Advanced nuclear recycling technology was a dormant project for more than 10 years. We needed a way to catch our competition with a viable solution to the growing worldwide problem of increasing spent nuclear fuel.


  • Apply wing-to-wing Value Stream Mapping (VSM) to both transactional and manufacturing process, capturing data and best practices from diverse teams who have never worked together before.
  • Identify flow issues, waste issues, and risks using our VSM and generate Failure Modes and Effects Analyses (FMEAs) to establish a common framework for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing problems.
  • Utilize the diverse team of worldwide experts (40+ members) for 7 ways design challenges and integrated simulation of operations to generate innovative solutions.
  • Engage the diverse team in a stakeholder analysis to develop an improvement strategy for the public image of recycling nuclear fuel.


  • Continued development work only on critical elements instead of complete redesign.
  • Implement sub-system simulation and statistical performance measurement for continuous improvement monitoring based on success of system level simulations.
  • Leverage the stakeholder analysis to create an active communication campaign for improving the public image of nuclear recycling in the United States.


  • Awarded $2M additional funding by Dept. of Energy (DOE) based on their first time participation in Lean events and the tremendous progress we achieved.
  • Improved knowledge transfer between national laboratories, industry partners and business units for the first time in more than a decade.
  • Highlighted in the September 2008 Nuclear News, an industry publication, as demonstrating commercial operation without government subsidy, unlike competing global technologies.