The nuclear side of the power industry gains useful information from Finepoint’s Circuit Breaker Test and Maintenance Training Conference. Dennis Hudson, nuclear maintenance supervisor at Duke Energy has attended at least eight of the conferences and has presented several sessions on circuit breaker timing.

Hudson is one of the maintenance supervisors of a crew responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of the Duke Energy nuclear switchyards’ HV circuit breakers, GSU and aux. transformers, bus, switches and associated switchyard apparatus.

He said he has attended several other conferences and that “the Circuit Breaker Test & Maintenance Conference by Finepoint Marketing is by far the most informative conference available and has been since 1994.”

One of the greatest benefits of the conference for Hudson is that many of the people attending the show are field technicians who have the hands-on expertise. He said that much information is shared among the technicians from various utilities worldwide. “I’ve spent many hours in the evening after the presentations, networking, swapping stories and sharing tricks of the trade, so to speak,” he said.

But the best attribute of the conference is the information presented in the sessions, according to Hudson. He feels the presentations are understandable and the knowledge can be applied to his own maintenance practices. “I’ve always felt that if you learn one thing and can bring it back to improve your maintenance practices, improving reliability, cutting cost or making your job safer, the trip is cost effective,” Hudson said. “Never, have I failed to bring something back from this conference that I can’t apply to my job.”

Hudson continues to attend the Circuit Breaker Conference even though it is held in the fall, the busiest time of year for nuclear stations. Duke’s nuclear stations are in refueling outage, and the plant-related apparatus maintenance has to be performed during shutdown.