CNS-developed software streamlines readiness reviews, aids small business

  • Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 4:14 pm

Every day, employees at Y-12 National Security Complex solve problems in the course of serving the national security mission
Every day, employees at Y-12 National Security Complex solve problems in the course of serving the national security mission. In the course of this work, some technologies are developed that may have broader utility and impact in the private sector.

In some cases, CNS is able to grant a technology license to private businesses, as was recently the case with Weatherly Consulting, LLC, a small, woman-owned business. Weatherly Consulting now has a copyright license for Y-12’s Readiness Certification Assurance Tracking Software (RCAPTS). The software, which was developed by Y-12 program manager John Raulston and subcontractor Garrett Cook, will help streamline the readiness review process for Weatherly Consulting’s customers.

Software streamlines complex processes

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requires a disciplined, systematic, documented, performance-based examination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and management control systems. This review ensures a facility can be operated safely and provides the basis for DOE to direct startup or restart of the facility, activity, or operation.

Navigating that requirement efficiently and effectively led Y-12 to develop RCAPTS as a web-based, multi-user tool that manages readiness projects, reviews, and associated activities. By managing workflows automatically and providing real-time status updates, the software assists users in completing readiness verification and certification as required by DOE orders.

Designed to eliminate or supplement paper-based administrative tasks, RCAPTS could also be used by software companies, engineering firms during construction and/or startup activities, and operating firms using complex processes in a highly regulated environment.

Big impact for small business

Weatherly Consulting is primarily focused on readiness verification in nuclear operations. The business was established in 2008 by Janet Weatherly, Owner and Principal. Licensing RCAPTS will streamline the core business, according to Weatherly.

“I am extremely excited about gaining access to the RCAPTS technology for my business and how it will help improve the readiness review process,” said Weatherly. “Being familiar with it already, it is definitely user friendly and can be used with very little training.”

There are several administrative requirements that must be documented before starting any review or assessment. The software automates this part of the process.

“It does everything for you,” said Weatherly. “You can sort by functional area, core requirements, and prerequisites—all within a minute. It cuts out so many steps.”

Transferring technology

CNS Technology Transfer actively manages and commercializes technologies that employees created and facilitates licensing those technologies to private companies to enhance the nation’s competitiveness.

Grant Allard, University and Industrial Partnerships program manager, agreed the software would create a complementary service for Weatherly Consulting and their approach to the overall readiness review process.

“The RCAPTS software puts all of the readiness data at the user’s fingertips,” said Allard. “It allows for faster, more reliable decisions and reviews on projects in real-time, and reduces cost. Working with a small business to transfer this one-of-a-kind technology for commercial use has been especially gratifying.”

The CNS team was able to guide Weatherly through the copyright-license process so that she could begin utilizing the software.

“I definitely recommend business owners collaborate with CNS on useful technology and software for their business,” said Weatherly. “They make the process so easy.”