Internship at OPG - Complete experience (updating)

In May 2014, I started a 14 (12 + 2) months internship with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). I worked in Fuel Handling (FH) Department under Nuclear Refurbishment Project. The scope of refurbishment is to extend the life of generation station for 30 years. The multi billion mega project has broken down to several bundles managed by a few departments, FH is one of them. FH department owned 3 bundles and 6 projects during my serving at the company.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is an Ontario based clean energy provider, owned by Government of Ontario. Nearly 60% of Ontario’s energy is provided by OPG. OPG owns 2 Nuclear Generation Stations, 65 Hydroelectric Stations, 2 Biomass Stations, 1 Thermal Station, and 2 Wind Turbines [R1]. Among all the Generation Stations, Nuclear Generation Stations provided over 50% of Ontario’s electricity.


ExplorationThe first month of my internship, my main job was to learn regulations and adapt to this government solely owned compan. Also, get involved to each project and get familiarity to procedures within the organization. At the same time, I took responsibility developed migration strategy for transferring current SharePoint to the new Site. I suggested a method that re-arranges all the documents based on bundle/project, and within each project, documents are sorted based on 6 categories as following: Engineering, Execution, Finances, Gates, Project General and Project Management. The migration project took me 2 weeks. As a result, I established valuable interdepartmental connections in Infrastructure department. Also, I became one of the administrations of SharePoint management team. I gained Risk Management knowledges while working with the Risk Management team.

After a few tasks successfully completed, trust from colleagues gained rapidly. I started working with Planning & Control (P&C) Lead with Risks identifying, reviewing and reporting. I started with sharing responsibility with P&C lead and carried most of the Risk Management job within my department, after a few months, I took full responsibility of managing risk database, as well as action, decision, oversight and assumption logs. Before halfway done with my internship, I managed all risks for 6 projects in my department, in charge of Quad Chart Risk reporting, and everything that is related to risks. At the same time, I have solidified connections with Risk Department.

The more time I spent in OPG the more responsibility I am carrying on my shoulder. I got increasingly involved in Gate Packages preparation. Gated process is one of the most important milestones in project planning. A project can be divided up to 6 phases in this organization, definition phase, preliminary engineering phase, detailed engineering phase, procurement phase, construction phase and closeout phase. Each phase represents the project status being reported to Board of Project owners. After a huge amount of preparations prior to submitting gate package, owners can vote go or no go for the project. This is the definition of gate. At first, I made the document binder for one of the six projects, participating meeting, making minutes and take actions. Later, I had taken Project Engineer’s responsibility to prepare a Gate Package for another Project. Finally, at the end period of my internship, I spent tremendous amount of time leading, managing and preparing 5 gate packages. It was one of the most important tasks in Refurbishment. My duties includes different aspects of fields:

Risk Analysis and Contingency, which I started since I joined company, I took full responsibility for this part.

Contingency, it combines two parts: risk assessment and cost uncertainty. To assess risks, all project risks need to be reviewed, updated and assessed to identify whether it is applicable to this gate. After selected qualified risks, each risk is detailed reviewed by Project Engineers and Project Manager, certain numbers need to be created to represent risk impact. To be more specific, a butterfly valve in the station has a chance of leaking due to poor maintenance could cause containment liquid spit in working area. The risk response strategy is inspect valve most often that usual and assessing impact of replacing the valve. There are possibilities assigned to the risk before and after risk response strategy. Areas like financial impact, financial impact possibility, schedule impact, schedule impact possibility, burn rate etc. dozens of data need to be assess during this phase. The cost uncertainty part is obtained by assessing project estimate at the current phase. Estimating is a time and resource consuming task, it involves collaboration of professional estimators, project engineers, project managers, sometimes director or even VP. With two parts combined, contingency can be produced as a draft product. The process can be repeated from any steps above.

Finances Analysis, including Interest, Escalation, Contingency and Gate Progression Form (GPF) which is a summary of most important information in the package. Take confidentiality into consideration, interest, Escalation and other financial information will not be discussed in this article. What can be told is, they all far more complex than Contingency calculation.

GPF, Gate Progression Form is the key part of the final submission, summary of summary, grand total and breakdowns are presented in this document. Numerous calculations are involved in preparing this document. Data from all different areas of the multi-million projects are sorted, combined and summarized in GPF. Final presentation is built based on GPF. Any chance in any document could result in re-cash flow the project. To save repeated procedures, I have created and implemented formulas to avoid repeatable calculations.

Project Management, Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) and others. My job was supposed to prepare material and send them to Finance Department. Since big company does not have high efficiency, I took over responsibility. I requested templates, studies procedures, made the calculation and finally reviewed/approved by finance people.

Also, my supervisor started a revolution of traditional Huddles Time, which is a weekly entire company event, news update, safety remind and discussion based on Operation Experience (OPEX). At beginning, I was digging OPEX database and make the related OPEX list and handed over to my supervisor. Recently, writing the whole package became one of my weekly tasks, job including searching OPEX and choose the appropriate one, writing lessons learned from OPEX, how do we improve based the OPEX; News Flash and Safety trait. Listening to material that I wrote everything week became one of my most enjoyable moments on Tuesday.


There are much more tasks I get involved as well. One of the most valuable things I have learned is resource is important, you may not know the answer, but the way of looking for the answer is a must know. Awareness of the right person to talk to is one of the necessary things that influence how you will perform in the company.
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本文作者为2015问吧奖学金参选选手:甄祥
学校:Laurentian University
专业:Mechanical Engineering

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