Completing the Limerickuclear Facility under Budget

On lanuary 8, 1990, the Limerick nuclear power generating facility in Pennsylvania began commercial operation, thereby setting a construction record for nuclear facilities. In an era when it is common to hear of nuclear plants that massively overrun their budgets and completion schedules, Limerick was completed eight months ahead of its 49-month schedule and came in $400 million under its $3.2 billion budget. Limerick has truly set a standard for the industry.

It was no accident that Limerick was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. When construction started in February 1986, a project goal was to complete the project eight months ahead of the planned completion, which would help keep the costs under the budget limit as well. To achieve this early target, a series of innovative approaches were taken. Two of the major ones were to accelerate ramp-up staffing and to use an ex tensive, fully-supported second shift. The momentum of the speedy start-up set the fast pace for the remainder of the project. The second shift earned a very favorable premium, as well as having a full complement of managers and engineers to work with the manual workers. In this fashion, the second shift productivity was equal to, if not higher than, the first shift's.

Other decisions and actions further helped either the cost or the schedule. For example, it was decided that overtime would not be worked since a second shift was being used. And as a condition of the project approval, a project labor agreement with the local unions (rather than the national) had to be developed that would eliminate strikes,

Source: T. P. Gotzis, "Limerick Generating Station Unit 2," PM Neiiwvfc, lanuary 1991.

Limerick Nuclear Facility contractor logos and lost-time clock.

lockouts, and delays and provide for peaceful resolution of disputes. Also, an incentive fee contract with the building contractor was signed whereby the contractor would share equally in cost/schedule overruns or under-runs, with limits set.

With such attention to the goal of an early and underbudget completion, the team, numbering almost 3000 workers by lune 1987, worked diligently and with high morale, meeting the goal in lanuary 1990.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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