Decommissioning a nuclear power plant is a complex project. The project involves the coordination of several different departments and the management of changing plant conditions, programs, and regulations. As certain project Milestones are met, the evolution of such plant programs and regulations can help optimize project execution and cost. This paper will provide information about these Milestones and the plant departments and programs that change throughout a decommissioning project. The initial challenge in the decommissioning of a nuclear plant is the development of a definitive plan for such a complex project. EPRI has published several reports related to decommissioning planning. These earlier reports provided general guidance in formulating a Decommissioning Plan. This Change Management paper will draw from the experience gained in the last decade in decommissioning of nuclear plants. The paper discusses decommissioning in terms of a sequence of major Milestones. The plant programs, associated plans and actions, and staffing are discussed based upon experiences from the following power reactor facilities: Maine Yankee Atomic Power Plant, Yankee Nuclear Power Station, and the Haddam Neck Plant. Significant lessons learned from other sites are also discussed as appropriate. Planning is a crucial ingredient of successful decommissioning projects. The development of a definitive Decommissioning Plan can result in considerable project savings. The decommissioning plants in the U.S. have planned and executed their projects using different strategies based on their unique plant circumstances. However, experience has shown that similar project milestones and actions applied through all of these projects. This allows each plant to learn from the experiences of the preceding projects. As the plant transitions from an operating plant through decommissioning, the reduction and termination of defunct programs and regulations can help optimize all facets of decommissioning. This information, learned through trial in previous plants, can be incorporated into the decommissioning plan of future projects so that the benefits of optimization can be realized from the beginning of the projects. This process of the collection of information and lessons learned from plant experiences is an important function of the EPRI Decommissioning Program.

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