMA</strong>’s<br />

website to sign up to ensure<br />

you receive the most current<br />

information.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 31


(M&M) Business Unit News<br />

e are less than 2 months away from<br />

W<br />

the <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> Conference, the<br />

45 th Anniversary. Time to start really<br />

thinking about attending the<br />

conference. There will be a lot of exciting<br />

things to participate in, learn and enjoy. If you<br />

attend in person, you can take a walk down<br />

memory lane with all the <strong>NIRMA</strong> memorabilia<br />

that has been collected from long time<br />

members and will be on display.<br />

Two of the Keynote Speakers are showcased in this<br />

addition of <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>. Check them out here. I think<br />

you will be quite pleased with what they will bring to our<br />

conference.<br />

Do you have a vendor(s) that you do business with<br />

that could benefit from participating in the <strong>NIRMA</strong><br />

conference and that other members of <strong>NIRMA</strong> could<br />

benefit. Please share the <strong>NIRMA</strong> conference<br />

information with your vendors and ask them if they are<br />

interested in being a part of the conference.<br />

We will again be promoting the “BRING-a-<br />

BUDDY” campaign in <strong>2021</strong>. When you register<br />

yourself and a “buddy” (a new attendee) to come to the<br />

<strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> conference, your names will be placed in<br />

a special drawing. Prizes are always fun! The new<br />

attendee can be anyone from your organization (i.e., IT,<br />

Kathi Cole, CRM<br />

M&MBU Director<br />

your boss, procedure writers, auditors,<br />

engineers, etc.).<br />

Remember to register by July 1st<br />

and receive the Early Bird Discount.<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> is offering a group discount when<br />

you register for the Conference early.<br />

Purchase three (3) registrations from the same<br />

company, and all subsequent registrations are<br />

$625. These subsequent employees need not<br />

be part of the Records Management organization. They<br />

can be employees from any of the organizations within<br />

the same company.<br />

Also, because this year is the 45 th Anniversary of<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong>, we are offering you a free <strong>NIRMA</strong> 45 th<br />

Anniversary shirt with your Early Bird registration.<br />

Membership & Marketing Business Unit is looking for<br />

members to help come up with new ideas to bring new<br />

members to <strong>NIRMA</strong>, as well as new ideas of how to<br />

share expertise with the membership. M&MBU meets<br />

the first Wednesday every month for one hour at 1:00<br />

PM ET, 12:00 PM CT, 11:00 AM MT, and 10:00 AM<br />

PT. Please join us. We are a fun group to work with.<br />

For additional information or questions on anything<br />

mentioned above, please contact nirma@nirma.org.<br />

Continued from page 17.<br />

What did you find most<br />

rewarding about your<br />

membership?<br />

The Education opportunities and<br />

mentoring, both receiving and<br />

giving, lead to lifelong friendships.<br />

In what ways were you able to<br />

help (mentor) other members?<br />

I think with my personal goal of<br />

approachability, I was available to<br />

the membership at all times; I always<br />

tried to make everyone feel welcome.<br />

I constantly talked with all first-time<br />

attendees and I made sure that if<br />

anyone had questions or concerns<br />

they would feel comfortable talking<br />

to me.<br />

What would you tell others<br />

looking to get involved in<br />

<strong>NIRMA</strong> or <strong>NIRMA</strong> leadership<br />

roles?<br />

Take the leap, the water is fine. It<br />

is a great opportunity to increase<br />

your skills in the field of IM. Yet,<br />

don’t overlook the soft skills of<br />

leadership. What <strong>NIRMA</strong> can<br />

provide is there for the taking, but<br />

you have to reach for it.<br />

Why is it important for you to stay<br />

involved?<br />

I am looking forward to returning<br />

for <strong>NIRMA</strong>’s 45 th Anniversary. You<br />

may retire, but once <strong>NIRMA</strong> gets in<br />

your bloodstream, it is there forever.<br />

Thank you to all of the past, current,<br />

and future leaders of <strong>NIRMA</strong> – you<br />

make the Association what it is today<br />

and what it will be tomorrow!<br />

32 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

<strong>NIRMA</strong>’s 45 th Anniversary Conference<br />

Will Be Truly Spectacular!<br />

The Conference will be held at the beautiful JW Marriott Las Vegas<br />

Resort and Spa, 221 N. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas, NV<br />

The <strong>NIRMA</strong> Board is hard at work to make this conference one of our<br />

best ever! In addition to our tradition of engaging speakers and<br />

enlightening presentations, we will also be commemorating <strong>NIRMA</strong>’s<br />

45 th Anniversary with a Celebration Night Extravaganza including<br />

dinner, music, and all-around fun! In addition, there will be lots to see<br />

and remember in our Memorabilia Room, highlighting <strong>NIRMA</strong>’s rich<br />

history!<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Learn the latest from<br />

the experts in current<br />

trends.<br />

Be inspired by the<br />

message of industry<br />

leaders.<br />

Retool & re-energize<br />

your passion to make<br />

a difference.<br />

The JW Marriott Resort and Spa is a luxury getaway,<br />

providing spacious rooms and suites, premium amenities<br />

and superb customer service. Visit JW Marriott here.

Even As Support for Carbon-Free Energy Grows, Some<br />

Reactors Still Face Shutdown, New Study Warns<br />

Among climate advocates,<br />

energy experts and now the Biden<br />

administration, there is a growing<br />

consensus that the nuclear energy is<br />

critical to address the challenges of<br />

climate change.<br />

Earlier this month, President<br />

Biden released his American Jobs<br />

Plan, an infrastructure investment<br />

package that includes a major focus<br />

on addressing climate change. A key<br />

provision of this plan is a clean<br />

energy standard that relies on the<br />

nation’s largest source of carbon free<br />

energy, nuclear power, to help<br />

decarbonize electricity by 2035.<br />

But at the moment when climate<br />

change is recognized as an urgent<br />

problem and nuclear is viewed as an<br />

important part of the solution, a new<br />

study shows that we also face the<br />

prospect of well-running nuclear<br />

plants shutting down, right when<br />

they’re needed the most.<br />

The report, from Potomac<br />

Economics, assesses the economic<br />

realities facing nuclear plant owners<br />

today in PJM, the largest electricity<br />

market in the U.S. serving 65 million<br />

customers in 13 states across<br />

portions of the Mid-Atlantic and<br />

Great Lakes regions, as well as<br />

Washington, D.C. PJM is home to<br />

31 of the nation’s 94 nuclear plants,<br />

including many that are currently or<br />

have been financially threatened.<br />

Potomac Economics has a unique<br />

standing to help understand<br />

electricity market forces, serving as<br />

the independent market monitor<br />

(IMM) for four other U.S. electricity<br />

markets, a role that requires deep<br />

knowledge of the economic<br />

incentives facing companies in these<br />

markets. Their analysis concludes<br />

that most of the nuclear plants in<br />

PJM will not produce enough<br />

revenue to remain economically<br />

viable in the coming years. This<br />

finding is consistent with numerous<br />

other analyses and nuclear operators<br />

who have been warning that flaws in<br />

the wholesale markets are driving<br />

always-on, carbon-free nuclear<br />

plants to close prematurely.<br />

Often, there are two key aspects<br />

of nuclear economic analyses that<br />

get overlooked. First, critics of<br />

policies to support nuclear power<br />

often do not account for the<br />

financial costs and risks associated<br />

with operating large plants that<br />

owners must bear. These costs, as<br />

well as their ability to be avoided<br />

through a shutdown, are often<br />

neglected by critics when assessing<br />

the financial outlook for the plants.<br />

It seems clear to me, however, that<br />

they are well-accepted<br />

considerations in any boardroom or<br />

stock analyst report. Often, shutting<br />

a plant down will be more<br />

economically appealing because all<br />

future costs and risks will be avoided<br />

and any remaining post-shutdown<br />

costs will be covered through a trust<br />

fund the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory<br />

Commission requires all nuclear<br />

owners to establish.<br />

Second, critics often utilize<br />

unrealistic or optimistic revenue<br />

forecasts. However, the Potomac<br />

Economics report sets the record<br />

straight by basing their analysis on<br />

realistic market-based prices. By<br />

utilizing true avoidable costs and a<br />

reasonable revenue estimate, the<br />

report demonstrates that nuclear<br />

plants are not viable.<br />

Through Potomac Economics’<br />

analysis, it’s clear that the economic<br />

hurdles facing nuclear plants in PJM<br />

are significant. Energy policies can<br />

be enacted to overcome these<br />

hurdles, but reforms to federal and<br />

state policies are needed quickly.<br />

Over the past decade, state<br />

policymakers and energy customers<br />

have very clearly demanded more<br />

carbon-free electricity.<br />

In that time, 10 states in the PJM<br />

region and the District of Columbia<br />

have instituted policies like<br />

renewable portfolio standards or<br />

zero-emissions credits to cut<br />

emissions. Customers in these states<br />

represent over 90 percent of the<br />

electric demand served by PJM.<br />

Article reprinted with permission<br />

of NEI. Read full article here.<br />

34 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

Here’s 3 Ways to Make Promises From the<br />

Climate Summit Come True<br />

President Biden met with 40<br />

world leaders last week and<br />

promised to get the United States<br />

back on the climate control track.<br />

He and the other leaders pledged to<br />

shift to clean energy and<br />

dramatically reduce emissions—with<br />

the U.S. promising a 50 to 52<br />

percent reduction below 2005 levels<br />

by 2030. Expectations and<br />

aspirations are high.<br />

But promises won’t stop climate<br />

change. Cutting emissions will<br />

require action in the form of<br />

appropriate policy, research,<br />

investment and deployment. What,<br />

specifically, can we do?<br />

Here’s three ways we can meet<br />

the aggressive goals we’ve pledged<br />

ourselves to:<br />

1. Invest in Energy<br />

Innovation: Climate advocates,<br />

policymakers and leaders like<br />

Bill Gates agree that the only<br />

way we can eliminate carbon<br />

emissions is through innovation.<br />

Many of the technologies that<br />

will help us reach a carbon-free<br />

future are already being<br />

developed. There are major<br />

advances happening in advanced<br />

nuclear technology, for example.<br />

Last year, the U.S. Department<br />

of Energy announced nearly<br />

$3.9 billion in funding through<br />

the Advanced Reactor<br />

Demonstration Program for<br />

research and development to<br />

bring two pathbreaking<br />

advanced reactors into<br />

operation in five to seven years,<br />

and a pipeline of new projects<br />

after that. And the department<br />

has promised $1.4 billion<br />

towards a small modular reactor<br />

project planned in Idaho.<br />

Congress has paid for the<br />

beginnings of each of these<br />

programs. But the investment<br />

curve gets steeper in the next<br />

few years. We must continue to<br />

fund innovative advanced<br />

nuclear projects through private<br />

and public investment. The<br />

market is strong, with 40<br />

utilities, including the nation’s<br />

largest, already pledging to<br />

reduce emissions by about three<br />

quarters by 2050. But the<br />

innovation already underway<br />

will need a helping hand to<br />

bring the zero-carbon products<br />

to market—which will also<br />

include innovation in fuels,<br />

some of which may be provided<br />

by the government.<br />

2. Preserve All the Carbon-Free<br />

Electricity We Have: The<br />

nation’s largest source of clean<br />

energy is nuclear reactors that<br />

are already running, which have<br />

slowed the buildup of climatechanging<br />

gases in the<br />

atmosphere and can continue to<br />

do this vital work for decades to<br />

come. The Biden administration<br />

has acknowledged the role of<br />

our current reactors, listing<br />

existing nuclear as a resource for<br />

reaching their ambitious climate<br />

goals—and other policymakers<br />

like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-<br />

W.Va.) have applauded the<br />

administration’s leadership in<br />

this area. But because of flawed<br />

markets and changing economic<br />

conditions, nuclear plants need<br />

to be recognized in policy and<br />

compensated appropriately.<br />

States with aspirations to do<br />

their part for clean air and<br />

climate stability have systems in<br />

place, and some are developing<br />

or revising such policies.<br />

Connecticut, New York, New<br />

Jersey and Illinois are in this<br />

category and others may step<br />

forward. The White House has<br />

also proposed a national clean<br />

energy standard that would<br />

compensate nuclear plants for<br />

their carbon-free energy, as part<br />

of its major infrastructure<br />

package, the American Jobs<br />

Plan. The most effective path to<br />

a carbon-free future is to<br />

preserve and properly value<br />

America’s 94 nuclear plants.<br />

3. Recapture U.S. Leadership in the<br />

Global Nuclear<br />

Market: Stabilizing the climate<br />

will require global action.<br />

Continued on next page.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 35

Stakeholder Coordination<br />

Essential for Nuclear to Innovate<br />

The nuclear power sector in<br />

North America and Europe is at a<br />

turning point.<br />

A whole generation of power<br />

plants – built in the sixties and early<br />

seventies and running on mostly<br />

analogue technology – are facing<br />

decommissioning or refurbishment<br />

while a new generation of state-ofthe-art<br />

alternatives are being tested<br />

today for deployment by the end of<br />

the decade.<br />

Recent studies have shown<br />

that refurbishing the industry’s old<br />

workhorse reactors, which have<br />

reliably pumped out power 24/7 at<br />

high capacity for decades, is the<br />

most cost-effective, dispatchable,<br />

low-carbon power producing<br />

technology on the market. The new<br />

generation offers an array of<br />

advanced features that promise<br />

increased safety and productivity.<br />

In both cases, scientists are<br />

using significantly different<br />

technology than was even imagined<br />

during the first wave of reactors<br />

which, before refurbishment,<br />

continue to operate today much as<br />

they did when they were built.<br />

“In some instances it was said<br />

that you could leave the sector in<br />

the 70s and 80s and come back 20<br />

years later and sit at your old desk<br />

and get back to work because the<br />

The control room at Pickering<br />

Nuclear Power Generating Station<br />

near Toronto, Canada. (Source:<br />

Reuters/Carlos Osario)<br />

technology at its heart had not<br />

moved on,” says Director for<br />

International Engagement, Security<br />

& Non-Proliferation at the UK<br />

National Nuclear Laboratory Rob<br />

Whittleston.<br />

This, in fact, has been the<br />

strength of the technology. Nuclear<br />

power has been a disruptive<br />

technology in its own right ever<br />

since its introduction, Whittleston<br />

says, comparable only to<br />

hydroelectric systems in generating<br />

huge amounts of carbon-free<br />

energy.<br />

However, the generation<br />

landscape today is changing and<br />

nuclear must change with it.<br />

Continued on next page.<br />

Here’s 3 Ways to Make<br />

Promises From the Climate<br />

Summit Come True,<br />

Continued<br />

Outside the industrialized<br />

world, demand for electricity is<br />

galloping ahead and is mostly<br />

met with new plants burning<br />

coal. As in the United States,<br />

nuclear will be an essential<br />

component of a zero-carbon<br />

electric system worldwide, and<br />

more than 30 countries are<br />

working to develop nuclear<br />

energy programs. The potential<br />

market is more than $8<br />

trillion between now and<br />

2050.Current reactor<br />

technology and the advanced<br />

and small reactors in<br />

development all have a role to<br />

play. And returning the United<br />

States to a leading export role<br />

will create jobs here, cement<br />

commercial relationships with<br />

developing countries for<br />

decades to come, and boost<br />

global health and prosperity, in<br />

addition to solving the climate<br />

problem.<br />

Ambitious goals are an<br />

important first step and provide<br />

important signals about the effort<br />

needed to reduce emissions. But<br />

real progress on climate change<br />

will require action, investment and<br />

policy, and nuclear energy will be<br />

key to making any climate solution<br />

work.<br />

Article reprinted with permission<br />

of NEI. Read full article here.<br />

36 <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>

Stakeholder Coordination Essential for Nuclear to<br />

Innovate, Continued<br />

“The issue now is that in order<br />

to play its role in a different looking<br />

energy mix, it has an opportunity to<br />

change its game. That is why the<br />

industry is working hard to ensure<br />

nuclear is cost competitive and<br />

more flexible,” he says.<br />

"Advanced nuclear<br />

technologies, such as small and<br />

advanced modular reactors, as well<br />

as hydrogen production in nuclear,<br />

are all examples of where disruptive<br />

tech is being considered and<br />

deployed to meet the world's future<br />

energy needs, and to power net zero<br />

here in the UK."<br />

High stakes<br />

Introducing different<br />

technology and systems – whether<br />

for new machines or to refurbish<br />

the old – is deeply challenging for a<br />

heavily regulated industry that<br />

cannot afford the slightest mistake<br />

for both safety and financial<br />

reasons.<br />

Part of the problem of bringing<br />

new technology to the nuclear<br />

industry is that each stakeholder has<br />

a different view on what that<br />

means.<br />

From the utilities, innovation<br />

must mean improved safety and<br />

lower cost while the regulator<br />

considers new technology as<br />

something that must be categorized<br />

and quantified before it’s given the<br />

green light amid concerns<br />

surrounding the risks of changing a<br />

legacy safety system.<br />

Investors, meanwhile, want it as<br />

fast as possible and cheap.<br />

“For innovation to be<br />

successful, we must find a way to<br />

bring together all stakeholders early<br />

on in the innovation process; the<br />

end user, the regulator, laboratories,<br />

governments, all brought together<br />

early on in terms of understanding<br />

how a particular technology might<br />

be able to be used within the<br />

nuclear sector and to really<br />

understand the barriers and<br />

challenges to take that<br />

forward," Chief Science and<br />

Technology Officer at the UKNNL<br />

Fiona Rayment said during an<br />

OECD NEA webinar on disruptive<br />

technologies.<br />

The series of webinars, 'From<br />

NI2050 to Disruptive Technologies<br />

for Nuclear Safety Applications',<br />

aimed to explore the use of new<br />

technologies in nuclear applications<br />

and the specific challenges that they<br />

pose for all the stakeholders.<br />

The NEA Nuclear Innovation<br />

2050 (NI2050) initiative was started<br />

in 2015 and is a push to bring<br />

together the disparate elements of<br />

the nuclear industry from all over<br />

the world to examine how,<br />

collectively, it could develop and<br />

deploy new and innovative<br />

technologies.<br />

By Paul Day<br />

(Source: OECD NEA; “From NI2050 to Disruptive Technologies for Nuclear Safety<br />

Applications”)<br />

Article reprinted with permission of<br />

Reuters Events Nuclear.<br />

Read full article here.<br />

Back to Content | <strong>Inside</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong> <strong>NIRMA</strong>.org <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 37

Register Today for the<br />

45th Annual <strong>NIRMA</strong> Conference<br />

August 9-11, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Held at the<br />

JW Marriott Resort & Spa<br />

Click here to register.

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