In 2020, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the global supply chain for the nuclear industry. Many single-use items have become difficult to source, and if still available, are only available at a significant price increase.

The nuclear industry can expect the worldwide shortage of single-use protective clothing such as coveralls, latex gloves, nitrile gloves, and lab coats to continue through 2021.

“Many of our customers are going through existing stock of single-use PPE, and haven’t yet had to replenish their supply at higher price points. We expect single-use prices to remain high over the next year and beyond, and encourage our customers to consider the benefits of converting to reusable, launderable PPE for upcoming orders for significant savings,” said UniTech Director of Supply Services Vic Crusselle.

Crusselle explained that single-use gloves, for example, have gone through an industry-wide 200 percent price increase. Continued use of single-use gloves could mean a steep cost increase of $5,000-$10,000 per nuclear plant outage for the gloves alone, if they are even available.

UniTech is staying ahead of this industry trend by making it as easeful as possible for customers to transition to launderable PPE.

Customers converting to launderable PPE receive on-site training for all employees conducted by UniTech’s team of experts. Additionally, a UniTech on-site coordinator will oversee your plant’s first outage with launderable PPE, assuring all safety and efficiency goals for the outage are met.

Manufacturing of UniTech’s launderable PPE has been unaffected, and UniTech has taken measures to ensure customers will not experience shortages in launderable PPE as circumstances caused by the pandemic continue to change in real time on a country-by-country basis.

“We’ve recognized the need for diversifying our manufacturing of our launderable PPE products across the globe, so that we do not run into supply chain issues that could affect availability for our customers. We’ve also increased inventory to meet growing demand from our customers, with roughly $12 million worth of launderable PPE inventory currently in stock,” explained Crusselle.

If you have questions about the forecasted availability of single-use PPE items or want to begin transitioning to launderable PPE, contact your UniTech Technical Account Manager.