Our blog page is updated on a bi-weekly basis and covers a broad range of industry-related topics such as nuclear energy, application stories, new product highlights, replacement model updates, among many others. Here you can gleam an insight into what we’re thinking, where we’re heading, and how we’re getting there, by checking out our blogs. Want to see a topic of your interest explored? Send us a email in our contact us page!

Digitization – A Necessary Connection

Whether we like it or not, the world is going digital. Gone are the quiet evening hours with books and a low lamp light, the limpid and soft hymns of nature floating to your ears atop an afternoon breeze, having a conversation with someone in the checkout line, the practiced beauty of listening to jazz in between the scratches of an old record player, gone is the lost art of writing a letter, the simple joy of waiting by the mailbox—now comes the big boom, the personification voices squawking out reminders and playlists at you throughout your house, 24/7 social media pandemic that seems so omnisciently oppressive it feels written in the very spasms of one’s nerves, the impatience on the other end of text messages when you dare not look at your phone for 30 seconds, all the gutless diatribes of YouTube videos, phone updates, a galaxy of useless and horribly redundant apps that nobody can seem to stop talking about, the internet slipping its way into every single avenue of your life including the bathroom, big brother and who knows what else listening to the exotic sounds your daily activities, advertisements tailor made for you seemingly by the thoughts that run though your mind, the doped-sick image of 21st century man walking in hunched over legions, heads bent toward the inescapable blue lights of the phone, a generation of slaves—god help us all.

Yet it’s not all so bad—digitization offers the path to a more responsible and lucrative future across many industries, perhaps none more so than the power generation industry. In a recent article for Power Magazine, associate editor Darrell Proctor championed the digital age, which he refers to as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. The advent of digitalization offers the industry an opportunity to move away from “reactive maintenance to proactive, predictive maintenance.” This means all operations of a plant, a grid, and company etc., are feeding real-time data to operators and decision-makers that can be tracked and analyzed for future predictive processes. Mohamed Shishani, a deployment leader at Schneider Electric, observed, “How is it ‘OK’ to have a main breaker feeding your equipment not connected and supplying data?” One extremely useful tool brought on by the digital age is the use of Digital Twins as part of asset performance maintenance—essentially these are digital computer models mimicking the actions and operations of real-world applications that spot potential problems before they occur and offer up to the minute data on all monitored activity. Maintenance downtime and service costs have all been reduced by the inclusion of digital twins in major industry leader operations, the article states.

Right behind the power industry in reaping the benefits of this century’s digital wave is the U.S. nuclear fleet. “There is tremendous cost pressure for nuclear plants”, Paul Donnellan, a partner at a Chicago-based growth strategy company says, “The combination of all those pricing pressures is putting a lot of emphasis on maximizing assets and reducing costs. Identifying problems before they happen.” Added Mr. Shishani, “You cannot improve what you don’t measure.”

And that’s where Otek steps into the fray. As a 45 year expert of measurement and control processes, we are riding the crest of the wave that is going to wash the world in digitization by the quarter century mark. Our New Technology Series (NTM’s), Solid State Analog Meter (SSAM), and extremely versatile Universal Panel Meter (UPM) are all powered by our cutting-edge technology that was designed this century, unlike 1890’s analog technology, and designed to maintain our efficient, reliable, and accurate standards. And like all great glittering upheavals, digitization is not without its dark shadow of cyber security threats—which all three of our aforementioned models meet: the NTM and UPM models carry a cyber security compliant classification, while the SSAM is cyber security exempt by the ingenuity of being built without any critical digital assets.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

And indeed they are—Otek is swimming full bore into the new digital future, with a fond remembrance that our technology stands on the shoulders of that which came before it.

Want to join us? Call our office today (520) 748-7900 for more information on our products and how our technology can be customized to your application needs. You may also email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com.

Read the full article in the February 2019 issue of Power Magazine.

Nebraska’s Nuclear Peril Beneath the Wave

Winter lobs one final bowling balll at the Midwest. As the yellow rays and warm currents of spring begin their encroachment on the Earth this month, lifting the air with heat here in southern Arizona and painting the east coast with rain, the Midwest is sliding beneath the wave. A lethal combination of blizzard vestiges and rapidly warming temperatures was catapulted into disaster by a period of intense rainfall these last two weeks, which loosened the soil, sent the snow running downhill, and unleashed the Missouri River. It’s the river which is the serpent beneath all of this—it’s turgid waters swelling beyond the brim of muddy banks and crawling across already saturated soil where it gains the momentum of an escaped lunatic and goes dashing through the countryside—the carcasses of young livestock washing up under the mangled iron of fence posts, whole farms eradicated of the future in waves, the wind actually licking sinister white tops as the water rolls across helpless peoples’ livelihood, one farmer lamenting “This is it for us…”, highways and airport runaways drowning beneath brown water and alienating towns like Fremont, Ogallala, Elkhorn, Gretna, York, and Brownsville to the cold denunciation of access only by air or boat, four-way intersections of small towns and those red brick cobbled avenues of the Old Market in Omaha overrun with the gurgling flow of water carrying all matter of debris, the sick underbelly of society dredged up and floating by, trash walking on water, four dead and countless realities submerged—but it’s in Brownsville where the most diabolical threat looms quietly, waiting for the moment when the water will exact its most striking terror.

The Cooper Nuclear Station in Nemaha County near Brownsville, reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Friday evening, an ominous three words: Unusual Event Emergency. Inside that simple phrase was the very real danger that the facility would soon be besieged by water levels that could shut down the reactor and breach containment walls. Beyond the loss of half the state’s electricity during its most critical natural disaster in decades, the inherent hysteria of a nuclear meltdown began running red through all that dirty water swirling from the Missouri. At a quarter past five Friday night, the plant manager notified the NRC that the water had come within inches of the 45.5 feet threshold level that would initiate a reactor shutdown. Soldiers from the National Guard desperately heaved sandbags around the facility and readied the use of drop-down “blast doors” to prevent Mother Nature from turning the miracle of atom-splitting into humanity’s latest calamity. At 6pm the water moved right up to the line and evacuation orders were prepared, the NRC was notified of an impending shutdown—and there the water remained. For the next three days the Brownsville community and anyone with access to a television or radio in Nebraska rocked on the balls of their feet as the water held its line—on Tuesday morning the flooding finally broke, the water began to recede, life came out to recuperate itself. Their land was broken and their roads smashed, but in the state where highways stretch on forever into the mauve tapestry of sunsets reclining into an enflamed horizon, the people and their power plant held the line.

Yet in those harrowing hours when the plant was preparing to shut down its reactor, when water level indicators blinked out orange warnings and screeched the Armageddon bells, and the frantic voices of operators went bouncing off the imperiled walls, when the world was ending for everyone in a small corner—Otek instrumentation would have been perfectly at home dutifully going down with the ship. Intelligent measurement and control right up to the final bell. Our New Technology Series of models are designed to hold their accurate, reliable, and efficient readings right down to the mad scramble of sweat pouring down foreheads at that 6pm deadline to call off the shutdown—every drop of water funneled into the reactor to keep it cool would have passed the ever watchful eye of our metering technology.

Our NTM-M, -N, and -3 models are especially popular in nuclear I & C rooms, namely for their unique ability to easily replace, wire by wire, the numerous DB40 analog meters that dominate the industry, in particular the Cooper plant in Brownsville. The “ease” comes from the NTM series’ streamlined form, fit, and function design which makes use of existing analog wiring and signals, so that our NTM’s can slide into place of the old analog meter on an individual basis as the analogs fail, or in an overarching sweep during a single planned outage, all using the same operators and without shutting the plant down for lengthy installations. Obviously, there’s also the financial angle—replacing analogs in an I & C room with NTM meters is substantially lighter on your bank account than refitting the entire operation with sleek, new, but wildly cost-prohibitive flat-screen technology.

All three models, the –M, -N, and the -3, are cyber security compliant and approved for Class 1E safety-related and nuclear qualified applications, as well as maintaining the ability to meet Military-Specs -461, 167-1, 810F, 901C, and IEEE-344 respectively. Highlight features of all three models include: automatic tricolor bar graph with intensity control, self diagnostics, isolated serial I/O, math functions, USB or RS485, a configurable bar direction, and over thirty isolate input signals.

So as we sip our morning coffee at the office or slide into the dim grooves of a bar for that happy-hour relaxing elixir, let us not forget that disaster is matter of inches—and no one is better at measurement than Otek. Don’t drown in possibilities—hold the line with intelligent instrumentation.

For more information on the NTM series, or our latest development the Solid State Analog Meter (SSAM) please call our office at 520-748-7900 or email our sales department directly at sales@otekcorp.com.

Finland Shinning a Light for the World

There is an island off the southeastern coast of Finland where something remarkable is happening. A first of its kind, a pioneering of humanity designed to outlast humanity itself. A dark, desolate, bottomless tomb carved into the very bedrock of the earth where a faceless danger capable of liquefying life will be exiled forever—the entrance sealed over and marked with a warning to all future eyes:

This place is not
a place of honor

No highly esteemed deed
is commemorated here

Nothing is valued here

What is here is dangerous
and repulsive to us

This message is a
warning about danger.

The island is known as Olkiluoto, home to the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant, one of two plants in Finland’s nuclear fleet. The plant itself is not remarkable—what’s remarkable is the 1,710 ft labyrinth being constructed near it, the world’s first deep geological repository for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Known as Onkalo, the repository is the planet’s only answer to the challenge of safely handled high level nuclear waste, and the radiation doomsday hysteria that follows like a plague.

Radiation poisoning from nuclear waste has been the driving piston behind a large swath of the green histrionics surrounding much of the American population’s current derogatory attitude toward nuclear energy. With the advent of the New Green Deal, the nuclear industry has taken yet another beating to its already bruised-in-the 10th round-carcass—the original body blows stemming from decades of blowback after well-known international nuclear disasters such as Fukushima and Chernobyl. Former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Hans Blix, in a recent article for Time Magazine, paraphrased the environmentalist attitude toward nuclear energy and waste, when he writes “To use nuclear power and generate radioactive waste, environmentalists argued, was like taking off in an airplane without knowing where to land.” Indeed that may have well been true—but it is no longer; Finland is providimg a place to land, nearly 2,000 feet down.

Approaching the dour metal door of Onkalo, one is reminded of Dante: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. In the middle of the island, surreptitiously woven into lush avenues of pine trees, gurgling springs, and the distant smoking chimneys of the island’s only town, Onkalo gathers its exiled depths. Long winding cavernous tunnels lengthen into the darkness like frayed nerves, pouring down deeper into the grey walls of ancient rock, lit only by the thinly spaced pulses of electricity and ruffled only by the dull buzzing of excavation machines moving somewhere in the dark, phosphorescent shadows dancing along the bedrock scrawled with seismic drawings and studies, rock that formed more than 1.9 billion years ago—a retro-fitted minibus transports fluorescently camouflaged workers who appear out of the blackness in intervals, it takes twenty minutes to reach the deepest chamber, where the world above is merely the illusion of an afterthought—Onkalo is meant to last 100,000 years. No one alive today will know whether it succeeds.

What we do know is this: nuclear energy absolutely must have a place in our future. Solar and wind energies are not capable of shouldering the full load of a clean energy future—nature has not yet informed us she will be at our beckoned command. Nuclear energy produces more than any other energy resource with infinitely less, and is sustainable—the sensationalist mongrels who scream day and night for the nuclear industry’s death, must put aside their rent-a-ideals and step back into the empirical light: nuclear energy is best chance for a clean future. They must learn that their fears of waste contamination, while grounded and not without merit, can be allayed by practicality—by planning, by responsibility, by ethics, and by an empathy to unburden the future from the mistakes of the past. Onkalo is keeping the flame of that light—now the world must follow.

Otek has long been an ally of the global nuclear industry and will continue to be as we walk year by year into this new millennium. Let us not be goose-stepped into falsehood by the screeching declarations of the hysterical mob, let us not have our thoughts arranged for us, let us always seek facts, seek evidence, seek truth, and let us always seek the future. We design all our products with this in mind—we’re with the nuclear industry for a clean energy future. We hope you’ll join us.

For more information and pricing on our products please call (520) 748-7900 or email our sales office at sales@otekcorp.com.

In Memoriam – Fukushima & the NRC

In commemoration of the March 11th, 2011, nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued new legislation aimed at imposing further rules on the U.S. nuclear industry. Collectively known as the Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events Rule, this piece of regulatory bureaucracy seeks to continue Obama-era reactionary oversight on the country’s nuclear fleet, to harden each facility and their operators against the mechanisms that allowed that gargantuan wall of Pacific ocean to torpedo through the reactor and relinquish its sinister waste upon the surrounding light of the earth.

We know the canted tale of events—as the water retreated from the beach, sinking back toward the oceanic horizon, a dark visitation occurring far out where the eye perceives the sky kissing the horizon, began to swell with turgid and menacing energy, climbing dubious rungs in the distant sky, reaching monstrous heights with each mile made inland, pale faces draining of color perceiving this horror and fleeing through the streets, the equally pale faces of the Daiichi plant who did not take to the streets but were stricken with palpable horror at the sudden illumination of what was to come when that dark wave fall back on the earth—the tsunami punched through concrete and steel, poured past security measures, and flooded the facility to the tune of a complete electrical shut down. The loss of electricity ultimately doomed the operators’ ability to cool the reactors, who, allowed to heat unabated, flung their radioactive waste into the air and the sea—eight years later the city is inhabited only by a legislative body of radioactive wild boar, the offspring of mankind’s mishaps.

Traumatized by the disaster and the images of mutated wildlife running amuck (the horror! the horror!), the NRC has continually handed down regulations like this latest initiative to entrench the U.S nuclear fleet against such literal and figurative meltdowns. The Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events Rule, which will be published this spring in the Federal Register, has three main stipends:

1. Maintain resources and procedures to cool a reactor’s core and spent fuel pool, as well as preserve the reactor’s containment, following an event that disables all of a site’s normal and emergency a/c electrical power sources, as well as the site’s ability to safely transfer heat to the environment
2. Maintain equipment that can reliably measure spent fuel pool water levels following a severe event
3. Preserve the resources needed to protect the core, containment and spent fuel pool from external hazards

It is the second provision that withers in the heart of the Fukushima disaster and the one with which Otek is most concerned—for the simple reason that we can affect change. After all, we have the technology.
Ideally, spent fuel from the uranium-drench fuel rods would be stored in a permanent subterranean disposal site designed to withstand 100,000 years—unfortunately the only site in the world being designed for such a purpose lies in Finland; the U.S. abandoned its own facility in Nevada several years ago due to spellbinding short-sightedness and juvenile naivety of those ever-wagging tongues in Washington. Thus, thanks to incredibly resilient human stupidity, America has no storage facility for the dangerous radioactive waste it produces—hence the need for temporary water storage facilities housed with the plant, that cool the internal temperature of the waste over several decades.

Measuring these water levels then, becomes a critical operative. It follows then that the equipment charged with such a task should be cutting-edge, of this century, accurate, reliable, easy to operate, and unflinchingly objective. Welcome to Otek—with our New Technology Series and our recently developed Solid State Analog Meter (SSAM) we are the arrow that penetrates the dust on measurement and control applications such as spent fuel water levels. After 45 years of doing something, you’d probably be pretty good at it too. From 1974 to 2019, Otek has been pioneering the panel metering industry with a dedication to bettering our customer’s interests through the power of our patented technology.

Both the NTM and SSAM models are obsolescence hardened, highly configurable and programmable to a wide variety of applications, and come endowed our technologically advanced features such as, serial I/O, math functions, USB and RS485 options, relays, signal input fail alarms, self diagnostics, and much more. Each model carries our lifetime warranty and are extremely customizable to the imaginations of our customers.

So until we decide to pull our collective heads out of the muckraking bureaucracy this country thrives on and build a permanent disposal facility, temporary water storage is our safest bet for corralling one of the most dangerous substances on Earth—and Otek is right there to help.

Want more information on the NTM or SSAM? Call us today at (520) 748-7900 or send us an email at sales@otekcorp.com.

Jane Fonda and Unfounded Nuclear Hysteria

“Hey Jack look at this water level indicator, water level’s low.”
“This one says it’s high”
“But that’s…that’s impossible….”

Those of us fortunate enough to lift our heads above the jejune millennial waters, remember that horrific look that came crawling over Jack Lemmon’s character as he realized the chart recorder needle had been stuck and thus the control room team had been duped into inadvertently initiating a reactor meltdown, in the 1979 thriller The China Syndrome. Lemmon’s character, Jack Godell, then taps the recorder display and, to their abject terror, the needle begins to drop—they lowered the water level dangerously low based on a faulty reading. Alarm bells and lights begin to whirl, sweat breaks out along foreheads, Jane Fonda’s character watches nervously from behind protective glass as Godell phones the operations manager:

“This Jack Godell. We have a serious condition. You get everyone to safety areas and make sure they stay there.”

While only hypothetical terror contained inside the workings of Hollywood, the film played a large part in forming the dour opinion shared by a great many Americans on nuclear energy today—the Three Mile Island disaster just twelve days after the film’s release only amplified the country’s rapid turn against what was once believed to be Earth’s miracle answer to the our energy needs. By the early 80’s nuclear energy carried a dubious connotation in American dialogue as some sort of hulking beast suspended from its sinister potential by only the competence of a single operator. The benefits of such energy innovation were hurled into shadows by the more contagious idea that the word nuclear is synonymous with Armageddon, and our policies in decades since have followed naively predictable pursuits of similarity. It’s the cultural way—take speculation, bind it with the trimmings of hysteria, and stamp a title atop which reads Fact.

Unfortunately, sensational glossing does nothing to dissuade truth’s reality. In today’s political climate, where nuclear energy is on the chopping block of the New Green Deal’s guillotine, the hard truth of nuclear energy’s potential is obscured by the blinding call for alternative energies. Mainly we are talking about the championing of solar, wind, and hydro energy as our only path toward clean energy. This is not only wrong, it’s dangerously misinformed. If we wipe nuclear energy off the national register, as the New Green Deal suggests we do, and place all our hopes for a clean future in solar and wind, energies that are inherently dictated by the fickleness of nature, we run the very real risk of leveraging our future on faulty ideals. Our blindness to the slow capitulation of fossil fuels is the reason we now find ourselves hyperventilating over climate change—let’s not make the same mistake with nuclear energy.

Some brief acknowledgements:
– Nuclear power has the unique ability to product massive amounts of heat without smoke, i.e. air pollution
– As they create enormous amounts of energy, NPP’s do so with very little space relative to the approximately 450 x more space it would require an area of solar panels to generate the same energy signature
– The entire U.S. Nuclear Industry produces only 2,000 metric tons of waster per year, equivalent to a 12oz beer can for every citizen
– Nuclear energy has the potential to be renewable, as seen in new developments by several French NPP’s
– Though set up costs may initially be high, the actual running of a power plant is relatively cheap

Still, as often is the case in human history, the mind accepts only what it wants to. Logic is tested and weighed for its synergy with one’s already conceived beliefs. What challenges our assumptions is often confined to a cage as hostile—thus we have a national smorgasbord of information clinging to this truth or that, with no real way other than tedious inspection to tease out what’s true. What’s true about nuclear energy is also true of its dangers; the indelible damage resulting from a stuck needle in The China Syndrome is a very real possibility—but not an unpreventable one.

What if Godell and his plant managers had modernized with digital panel meters? Too expensive and time-consuming to lug through NEI 08-09 compliance? Impractical to expect a plant to close down for flat panel technology installations? What if the fictional Ventana plant had upgraded their water level indicators with Otek’s New Technology Meters or the cyber security compliant Solid State Analog Meter (SSAM)? Easily transfigurable to existing analog wiring, the NTM or SSAM models can replace obsolete analogs like the movie’s failed instruments, form, fit, and function in as streamlined a fashion as one by one or all together in a short, planned outage. Even the poor frazzled operators dashing around in ribbons of terrified sweat before Jane Fonda’s nervous eyes would need only minimal training with Otek technology.

Want more information on how the NTM and the SSAM can help your applications? Call us today at (520) 748-7900 or shoot our sales office an email at sales@otekcorp.com.

And just in case you’re wondering why the shrieking banshees behind the New Green Deal want to exterminate nuclear energy despite its clean and efficient potential…

“What makes you think they’re looking for a scapegoat?” Jack Godell asks his co-worker.

“Tradition.”

The New Green Deal, Sensationalism, and Nuclear Energy

In a recent article submitted to the Philadelphia Enquirer, the question of nuclear plant life extension was examined from both angles of the spectrum. Those in opposition, such as the anti-industry “Beyond Nuclear” group mentioned in the article, are spurred on by the recent left-wing hysteria surrounding the proposed New Green Deal, which champions the use of solar and wind energy over that of the nuclear industry.

Over the last several weeks since the New Green Deal was unveiled, the feasibility of these energy systems has come into question—mainly because the technology to support them long term does not currently exist. Nor are they as operationally reliable as nuclear energy, which is not governed by nature or geography. With the nuclear energy providing up to 60% of the nation’s carbon-free energy, agents in the industry like Patrick Navin, Site Vice President of the Peach Bottom reactor outside Philadelphia, who says, “If you really believe in climate change, this is the solution. We are going to need all forms of renewable energy, and shutting these things (reactors) down won’t get you there.” Unless you willfully choose to ignore the glare of empirical facts when it comes to this current discussion, and there are many minds warped by sensationalist group think and the rapturous fads of young America who do, there is no honest discussion of a clean energy future where nuclear energy is tabled off as taboo or an establishment evil.

The real question then becomes, is it safe? While the peripheral dangers of nuclear energy are well known in the wake of Three-Mile Island, Fukushima, and the puissant image of the mushroom cloud every American since 1943 has been raised on, the deeper and more pertinent to this century question is cyber security. In an age where a mole-like creature half way around the world who never really sees the sun can piddle away on his computer and hack into any computer network strung along this earth, the threat to NPP’s is real. You might wonder how, since the majority of plants in the U.S. still operate with analog technology that spindly little tech minions can’t manipulate with their weaponized fingertips. Look no further than the impetus of analog obsolescence—the nuclear industry has heard the black cloud moving in and now, only after hard lessons of time and imprudence, desperately understands the need to digitize. And that’s great. But with digital renovations comes control rooms that are suddenly invitingly naked to the urges of frothing little minds bent over computer screens in darkened rooms orchestrating a dull symphony of keyboards clicking off the sounds of hopeful intrusion.

In the article, Exelon, who owns the Peach Bottom reactor, states that they will, “Include cyber security measures when it installs the new digital control systems to make sure the system cannot be tampered with or unauthorized access into any of those systems, said Navin. The new controls should be in place before the current licenses expire in 2033 and 2034.”

Why wait till then? Any plant that is looking to be a part of the clean energy initiative flying off the tongues of talking heads like a war cry or animal ministration, and wants to safely extend their plant life in doing so, should look for a more immediate, less expensive, and highly efficient option. The Otek option is unequivocally the Solid State Analog Meter or SSAM. Built with no hackable components such as microprocessors and powered by CMOS technology, the SSAM can easily replace popular NPP analogs like the DB40 or GE180 with wire by wire, form, fit, and function connectivity to the streamlined tune of no lengthy outages, absolutely no installation closures of any kind, and only minimal procedural training for operators. The SSAM can be integrated on an individual piecemeal basis or en mass in one fell analog exodus. Our brain child is also 100% signal powered in the distant image of analogs, with adaptive capabilities for 4-20 & 10-50mA current loops, AC Volts, Amps, Hertz and Watts, in addition to our patented input signal fail alarm and 101 LED segment bar. The vast amount of money saved in avoiding NEI 08-09 regulation is also something to consider, if you, you know, enjoy profitability.

Unfortunately, good articles such as the one this blog reviews, are becoming increasing difficult to find in the vortex of minute by minute squawking senators armed with a legion of Twitters, insta-garbage, and Facebook soldiers eagerly ready to suspend their minds to whatever cause is demanded of them like Chairman’s Mao’s subjects, the whirling kaleidoscope of misinformation and emotionally charged daily calamities that really are just grown men and women groveling for their addiction to attention bred into them by the 24/7 information mainline machine our once-good earth has been beaten and raggedly transformed into, and the simple horror that everyone today is a superstar whose opinion the world needs to hear. We applaud brave journalists like the article’s author, Mr. Andrew Maykuth, who have the rapidly-becoming-extinct ability to shift through the sewage.

Nuclear energy is a cornerstone of any clean American future. Otek pledges its technology to this endeavor and a shared future. Hopefully without all the histrionics.

The full article may be found here: https://www.philly.com/business/energy/aging-nuclear-power-plants-safe-t…

Untangling the Truth About Clean Nuclear Energy

Lost among the sensational daily calamity of life nineteen years into the 21st century is the truth. So muddled in the mire of incessantly wagging tongues salivating for their chance to wrest it to their notion of it, their screeching determination of what’s its purpose should be, or buried in the muck of western culture flailing like lunatics trying to vault one another, that it more than likely will never be found again. Maybe we never had it at all. Yet in this rancid obscuring of the truth in this world, where only its shadow gives us any indication we ever knew it at all, we may contend ourselves with its children—empirical facts. Nobody seems to know what those are anymore. Fact has become synonymous with the hair trigger edicts of internet prophets—when “Social Media Celebrity” is a valued occupation it’s clear we value nothing.

Yet there are a few of us, marginalized to the forlorn perimeters of a hysterical culture animated by the slightest crack of an eggshell, that keep to the vigil for truth. That cradle the facts of its broken reflection for their potential clarity. That seek to understand and not to dictate. That understand the word facile. The ones who refuse to slander the truth for our own bedazzled image. We are but few, but we are the candles burning at the edges of this ridiculous carnival.

Two torch bearers, multidisciplinary scientists John Rie and Alan Emery, in a recent article submitted to the Wall Street Journal, attempted to grind reality into this wild New Green Deal everyone and their mother is jumping in bed with. By now, unfortunately, it has become nearly impossible to not have some idea of what this deal proposes: elimination of fossil fuels, carbon footprints, solar and wind technologies, electric cars, nation-wide veganism, and universal health care just for kicks and giggles. It also vehemently opposes the “market-based mechanisms of nuclear energy”.

Caution, Mr. Rie and Mr. Emery warned, reality isn’t as fickle as your emotional temperatures. The article discusses, in direct contradiction to the vitriol spewed ceaselessly about our nuclear industry, the enormous potential nuclear technology offers for clean energy. It’s 24/7, 365 days a year power that is carbon-free, is not dictated by nature or short-lived (like wind and solar energy), or hampered by geography like hydropower. It also bears a low cost to consumers—where as every under thirty bleeding heart’s New Green Deal is estimated to cost $51- $93 trillion over the next decade to implement, or $600,000 per household. Even more practical, the technology already exists for nuclear energy—unlike the battery and power-grid technologies a nationwide conversion to solar and wind would require. Conveniently shuffled in the espoused egalitarian beauty of the New Green Deal is that these technologies don’t exist yet. Nuclear energy also has the potential to be reprocessed and reused, as evidenced by many of France’s NPP’s. Nuclear energy is a feasible fulcrum to the clean future without ravaging the world’s economy—the provisions outlined in this bastardization of FDR’s idea are not.

Otek stands with our ailing nuclear industry. While we can’t mainline facts and reality into the raucous talking heads, we can do our part to make the industry more efficient, reliable, and accurate. Our technological advanced meters, such as our NTM series and our new cyber security exempt Solid State Analog Meter (SSAM), are specifically designed to meet the current challenges of analog obsolescence, NEI 08-09 regulation expenses, parts scarcity, and others threatening the health and longevity of our nuclear industry. We pride ourselves on being part of an honest solution to a cleaner future.

We’ll keep the light on for the truth—even if society’s shadows fall all around it.

Want to see how? Give us a call today at (520) 748-7900 or shoot us an email at sales@otekcorp.com.

Last Thoughts on Analog Obsolescence in the Nuclear Industry

Concluding our blog series on analog replacements in the nuclear industry, we come full circle with analog obsolescence. We know the players, the history, the finances, the politics, and above all else we know this—analog obsolescence is not going away. It has been growing like an unruly vine since the first digital panel meter emerged into the light of day. It has slithered through our power plants, raided the walls of the industry, and even burst through the cracks in well known disasters such as Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. It has also commanded an army of government regulation and inspection, and rode those mandates to exorbitantly expensive heights that many NPP’s now find themselves strangled by. It has, by venomous extension, sunk its claws into many R.O.I,’s and stole away with them into a decade’s oblivion. It is a virus with only one cure: digitization.

Why digitize? Another word—optimization. With the technological revolution set to outstrip even the industrial revolution of the early 19th century, industries today, especially the power generation industry, are the beneficiaries of advancements in analytics programs, connectivity, productivity, application solutions, data corroboration, etc. While it can be accurately wagered that such robust growth in technology has laid open channels for cyber security risks, there is no question that such risks are mitigated by the overwhelming benefits of becoming smarter, more efficient, more reliable, and less subjective. Even the cost of digitizing cannot wholly detract from the gifts it offers our rapidly changing industry. There is simply no reason to continue under the dying analog shadow.

And to speak of those costs, why not upgrade your I & C room with Otek’s New Technology Series, featuring our NTM’s which are cyber security compliant and can be installed for disproportionately less than flat panel technology? Don’t let the high cost of cyber security compliance keep you from modernizing your control room! You can replace your obsolete analogs wire by wire, in one outage or as they fail, with Otek technology designed for Plug and Play applications—remove the old analogs and plug into Otek’s meters using the same wiring and operators.

Old analogs like the Sigma 9220 or the 9264 populate NPP’s all over the world, keeping the obsolescent cloud languishing unnecessarily overhead. Otek offers our NTM-V and NTM-B models as 100% Form, Fit, and Function replacements for the Sigma 9220 and 9264 analogs for Class1E safety related and nuclear qualified applications, as well as Mil-Specs 461, 167-1, 810F, 901C, and IEEE-34. Both models carry our lifetime warranty and are highly customizable to a variety of consumer applications—in addition to shared features such as an automatic tricolor bar graph, math functions, isolated serial I/O, configurable bar direction, self diagnostics, a signal input fail alarm with runtime stamp, and over thirty isolated input signals.

Analog obsolescence exists in the nuclear industry because idle hands do nothing. An object at rest tends to stay at rest, while an object in motion…..set your I & C room in motion toward the future by digitizing with Otek instrumentation. Technology, like time, waits for no one.

If you would like more information our blog series for analog replacements, please call (520) 748-7900 or email our sales office at sales@otekcorp.com

Upgrade to the Future, Upgrade to Otek



This, your standard Sigma 9270—cumbersome metal wrapped around an awkward and elongated shape nearly a foot long, and almost half as high, 10 VDC for an input signal, and outdated power supplies—this all before diving into the cosmetic faults inherent in decades-old analog technology such as this. Take a look at the display plate—that could easily give off three different readings when judged from three different angles. The needle marker is dubious at best, and like all analogs, prone to silent deaths without warning—which is how we have preventable disasters like Fukushima. Back panel wiring here looks hectic, disorganized, and hard to replicate—but it doesn’t have to be. Not with Otek instrumentation.

Capitalizing on our President and Owner’s 40 year love affair with the current loop, Otek has pioneered an innovative turn in panel meter technology, with our NTM series (New Technology Meters), from which springs our Plug & Play ideology. Our technology may be advanced, but our philosophy is rather simple: we believe replacing obsolete analogs should be as easy as removing the meter and installing an NTM with nothing more laborious than wire by wire replacement. Hence the name Plug & Play. No prolonged outages or lengthy installation shutdowns, no soaring expenses such as with flat panel installations, and only minimal training for your I & C operators. We do all the hard work so all you have to do is wire in the future of DPM technology.

From our New Technology Series, Otek proudly offers the NTM-B as a 100% Form, Fit, and Function replacement for the Sigma 9270 for Class1E safety related and nuclear qualified applications, as well as the ability to satisfy Mil-Specs 461, 167-1, 810F, 901C, and IEEE-34 respectively. The NTM-B is also cyber security compliant with NEI 08-09 regulation—potentially saving you millions in compliance costs.

Like the 9270, the NTM-B is a vertical 1/8 DIN unit available in either plastic or metal housing. As a single channel unit it can be either loop, signal, or externally powered and meets industry standards of 3.8 x 1.9 inches. Built with our patented firmware, the NTM-B features rapid response time, and several math functions using polynomials, x-y tables, and log-anti-log functions. Other highlighted features include an automatic tri-color bar graph with intensity control, self diagnostics, an input fail alarm with runtime stamp, isolated serial I/O, USB or RS485 available with Ethernet or flash memory available on externally powered units, over thirty isolated input signals, 4 relay options, a configurable bar direction, and power requirements of only 100mW@5VDC.

As with all of our products here at Otek, the NTM-B is covered by our lifetime warranty and can be designed to a galaxy of consumer-driven customizations. We meld our technology to your applications!

If you are interested in more information please give us a call at (520) 748-7900 or send us an email at sales@otekcorp.com.

Another Obsolete Westinghouse Analog Our Technology Puts to Rest

In the third quarter of 2017, the Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant, just north of Chattanooga, Tennessee, received a “white” rating from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for an undisclosed violation. While this was not enough to drop the plant’s Class 2 rating any further on the 1-5 NRC scale, it was enough to mandate corrective actions closely overseen by a NRC representative over the subsequent twelve months.

While we will never know the exact nature of the violation, as per NRC non-disclosure policy, we do know for sure that the plant was using a multitude of old analog meters, now rendered obsolete by technological advances in panel meter technology. One such meter installed in the Sequoyah plant is the Westinghouse VX251. Outdated, inaccurate, unreliable, and subjective—analog obsolescence spares no meter. One would think corrective actions at Sequoyah might include replacing their bevy of obsolete analogs such as the VX251, but plant managers often point to the overriding reason analog replacements don’t get issued—expense and time. Switching to current technology such as flat-panel screens is both cost prohibitive and time-consuming, as some installations require year-long shutdowns at exorbitant costs to your R.O.I.

Replacing analogs with Otek instrumentation deftly works around both those problems. With our wire by wire, plug and play replacements, you can bring your whole control room up to date in one quick outage, or simply replace the obsolete analogs as they fail—no shutdowns, no lengthy training for operators, and a visibly tangible R.O.I. Otek offers our NTM-9 model as a 100% Form, Fit, and Function replacement for the Westinghouse VX251 analog meter for Class1E safety related and nuclear qualified applications, as well as Mil-Specs 461, 167-1, 810F, 901C, and IEEE-34 respectively.

The NTM-9 is available in plastic or metal, capable of housing up to 2 channels, and meets industry standards of 6 x 1.74 inches. Additional highlights of the model include an automatic tricolor bar graph with intensity control, 4 digit display, input fail alarm with runtime stamp designed to alert operators in the event of a dead current loop, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O, USB/RS485, configurable bar direction, only 100mW@5VDC, math functions, and over thirty isolated input signals. The NTM-9 carries our lifetime warranty and is completely customizable to your application needs.

Analog obsolescence is a problem that is only going to encroach further on the industry with each passing year. There is no alternative to upgrading your measurement instrumentation—whether you choose to do so with expensive options that hammer away at our R.O.I., or you choose the streamlined easy of the Otek solution, the choice is yours. With Otek, the only choice you have to make is a phone call—the rest is just Plug and Play…

For more information please call (520) 748-7900 or contact our sales office directly at sales@otekcorp.com.