Lessons Learned in Risk Management on NCSX

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The National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX) was designed to test physics principles of an innovative stellarator design developed by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Construction of some of the major components and sub-assemblies was completed, but the estimated cost and schedule for completing the project grew as the technical requirements and risks became better understood, leading to its cancellation in 2008. The project's risks stemmed from its technical challenges, primarily the complex component geometries and tight tolerances that were required. The initial baseline, established in 2004, was supported by a risk management plan and risk-based ... continued below

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191Kb

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G.H. Neilson, C.O. Gruber, J.H. Harris, D.J. Rej, R.T. Simmons, and R.L. Strykowsky July 21, 2009.

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The National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX) was designed to test physics principles of an innovative stellarator design developed by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Construction of some of the major components and sub-assemblies was completed, but the estimated cost and schedule for completing the project grew as the technical requirements and risks became better understood, leading to its cancellation in 2008. The project's risks stemmed from its technical challenges, primarily the complex component geometries and tight tolerances that were required. The initial baseline, established in 2004, was supported by a risk management plan and risk-based contingencies, both of which proved to be inadequate. Technical successes were achieved in the construction of challenging components and subassemblies, but cost and schedule growth was experienced. As part of an effort to improve project performance, a new risk management program was devised and implemented in 2007-08. It led to a better understanding of project risks, a sounder basis for contingency estimates, and improved management tools. Although the risks ultimately were unacceptable to the sponsor, valuable lessons in risk management were learned through the experiences with the NCSX project.

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191Kb

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  • Report No.: PPPL-4427
  • Grant Number: DE-ACO2-09CH11466
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 960218
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc934350

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • July 21, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 13, 2016, 2:28 p.m.

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G.H. Neilson, C.O. Gruber, J.H. Harris, D.J. Rej, R.T. Simmons, and R.L. Strykowsky. Lessons Learned in Risk Management on NCSX, report, July 21, 2009; Princeton, New Jersey. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc934350/: accessed July 15, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.