In November 2016, the Alden Quality Assurance department attended the NIAC (Nuclear Industry Assessment Committee) annual meeting.  NIAC is the supplier equivalent to NUPIC and the main benefit of membership is for suppliers to share audits of their sub-suppliers.  NIAC membership is open to suppliers with a 10CFR50 Appendix B or equivalent DOE quality program, and who demonstrate and agree to compliance with the NIAC Charter.  Alden joined NIAC in the fall of 2014 and the membership has helped reduce quality assurance costs while also staying in touch with current industry issues and maintaining a high quality product for our clients.

The meeting was held in Jacksonville, Florida and featured the necessary business of setting the audit schedule for the upcoming year and providing auditor training.  The auditor training is important to ensure consistent and accurate audits that all members can share and rely on.  Additionally, there was a keynote address by Ben Marguglio of High Technology Seminars. Mr. Marguglio is a leading authority on human performance factors and human errors, including error prevention and reduction.  He was an informative and engaging speaker who spoke about Root Cause Analysis.  One of the most interesting parts of his talk was about the seven human error causal factors.  The seven factors are: knowledge, cognition, value/belief, error-inducing condition, reflexive/reactive, skill and lapse, and he talked at length about them and gave an example of each.  If a human error was the cause of a problem, identifying the causal factor will allow you to appropriately correct and prevent that condition in the future.

In addition to the NIAC programming and networking, members were treated to an array of aerial tricks as the Blue Angels practiced over the beach for the Jacksonville Sea & Sky Air Show which was held on the weekend following the meeting.  This was not part of the NIAC meeting itself but was an unexpected surprise during lunch break Thursday and after the meeting on Friday.

Joining NIAC to help with qualifying vendors and with maintaining an approved vendor list is highly recommended for all nuclear suppliers.  Head on over to the NIAC website for information about joining.  We hope you will join us for the next member meeting in Napa, California.  Most likely, there will be no Blue Angel acrobatics to share, but perhaps a Napa Angel Cabernet Sauvignon!?