Why Digitize Your I&C Room?

Why Digitize Your I&C Room?

Helping The Nuclear Promise

Dr. Otto P. Fest, President & Founder, OTEK Corporation

Approximately 340 Nuclear Power Plants are over 30 years old. Profits are diminished by obsolescence, inefficiency, and regulations. Obsolete instrumentation comes with exorbitant costs: High maintenance expenses, constant recalibration, low accuracy and resolution, no HMI/MMI and control, high inventory cost for rebuilt replacement meters, high operator and parallax errors, and stuck needles. OTEK’s Plug & Play meters solve these issues – and more.

Our patented technology eliminates obsolescence, provides greater operator and facility efficiency, and meets regulations. Our engineers are happy to reverse engineer our products to fit your current electrical system and dimensions in your existing control panel, eliminating costs associated with rewiring and cutting panels.

Our meters are Cybersecurity Compliant to NEI 08-09.

The NTM Series provides replacements for common obsolete meters by Sigma, Dixson, Prime, VMI/Versatile, Yew/Yokogawa, General Electric, and Weschler among others. Common features include our patented current loop, V/A/W/Hz/AC/DC or external power, ultra-high reliability of greater than or equal to 25 years, relays, analog out, math functions, are obsolescence hardened, and backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Our entire NTM Catalog is available on our website. Custom builds can be procured through our configurator. All of our products are designed for easy replacement as old units fail or in bulk during scheduled shutdowns.

For meters with no CDA and meet Cybersecurity Exempt status, see our SSAM 9 and SSAM N.

I&C Room Digitization increases profitability for Nuclear Power Plants. We’d love to help you see a greater return on investment.

NuScale Brings Small Modular Reactor Technology to Canada

NuScale, the American company behind the development of the forthcoming Small Modular Reactor (SMR), has made a push to bring their potentially revolutionary technology to Canada. Last month the company submitted the first of four proposals to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (the CNSC) for a review of their SMR design as a way to streamline the potential implementation of their technology on Canadian soil.

Based out of Oregon, NuScale has been working closely with Idaho National Labs to bring the Small Modular Reactor design to life in the United States, but the NRC, the American version of the CNSC, has traditionally been slower to move on decisions within the nuclear industry than their neighbor to the north. With the submission of the first vendor design review, NuScale hopes to have more immediate success with the Canadian government. “This pre-licensing process allows our design to be reviewed by another highly respected regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission”, John Hopkins, NuScale CEO, said, “And we look forward to their thorough evaluation of our innovative safety features. We are thrilled to continue our path to introduce our scalable, economic, carbon-free, and safe SMR technology to Canadian customers.”

This initial submittal covers four highlight areas of interest: general plant description; classification of structures, systems, and components; vendor research and development program; & design process and quality assurance.

As a company built on efficiency and innovation, OTEK has long kept a close eye on technological developments within the nuclear industry, such as the Small Modular Reactor. That’s essentially what led our creation of the industry’s first Solid State Analog Meter, or SSAM—our answer to rising cybersecurity concerns as older nuclear plants move toward digital instrumentation. The SSAM was designed to be exempt from the cybersecurity provisions listed by the NRC under NEI 08-09, by way of containing no critical digital assets such as microprocessors. By welding our advanced digital technology to analog hardware, we’ve made the SSAM immune to the current capabilities of criminal hackers.

In addition to cybersecurity provisions, the SSAM also features signal and external power options (4-20mA current loops, V/A AC/DC, Watts & Hertz signal options), OTEK’s patented signal failure alarm that notifies an operator in the event of a signal or power loss over a minute long, a 4 ½ digit 0.6” LED display at 0.1% accuracy, optional isolated H.V> SPDT alarms for enunciator panel lamps and 4-20mA outputs, and our unique “One Size Fits All” scale plate design which allows for unlimited custom color displays that are as easy to interchange as removing the scale plate and sliding in another.

If NuScale’s design proposal is met with success up north, perhaps the American nuclear fleet will follow suit and usher in a whole new decade of nuclear technological growth.

For more information on the SSAM or OTEK’s nuclear effort, please call 520-748-7900 or email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com

Trump Eyes 2021 for a $1.2 Billion Budget Proposal in Nuclear R&D

President Donald Trump remains committed to bolstering the nuclear industry despite prior administration rollbacks. Following his proclamation that the “revitalization of the domestic industry and the ability of domestic technologies to compete abroad,” President Trump recently signed a proposed budget of $1.2 billion for 2021 for the nuclear industry to invest in the research and development of new technological applications.

Since assuming the mantle of president, Trump has routinely pushed to maintain and expand the country’s nuclear fleet—often in response to global powers like China and Russia collaborating with each other as each country attempts to supplant the U.S.’s global nuclear supremacy. This latest proposal by Trump tops last year’s budget of $824 million and is a clear sign the president intends to capitalize on recent moves within the industry such as awarding funds (via the Department of Defense) for the creation of a Versatile Test Reactor run by Idaho National Labs, as well as various bills designed to expedite the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s process for awarding building permits on new facilities.

With Trump clearly signaling that nuclear will play a major role in shaping America’s energy future, Otek intends to be with the industry step for step by providing innovative and efficient technological solutions—such as our NTM-9 model from our award-winning New Technology Series.

Designed as a vertical unit with dimensions of 2.16” W x 6” H, the NTM-9 form, fit, and function replaces popular but obsolete analog nuclear instrumentation such as the GE/Yokogawa 180, Weschler VX251 & 252, Dixon BB101, Sigma 1151, and the Crompton 128 among a host of others. The NTM-9 also features an automatic tricolor bar with intensity control and 4 digit display, an input fail alarm with runtime stamp, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O, USB/RS485, math functions, 4 relays or O.C.T., over 30 isolated input signals, a configurable bar direction (up/down/center zero), and power requirements of only 100mW@5VDC. The NTM-9 also comes with Otek’s lifetime warranty and is highly customizable to a vast array of consumer-driven applications.

With the industry reawakening under President Trump, Otek will be working overtime to meet the technological needs of an industry on the verge of digital modernization.

If you’re interested in our Class 1E qualified nuclear products, or any of our other instrumentation, please call 520-748-7900 or email our sales office: sales@otekcorp.com

US Nuclear Reactors – Earth’s Oldest?

US Nuclear Reactors to become Earth’s Oldest

Oldest US Nuclear Reactors

Turkey Point Plant | Image from Florida Power and Light

Twenty-Five miles south of Miami, two nuclear reactors loom against the Atlantic horizon: on one side of this picture the twin Turkey Point reactors draw reflections in the glass water—on the other side, behind them and up the coastline, a country simmers their shadow. The decision by the federal government in December of last year to extend the life of the two 60-year-old reactors by twenty more years will effectively make them the oldest reactors anywhere on Earth at 80 years of age.

Owned by the Florida Power & Light company (FPL), the Turkey Point reactors have served as a benchmark to a larger discussion by way of the ripples they’ve released across the U.S. nuclear industry and its critics. Supported largely by the Trump administration’s rollback of Obama-era nuclear restrictions, compatriot utilities of Turkey Point are submitting their own requests to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for plant life extensions—Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in southeast Pennsylvania (owned by Exelon corp) is seeking two extensions, Dominion Energy seeks the same quantity for two of its reactors at their Surry plant in Virginia as well two more further up north, and Duke Energy Corporation has submitted extension requests for all 11 of its reactors along the east coast.

The logic is rather straightforward from the industry’s view—“It’s simply cheaper to continue operating our existing nuclear fleet than replacing it” says Rounette Nader, Director of Nuclear License Renewal at Duke Energy.

Most statistics do back up Ms. Nader’s claim:

  • 80% of Nuclear Power Plants in the U.S. are 30 years or older
  • The majority of these are riddled with inefficient and obsolete analog instrumentation
  • The popular flat screen technology to replace these obsolete analogs requires an entirely new facility with a 5-year building plan and an estimated $200 million in construction expenses. (Ref: Oconee NPP, INL [NN:6-2017])

The obvious solution, as Ms. Nader highlights, is to retain the current fleet by way of making componential/structural changes that allow the plant to continue to function efficiently and safely through the next twenty years of life. Mary Korsnick, president of NEI, the Nuclear Energy Institute, agrees, “I don’t think you should look at a plant just on calendar years, but rather the way that plant has been maintained, so many components have been replaced over the years. There is nothing magic about 80.”

It is specifically this approach that OTEK has spent the last decade developing our cutting-edge new technology for. Specializing in highly customizable Form, Fit, and Function replacements for obsolete analogs in nuclear I&C rooms, we design our “New Technology Series” models to serve as Plug & Play enhancements on present archaic meters simply by the ease of removing the old analog from its panel cutout and inserting the OTEK meter using the same panel, wiring, and even with minimal operator training to boot.

As our engineering team is want to do, we even went a step further and addressed the rising cybersecurity expenses of adhering to NEI 08-09, by designing a meter that is completely immune to cybersecurity attacks by way of containing no critical digital assets, such as microprocessors. The Solid State Analog Meter (colloquially known as the SSAM) makes use of a unique marriage between non-digital hardware as defined by NEI 08-09 and our award-winning patented technology, such as pure white LED displays. The SSAM also boasts 4-20 & 10-50mA current loops, V/A AC/DC (also Watts & Hertz) for external power options, a 4 ½ digit display at 0.1% accuracy, optional dual alarm for enunciator panel lamps, 4-20mA outputs, and unlimited custom scale plate display colors using our “One Size Fits All” LED technology.

If the Turkey Point reactor extensions are both a reflection of the industry now, as well as where it may be heading twenty years from now, we would do well to be practical, mindful, and innovative with the technology we are using to advance the world’s most combustible and cleanest source of energy. And innovation is the backbone of OTEK’s forty-six years of instrumentation success.

For more information on the SSAM or our pledge to the nuclear industry, please call 520-748-7900 or contact our sales department: sales@otekcorp.com


True Climate Change Goes Beyond Reducing Carbon Emissions

For this point in human history, where we have the most advanced and powerful tools ever known to man at our fingertips, where we have mapped the earth and drawn designs upon the stars, split molecules and are knocking very resoundingly on the door of artificial intelligence. We sure seem to have a very jejune view of how our planet actually works. Or at very least, how to heal it. What we’re talking about here, of course, is climate change – and carbon emissions – but also the technological solutions that should be utilized in combating the problem.

At this juncture in our society, even a 5-year-old with a lollipop in his mouth can regurgitate the climate change mantra: carbon dioxide emissions have created a greenhouse effect in the atmosphere that is trapping heat and warming our planet… REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS! You hear everyone from politicians who claim they’ve been green for decades to your local coffee barista wearing his save-the-earth pin going on about carbon footprints, renewable energy resources, global net-zero emissions by whatever year— and this contagious naivety would almost be wonderfully comedic if it didn’t belie a deeper, more penetrating sadness: our planet IS in danger and the vast majority of us don’t have a clue as to what an actual and viable solution looks like.

Unfortunately, reaching net-zero carbon emissions all over the world actually does nothing to impede the current problem. Even if a wand could magically be waved over the earth and not a single carbon molecule flew into the air the planet would still continue to warm up yearly. This is because the damage as already been done.

In the nearly two centuries since the industrial revolution humanity has flung more than 1 trillion tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere—and unfortunately in this case, what goes up does not necessarily have to come back down. These gases essentially hang in the air like release or control valves, increasing the rate at which heat from the sun is trapped and held within the planet’s atmosphere—thereby gradually altering the earth’s temperature. Simply by ceasing to emit more carbon does not erase that which we already have strung across the earth like dark tapestries.

What’s needed is a way to “scrub” or “vacuum” the atmosphere, to reduce the number of greenhouse gases already in the air in an effort to restore what scientists refer to as radiative balance. There is only one energy source that can achieve that: nuclear power. Instead of negotiating the energy between two atoms, such as is done with everything from fossil fuels to wind farms, nuclear harnesses the energy inside the atom to produce nearly 3 million times the energy output with a carbon footprint that is essentially negative. It follows that if it requires energy to remove carbon from the atmosphere, then the energy source with the absolute lowest footprint would be the best solution to not only stopping current and future emissions but cleansing the damage already floating all around us.

If nuclear energy is going to be the solution to this looming planetary crisis, then it is going to need precise measurement and control processes—which is exactly where OTEK envisions our NTM-V model taking shape within the industry. Designed for the nuclear industry and qualified to the requirements of 10VFR50/Appendix B under our NQA-1 program, the NTM-V replaces popular Versatile, Sigma or VMI 9200 Series meters, in addition to boasting highlight features of self-diagnostics, an automatic tricolor bar graph with intensity control, 4 digit display, isolated serial I/O with USB/RS485/Ethernet options, a configurable bar direction (up/down/center zero), power inputs of 5-32VDC & 90-265VAC, as well as the OTEK lifetime warranty. Several nuclear power plants within the United States have already experienced much success with the NTM-V in their I&C rooms.

While we all agree that curbing CO2 emissions is paramount, restoring balance to our atmosphere is the ultimate goal of any successful effort to preserve our planet’s future—and the only way to achieve that is through nuclear energy.

For more information on the NTM-V or OTEK’s efforts to help the nuclear industry, please call our office at (520) 748-7900 or email our sales department sales@otekcorp.com


U.S. Department of Energy Invests in New Test Reactor

Despite the recent maelstrom that has become nuclear energy discussions in this United States, the Department of Energy is reaching above the fray in pursuit of innovative technologies to propel the industry forward. This time, it enlisted some seriously deep and well-connected pockets. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his armada of resources (both financial & technological) intends to partner his nuclear reactor start-up, TerraPower, with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to design and build a research reactor for the DOE, colloquially known as the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR).

Interested in pursuing new research and testing avenues for the wave of small modular reactors that will be ushered into the market in the coming years, the Department of Energy intends to use the VTR to explore up and coming materials, fuel (including thorium), and safety-related components/instrumentation at energy conditions exceeding what present technology is capable of handling. In utilizing the VTF’s full capabilities, the DOE hopes to reinvigorate the country’s appetite for nuclear energy and streamline the process for introducing innovative methods into the industry.

To achieve such a massive undertaking, the Department of Energy has placed renowned research behemoth Idaho National Laboratories (INL) to oversee the project, as well as establish financial partnerships to pick up the tab— “Achieving nuclear energy’s full potential, will require businesses and government to work together to invest in both testing new materials and demonstrating advanced technologies”, Chris Levesque, TerraPower’s CEO, commented this week.

Otek has long served the innovative efforts of INL with a little innovation of our own. Following on the heels of our popular HI-Q119 model, we designed its replacement for use in INL’s applications, the NTM-9.

Standing vertical at dimensions of 2.16” W x 6” H, the NTM-9 serves as a replacement for obsolete analogs such as the GE/Yokogawa 180, the Weschler VX251 and Dixon BB101 among others—as well as boasting an automatic tricolor bar display with intensity control, 4 digits, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O, USB/RS485, math functions, 4 relays, a configurable bar direction, and requires only 100mW@5VDC.

Hopefully, the DOE’s Versatile Test Reactor does, in fact, bring fresh enthusiasm to the nuclear debate in America, and if so, Otek fully intends to continue its proud tradition of lending our award-winning technology to the cause.

For more information on the NTM-9 or any of our other products, please call 520-748-7900 or contact our sales department: sales@otekcorp.com

Lockheed Martin Wins $31.9 Million Weapons Contract

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. has been awarded a $31.9 million contract by the U.S. government to develop a specialized weapon-delivery system capable of striking mobile enemy targets. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) conferred the contract to Lockheed’s Missiles & Fire Control branch in Grand Prairie, Texas, this month where the bulk of the project is expected to take place. Rough estimates put an expected completion time somewhere in early 2021.

Code-named the Operational Fires Integrated Weapon System (OpFires), the project itself revolves around the development of a relocatable hypersonic delivery system, capable of firing a various payload of missiles that can penetrate enemy air defense systems and strike units moving on the ground with precision. In addition to carrying a number of deployable missile payloads, the OpFires project is also expected to be able to consistently and accurately strike targets at a multitude of different depth ranges. Design plans call for the project to be completed in three phases: design, critical design, and flight testing. The propulsion system that will be used in-flight testing was developed by Sierra Nevada Corp in 2018, at the request of DARPA.

As OTEK has proudly served the U.S. armed services for over forty-five years, as well as performed contractual work for Lockheed Martin, we are well-versed in designs such as the OpFires project for military applications. One of our most visible products used by the U.S. military is our APM model. Chiefly used by the air force and navy, the APM is used to measure power busses in an aircraft or marine vessel, most commonly the circuitry powering the craft. In addition to night vision/NVG3 capabilities, the APM also boasts a standard 1” diameter barrel, 0.25” full-LED digits, 4-20mA loop power and can be powered externally by VDC, internal/external intensity control, and requires only two wires to operate. The APM successfully meets Mil-Specs: 461D, 462D, 704F, 130K, 810F, 889B2 & 1742F, among others.

For more information on the APM or OTEK’s line of Mil-Spec ready products, please call our office at 520-748-7900 or email our sales office: sales@otekcorp.com

Lessons Learned | Germany’s Nuclear Energy Abdication

Nuclear Energy Lessons Learned from Germany In this American landscape where the word nuclear has been sandbagged and vilified, we would do well to observe the effect Atomausstieg or “nuclear phase-out” has had on Germany’s energy outlook. Reeling from Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel began what has become known as the Energiewende—Germany’s “energy revolution”, a comprehensive plan to remake the country’s energy portfolio (largely by eliminating nuclear and fossil fuels) by the end of 2038. At the plan’s outset, a goal of a 40% reduction in carbon emissions was established for the year 2020—while it’s safe to say that the goal will not bet met, the long-range aspirations of the Energiewende appear doomed to a similar fate.

A simple case and point can be found in empirical fact—despite a governmental push for climate-friendly alternatives such as electric cars and force-fed renewables (where vast and cumbersome wind farms have been met with push back from local residents who claim the multi-acre “wind parks” intrude on neighborhoods and communities) the country’s power consumption has actually risen 10% since 1990. Couple this with the estimated 3,700 miles of electrical power lines needed to move the massive amounts of electricity required to fund the Energiewende (with a mere 93 miles built by 2018) and it’s abundantly clear Germany’s obsessive plans to remove themselves from nuclear energy has been riddled full of holes.

In an article for the New York Times, opinion writer Jochen Bittner equates the country’s impulsive and all-consuming sprint away from nuclear to the prevailing psychology of the German people themselves—namely inherent fear of any action attached to risk. “It is the very German trait of freezing when faced with a dilemma. For a nation that is as keen as ours to do what would undoubtedly be considered good, choosing between two evils — here, nuclear power and climate change — is a nearly insurmountable task”, Mr. Bittner writes, later adding, “The tragedy about Germany’s energy experiment is that the country’s almost religious antinuclear attitude doesn’t leave room for advances in technology.

Certainly, the overwhelming plethora of research from scientific communities all around the world has shown that any attempt or plan to combat climate change as it stands now, cannot be successfully achieved without nuclear energy. With Germany steadfastly refusing to engage in nuclear power, not only are they unwittingly going to rely more on fossil fuels in the short term, but they risk losing access to valuable and ever-evolving technology that might prove to be mankind’s best chance at changing the course of our climate future.

As a dedicated and continuous proponent of technology, OTEK has long kept an eye on the global nuclear industry and has designed specific products to meet the landscape’s ever-changing shape. Our Solid-State Analog Meter, or SSAM, was created specifically with cybersecurity in mind. Built without any critical digital components such as microprocessors, the SSAM operates of good old-fashioned CMOS logic that we married with our award-winning technology to create a meter that is both safe and smart for nuclear I&C room applications—in both safety-related and commercial grades.

In addition to being exempt from Cyber Security concerns, the SSAM also features signal and external power options (4-20mA current loops, V/A AC/DC, Watts & Hertz signal options), OTEK’s patented signal failure alarm that notifies an operator in the event of a signal or power loss over a minute long, a 4 ½ digit 0.6” LED display at 0.1% accuracy, optional isolated H.V>SPDT alarms for enunciator panel lamps and 4-20mA outputs, and our unique “One Size Fits All” scale plate design which allows for unlimited custom color displays that are as easy to interchange as removing the scale plate and sliding in another. Like all our products, the SSAM is backed by the OTEK Lifetime Warranty.

If the global community is indeed serious about reversing the dire effects of climate change, we should heed the lessons from Germany’s abdication from nuclear energy – one of our most important tools in the battle for the future health of our planet.

For more information on the SSAM, OTEK’s effort to help the nuclear industry, or any of our other award-winning and obsolescence-hardened products, please call 520-748-7900 or contact our sales department: sales@otekcorp.com.

The political opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily match OTEK’s beliefs. 

NRC Approves First Small Modular Reactor Permit

In a move that could have ripple effects throughout the industry, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a permit for the construction of a small modular reactor under the auspices of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The first of its kind in the United States, the permit grants the TVA twenty years to build and install the new age reactor, with consideration for more—all under the stipulation they total no more 800 megawatts. Small modular reactors check-in at 300 megawatts—roughly half the output of the more traditional plants.

The decision has created a push back from both environmentalists as well as federal agencies, who claim the NRC is bypassing necessary safety and building measures that could pose a potential disaster for surrounding communities. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, contends that this move opens the door for unregulated and unchecked nuclear technology to enter the industry without proper diligence in emergency planning, nuclear waste disposal, and the inherent risks from cybersecurity threats and radiation leaks. An expert in the field for the Union for Concerned Scientists, Edwin Lyman, called the permit’s passing “deeply flawed and reckless”, citing the dangers of placing one of these reactors inside a city.

And that’s ultimately the end goal of this action—to bring nuclear energy to bear on cities, communities, building zones, etc. in a mobile and efficient way. Thanks to the decision by the NRC, the nuclear energy industry which struggling to compete with plentiful natural gas and renewable energy could be reinvigorated. The small modular reactor offers a way to even the scales by lowering the enormous up-front cost of building the plant, along with the obvious advantages of new, improved, and innovative technology.

The nuclear industry as a whole has seen a resurgence under the Trump administration, as the President has rolled back several key measures his predecessor enacted to keep nuclear energy in check. If Trump finds himself reelected, the development of small modular reactors could play a crucial role in shaping this country’s energy future moving forward.

As a manufacturer of digital instrumentation, OTEK has kept a close eye on the nuclear industry for nearly a decade now and developed several product models to serve various industry applications over the years. One such model is our NTM-V, from our New Technology Series of DPM’s and Transmitters. Originally developed for a nuclear power plant in the Northeast section of the country, the NTM-V replaces form, fit, and function any Versatile, Sigma, or VMI 9200 series, and is already qualified as a Class 1E instrument.

Designed as a vertical meter, the NTM-V features an automatic tricolor bar display with 4 digits and intensity control, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O (USB, RS485, Ethernet), a configurable bar direction (up/down/center zero), math functions, a 4-20mA output, power inputs of 5-32VDC/90-265VAC, and over 30 input signals on externally powered models. The -V carries dimensions of 2.06” W x 4.06” H and is backed by our lifetime warranty.

With cutting edge technology such as small modular reactors emerging within the industry, OTEK continues to improve and innovate our technology to meet the rising potential of nuclear energy.

For more information on the NTM-V, our efforts to aid the nuclear industry, or any of our other products, please call 520-748-7900 or email our sales office at sales@otekcorp.com



NRC Grants First-Ever 80 Year Extension

he NRC grants the first-ever 80-year license renewal extension to Turkey Point

Turkey Point Plant | Image from Florida Power and Light

The NRC grants the first-ever 80-year license renewal extension to Turkey Point in Southern Florida. OTEK provides meters for the facility.

In a move that will surely turn environmentalists and climate change activists green with envy, the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) passed a referendum to extend a nuclear power plant’s operating license for 80 years. Last week the NRC approved a second operating license of 20 years for the Turkey Point reactors in southern Florida, which had previously been extended to 60 years.

The move comes at a crucial time for the American nuclear fleet, as the past decade saw a marked decline in operational nuclear plants, with half of the U.S. plants projected to shut down by 2040 without federal aid such as license renewals, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). Of the 58 nuclear plants operating around the country today, an overwhelming majority were built in the 1970s and ’80s—bringing them close to retirement as outlined in their original 40-year life expectancy plan. Even with the advent of 20-year extensions, the current political and environmental climate does not bode well for 60-year-old plants—especially considering the widespread popularity of natural gas and carbon-conscious renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower.

The 80-year extension at Turkey Point is in many ways a heart transplant for the nuclear industry. Though the word nuclear has long been synonymous with nefarious associations thanks to disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima, as well as sensational propaganda like the 1979 film The China Syndrome, the indisputable fact is that nuclear is the cleanest, most carbon-free, and most efficient energy source known to man. All renewables combined make up 16% of the U.S. energy generation, compared to nuclear’ s standalone 19%. And given the enormous challenges involved with building new power plants, the most viable option for our leading clean energy source is to keep our existing nuclear plants operational with security updates and improved efficiency.

OTEK has long been a dedicated supplier of process control and measurement instrumentation for the nuclear industry, with several of our panel meters installed in the Turkey Point reactors themselves. Our Plug & Play technology, along with highly flexible reverse engineering capabilities, has allowed us to design and produce metering technology specifically to aid applications within nuclear I&C rooms. Our HI-Q119 models populate the Turkey Point reactors, and their Form, Fit, and Function replacement, the NTM-9 was designed to aid the nuclear industry with superior technology.

Part of our award-winning New Technology Series, the NTM-9 can be qualified as a Class 1E safety-related meter for nuclear applications that adheres to the cybersecurity requirements mandated by NEI 08-09. A programmable, intelligent instrument, the NTM-9 features a 4 digit display, an automatic tricolor bar graph with intensity control, an input fail alarm with a run-time stamp that alerts the attending operator in the event of a lost or dead signal, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O, USB/RS485, a configurable bar direction (up/down/center zero) intensity control, math functions, over 30 isolated input signals, 4 relays or open collector transistors, 4-20mA/30V output, and is backed by our lifetime warranty.

In addition to replacing our HI-Q119 unit, the NTM-9 also replaces popular analogs such as the GE 180, Yokogawa 180, Westinghouse VX251/VX252, Dixon BB101/202PV, Sigma 1151/1251, and the Crompton 128 among others.

While the decision by the NRC to provide Turkey Point an additional 20-years for an 80-year license is a momentous stride in the future of the American nuclear fleet, it remains to be seen how it will play out over the industry as a whole. Come what may, OTEK stands with nuclear energy as the tip of the sword in the battle to reverse climate change.

For more information on the NTM-9 or any other of our diverse product catalog, please call 520-748-7900 or email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com