ABZ consults with power industry managers to improve operations, improve regulatory compliance and reduce risk. Specific areas of expertise include:
- Analysis of Safety and Operating Practices
- Management Audits
- Licensing and Safety Evaluations
- Litigation Support and Technical Experts
- Minimizing Insurance Costs and Reducing Risk
- Evaluation of Specific Engineering and Technical Issues
The following provides a brief description of a selection of ABZ's work:
Nuclear Safety Review & Audit Committee
ABZ staff fulfilled the responsibilities of a Nuclear Safety Review & Audit Committee (NSRAC) member in the area of operations and maintenance. NSRAC provided safety oversight of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant's performance. ABZ reviewed issues related to recirc pipe replacement, Technical Specification compliance, quality of operating procedures, etc. ABZ provided written and oral reports to NSRAC, and presentations to Boston Edison management.
Operations and Maintenance Evaluation
ABZ performed a detailed evaluation of the maintenance program at Diablo Canyon Power Plant. This included comparing the program elements with the regulations, evaluation of specific work packages and implementation of work in the field. In addition, ABZ conducted interviews with work planners, supervisors and management. ABZ developed and implemented specific recommendations.
Congressional Study of the US Nuclear Power Program
ABZ reviewed the decommissioning funding, spent fuel disposal plans and preparations for nine nuclear power plants as part of an overall study of the nuclear power plants as requested by the United States Congress. ABZ conducted interviews with upper management and technical personnel. Two panel meetings were held to review the findings of the report. The panel members included intervenors, public utility commissioners, industry representatives and university professors. The results of the report were presented to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioners.
Quality Assurance Program Audit
ABZ performed a detailed, comprehensive evaluation of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Quality Assurance (QA) Program. The evaluation included a comparison of the program objectives against the regulations, interviews with QA personnel, implementation of QA procedures and the qualifications of QA personnel. The evaluation also included the observation of safety-related work during a refueling outage. Specific recommendations were presented to the Committee for review.
Maintenance Program Review at Diablo Canyon
ABZ performed a detailed review of the maintenance program at Diablo Canyon Power Plant for Pacific Gas and Electric. This included comparing the program elements with the regulations, review of specific work packages and implementation of work in the field. In addition, interviews with work planners, supervisors and management were conducted. Specific recommendations were developed and implemented.
Nine Mile Point Nuclear Training Program Evaluation
ABZ participated with the Niagra Mohawk Quality Assurance Department in a comprehensive evaluation of the nuclear training program at Nine Mile Point, Unit 1 and 2 sites. The audit consisted of comparing the standards and regulations with the programs and procedures in place at the time of the audit. Several significant issues were noted during the audit, including problems associated with compliance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) training regulations, coordination of training and day-to-day work, insufficient detail in describing interfaces within the Department and needed technical improvements in several of the Department's lesson plans. In addition, a review of the plant's simulator training of plant operators was performed. The findings of the effort were issued to plant management.
Management Evaluation of Nuclear Organization
ABZ participated in a comprehensive evaluation and review of the Arizona Nuclear Power Project (ANPP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arizona Public Service Company (APS). In response to increasing costs and poor performance, the APS Board of Directors and President requested an in-depth analysis of the functions, effectiveness and staffing of ANPP. ABZ reviewed and evaluated the maintenance, operations, quality assurance, and engineering as part of a team of consultants hired by APS. Several significant organizational changes were recommended and implemented, including consolidation of responsibilities in each operating unit, establishing a standardization group to assure all units operated in the same manner, and an outage/maintenance support group to review the units. The final organization was patterned after the naval reactors program and remains in place today.
Decommissioning Planning and Organizational Development
ABZ provided technical assistance to the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in planning for the decommissioning of the Shoreham Nuclear Power Station (SNPS) and developing a technical organization qualified for assuming responsibility of the plant. The analysis required a detailed evaluation of SNPS's Final and Updated Safety Analysis Review, Technical Specifications, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) codes and standards. The requirements for maintaining a plant during decommissioning and performing functions, such as fuel removal, decontamination of systems and components, and monitoring potentially radioactive releases, were also reviewed. Based on the requirements, an organization and staffing plan was developed. Detailed plans were made to establish the lowest cost alternatives for decommissioning. This included an analysis of the decontamination and dismantlement (D/D), SAFSTOR and entombment alternatives. The D/D alternative was chosen and a detailed cost estimate performed. Finally, the staffing, organization and cost information were used as the basis for ABZ's development of the decommissioning plan.