ZION, Crystal River, Kewaunee

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A situation we at Bernie’s Team find interesting. Interesting in that they appear to be the same from a results perspective but very different when viewed from another perspective. All three plants are being lost to the nuclear generating community and the rate payers.

The decision to D&D Zion station was made in a very different environmental climate. I wonder if the decision were being made today if the result might be different. What do you think?

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The decision to retiree Crystal River was purely a financial decision based on the estimates to repair. We can’t argue with the fact the cost of new construction to replace the power; leans to support the decision made. What do you think?

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The decision to retire Kewaunee Station makes the least sense to me. Kewaunee is licensed to operate for twenty more years. There are no know technical issue to be concerned with but we are destined, it seems, to lose a perfectly good non-polluting generating asset because it cannot compete. What do you think?

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Zion Nuclear Power Station was the third dual-reactor nuclear power plant in the Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) network and served Chicago and the northern quarter of Illinois. The plant was built in 1973, and the first unit started producing power in December, 1973. The second unit came online in September 1974.[1] This power generating station is located on 257 acres (104 ha)[2] of Lake Michigan shoreline, in the city of ZionLake County, Illinois. It is approximately 40 direct-line miles north of Chicago, Illinois and 42 miles (68 km) south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Zion Nuclear Power Station was retired on February 13, 1998. The plant had not been in operation since February 1997, after a control-room operator inserted the control rods too far during a shut-down of Reactor 1 and then withdrew the control rods without following procedures or obtaining supervisory permission. Reactor 2 was already shut down for refueling at the time of the incident. ComEd concluded that the plant could not produce competitively priced power because it would have cost $435 million to order steam generators which would not pay for themselves before the plant’s operating license expired in 2013.

All nuclear fuel was removed permanently from the reactor vessel and placed in the plant’s on-site spent fuel pool by March 9, 1998. Plans were to keep the facility in long-term safe storage (SAFSTOR) until Unit 2′s operating license expires on November 14, 2013. Decontamination and dismantlement were to begin after this date. The estimated date for closure was December 31, 2026.

On August 23, 2010, it was announced that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of Exelon’s (ComEd’s parent company) license to Energy Solutions of Salt Lake City. The company will begin the 10 year process of dismantling the site, and will eventually haul away pieces of the plant to its property in Utah. During the dismantling process, spent fuel will be transferred from the spent fuel pool into dry casks and placed into a newly constructed Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). The cost of these operations is expected to reach approximately 1 billion dollars. After this is complete, Exelon will resume responsibility of the site, including the ISFSI.  The power plant is the tallest structure in Lake County.


Unit 1

Unit 2

Operating status Permanently closed Permanently closed
Reactor type Pressurized water Pressurized water
Reactor manufacturer Westinghouse Westinghouse
Generation capacity 1,040 megawatts 1,040 megawatts
Operational date June 1973 December 1973
Closure date January 1998 January 1998






Following a comprehensive analysis, Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, announced today that it will retire the Crystal River Nuclear Plant (CR3) in Citrus County, Fla. The plant has been safely shut down and offline since late 2009.

The company is reviewing alternatives to replace the power produced by the unit, including the potential construction of a new, state-of-the-art natural gas-fueled plant. The company is evaluating a number of potential sites for new plant capacity that may be needed in the future to meet Florida customer needs, including sites in Citrus County.

The energy complex’s four coal plants remain in service in Citrus County.

“We believe the decision to retire the nuclear plant is in the best overall interests of our customers, investors, the state of Florida and our company,” said Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy. “This has been an arduous process of modeling, engineering, analysis and evaluation over many months. The decision was very difficult, but it is the right choice.”

“The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has been an important part of our generation fleet for three decades,” said Alex Glenn, state president, Progress Energy Florida. “We are very sensitive to the impact on our employees at the plant and on the Citrus County economy.

“We are working to place as many employees affected by today’s announcement in other positions within the company, and we are committed to working with Citrus County to lessen the effects as much as possible,” he said.

The company’s decision comes after a comprehensive, months-long engineering analysis of the damaged CR3 containment structure. The nuclear unit, which began operating in 1977, had been shut down in the fall of 2009 for refueling and replacement of its steam generators when a delamination, or crack, occurred in the outer layer of the containment building’s concrete wall.

The process of repairing the damage and restoring the unit to service resulted in additional delaminations in other sections of the containment structure in 2011.

During the ensuing months, Progress Energy – and, more recently, Duke Energy – evaluated the ability to successfully repair the unit, the risks associated with any repair and the repair scope as well as the likely costs and schedule.

A report completed in late 2012 confirmed that repairing the plant was a viable option but that the nature and potential scope of repairs brought increased risks that could raise the cost dramatically and extend the schedule.

NEIL coverage claims resolution

In addition, the company and its insurance carrier, Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited (NEIL), have reached a resolution of the company’s coverage claims through a mediation process. Under the terms of the mediator’s proposal, NEIL will pay an additional $530 million.

Along with the $305 million NEIL has already paid, customers will receive $835 million in insurance proceeds. This will be the largest claim payout in the history of NEIL.

“We believe accepting the mediator’s proposal is in the overall best interests of our customers and shareholders, and the monies we receive will go directly to customers to reduce their electric bills,” Rogers said.

Timing and next steps

The company is working to develop a comprehensive decommissioning plan. The plan will determine resource needs as well as the scope, schedule and other elements of the decommissioning.

The company intends to use the SAFSTOR option for decommissioning. Generally, this involves placing the facility into a safe storage configuration, requiring limited staffing to monitor plant conditions, until the eventual dismantling and decontamination activities occur, usually in 40 to 60 years.







The Kewaunee Power Station occupies a 900-acre site in Carlton, Wisconsin, 27 miles southeast of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Kewaunee was the fourth nuclear power plant built in Wisconsin, and the 44th built in the United States.


The plant’s original operator was Wisconsin Public Service and it was owned by Wisconsin Public Service (59%) and Alliant Energy (41%). From 2000 to July 2005 the plant was operated by Nuclear Management Company, of Hudson, Wisconsin. The plant is currently owned and operated by Dominion Resources, of Richmond, Virginia. In 2008, Dominion applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for an extension of its operating license for an additional 20 years. The license was extended until 2033.

The original A/E was Pioneer Services and Engineering for a Bernie’s Team coffee cup tell us who that company became. Send me an e-Mail www.chuck@berniesteam.com .

On April 27, 2006, there was a small water leak at the plant, though no radioactive material was released.

On October 22, 2012 Dominion Resources announced they would shut down and decommission the plant in Mid-2013. Dominion’s chairman and CEO said “the decision was based purely on economics. Dominion was not able to move forward with our plan to grow our nuclear fleet in the Midwest to take advantage of economies of scale”. Lower natural gas costs and resultant lower electricity prices created an electricity market in which the plant could not compete.

March 2013

BT actually became an “International Operation” this past month with John Schmoll being in Nagasu, Japan at the Hitachi facility. Every morning and every evening John rides a local commuter train to and from Fukuoka, Japan where he is staying. John is the NPPD Oversight Representative looking at the next round of TN Canister’s. John, one thing I feel I should point out, is that all you can eat Catfish in Dardanelle, AR is not exactly Sushi in Japan. Thanks for being there, I am sure it is different, maybe even a little exciting!

BT reached another major milestone with Paul Gillespie joining our team and the establishment of our NQA-1 Quality Program.

One sure sign of growth and a major step toward becoming a huge factor in the “Used Fuel Management sector is taking the first steps to establish our tool/equipment inventory. When we complete that the utilities will be less captive to the canister manufacturers. Nothing like broadcasting that you are out to create a competitive market place. You might want to stay tuned as things are unfolding rapidly.

A Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all the Irish and want to be Irish and NO! I will not share my bottle of Jameson!!!

March, 2013

This is time of year for the NRC’s Regulatory Information Conference” and BT will be there. Look for Bernie and say hello, it is probably the last time you will see him limping along with the bad hip. It would also be a good time to find out where the “A Team” is with Used Fuel Management and the Equipment Inventory we are building!!! Can you spell Doerfer Wheelift ?

Alex Hay was at Millstone March 7th, I wonder what that was about?

Our home away from home! Cooper Nuclear Station

Get off Interstate 29 at the Rockport Exit and travel West on Highway 139. When you cross the wide Missouri River the first road on your left is County Road 648A take the turn and follow the road around until you reach the end of the stand of trees. (If you arrive in the spring you will no doubt understand the meaning of the “wide Missouri”.) There you will see a driveway and a sign saying Brownville RV Park and River Inn Resort. Try it you will love it. It is the best place to stay in the area and you can walk to Cooper Station from there. Be sure to allow your self enough time to enjoy the gourmet breakfast.  They are beyond good and included in the price of the room, even better!!! Maybe we will see you there one of these days!!!

A 2013 Quality Perspective

Before I press the publish button I feel obligated to “Welcome Paul Gillespie” not only to Bernie’s Team but to the contributors to our company and the Bernie’s Team website. I have all of you at a disadvantage, in that I have gotten to read Paul’s first post before you; and I for one am looking forward to the next one.

Bernie, I think you stumbled on a keeper!!!

An auditor is a man who watches the battle from the safety of the hills and then comes down to bayonet the wounded. – Sir Charles Lyell, American accountant, 1797 – 1875.

Because of the way that quality assurance began in the commercial nuclear industry, that statement by Mr. Lyell has been often repeated and sadly, not without merit. As a reaction to the adoption of 10CFR50 Appendix B in the early 1970’s, it was not uncommon for companies engaged in the nuclear construction business to simply designate certain individuals as “QA.” With very little training or qualifications, many became “auditors” and were perceived as those folks that found problems long after work had been completed. The process was similar to going all-out to close the barn door after the horse had run away. Quality assurance was practiced in a reactive way. The QA folks were auditors, and it was perceived that that is all they did. Thankfully, times have changed in most areas of the nuclear industry and we have a more proactive approach to meeting expectations.
Although I am an old “QA guy” as opposed to an old guy that works in QA (and there is a difference), I am not old school. Having worked in so many different segments of the nuclear world, I learned years ago that you cannot push a chain up a hill and the best approach to effectively implement a quality assurance program was through leading, teaching, and coaching. The quality of a product or a service then becomes an individual responsibility instead of the responsibility of “that group over there.” It is all about taking ownership and demonstrating control of the various processes we use to complete a task.
From time to time, I will post short articles here that I hope will be informative regarding the various happenings and “hot-button” issues in the industry. Things are changing in the nuclear quality world and we will need to adjust accordingly.
Until next time,

Paul G

A note of Thanks to our Clients!!!

Bernies Team is going to need a directory!!!

Three years of continuous growth and addition of new and old friends.
We are almost complete in our first fully burdened department. Used Fuel Management Services (UFMS).

We have Alex Hay …..known SME for UFMS…….Scott Atwater….known SME for ISFISI/Cranes/NRC Oversight….Dave Kern….HSM’s/Shift Supervision…………John Schmoll…..QA/QC Welding/Cask Manufacturing…Hayes (June) Morgan…SME Welding Engineer.…Paul Gillespie…..NQA-1/Level III Director Nuclear Oversight and our secret weapon for next month to be announced………………..!!!

Our Clients saw the need….We answered the challenge!!!

This month my old friend, Ali Egap, joined our Team to assist Ft. Calhoun on a critical path assignment. Ali has never been requested to do a project that was not completed excellently. Ali has more recommendations from CNO’s than most people even know!!!

Our talented staff has been answering requests from clients and our administrative and accounting members have been sending/receiving paperwork at the speed of light.

Our reputation is growing and our successful completion of projects is piling up. We have been blessed by years of traveling in the right circles and knowing the right people to get the job done.

Bernie’s Team is proud to be a managed task organization that provides Staff Augmentation with the backing of its coaches and players.

Ahead of Schedule…….Below Budget…….In a safe manner!!!
We are proud to say….We have been there before so getting there again is easy!!!

There seems to be a new and exciting era of wanting to get the best of the best for Nuclear Power. I for one thought we were settling for mediocrity due to cost considerations. Management has started to show us that when they see what actual cost savings by time allocation can do, they once again will request…..An “A” Team.

Because of the entire organization which makes up “Bernies Team”, we have seven Utilities and fourteen sites under contract in 2013.

Remember Safety first, Quality always and Technical Growth sets us apart!!!

February 2013 “A Team” News

The “A Team” News from Chuck! I am here this morning struggling with what to write about “The “A Team”. Whatever it is about it must be captivating, profound and lean towards our humorous side. I want to talk about our clients and the way they have accepted our business platform, it proves there is a place for a company that wants to do it right and actually does what they say. What other company will provide a penny for penny pricing detail that discloses exactly what we take for profit and overhead? I have worked for, or with, most of them at one time or another and I can tell you, none that I have seen. Any member of Bernie’s Team will tell you it has not all been easy, but it has always been fun. I am sure I speak for the whole team when I say “If it stops being fun, I am out of here”. We are fortunate to have a founder, owner, leader and friend that’s a people person first. Any situation that comes up it is always resolved by deciding what the right way is for the employee, the client and the company’s interest is the last consideration. If you are looking for an employer that accepts you as NUMBER ONE, than Bernie’s Team is the right choice! If you are a potential client looking for a company you can trust and depend on to do the job right, than Bernie’s Team is the right choice! While we have experienced a somewhat meteoric growth rate, even more impressive is we have experienced a less that one (1%) percent turnover rate since our inception. A statistic that is more than impressive in the staffing business. 2013 shows no indication of slowing down, January is a blur and February is here. Bernie get’s his hip replaced and will finally be at 100% and I am afraid the rest of us may not be ready for the effect of a Bernie at 100%! I personally can’t wait for January 2014 so I can look back and say 2012 compared to 2013 was a breeze!!!  

January 2013

Bernie and the leaders of the Used Fuel Management Services Team, Alex Hay and Dave Kern will be visiting NPPD’s Cooper Station and OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station the week of January 28th. Look for them they look like Mutt & Jeff with a friend.

2013—-Starting the Year with a Bang!!!

January’s topic is “more” Kudos to the “Team”………..

2013 starts Hayes (June) Morgan, our Welding Engineer on assignment at Zion Solutions. 2013 starts with Ali Egap, our Engineering Manager, going to supervise a critical path project at Ft. Calhoun. 2013 starts with Alex Hay, Director – Used Fuel Management Services, starting an organized approach to our clients needs. 2013 starts with Dave Kern, Manager – Used Fuel Management Services, starting an organized approach to HSM construction on our client Sites.
January is exploding with talent from Bernies Team answering the call to our Clients. We appreciate the requests and hope they don’t slow down. During our period of extreme growth I wanted to both thank our clients and crew for bearing with us. We consistently answer the call for duty and as little as possible allow for human exhaustion. I for one, being a retired start up Engineer always enjoyed 7/12’s. Who would think you could get back to that hectic era running a consulting firm. My thoughts and accolades go out to Chuck Vincent, Denise McClay and John Dunning for their undying dedication to keep the paperwork trail flowing to meet our clients’ needs.
Bernies Team has captured historical proportions for instant growth in the period between “Thanksgiving and New Years”. I am probably the only one who sees what it takes to get these “Team Members” through the process of being proposed to actual “Boots on the Ground”. So on behalf of our clients, to the staff , “I say, Job Well Done!!!”.
Last but not least, let me mention 2013 brings to us the opportunity to assist Southern Company in all aspects. A mountain of opportunity and a mountain of responsibility for the monitoring and meeting of their needs.

Through “Teamwork” we aspire to excellence in all our tasks!!!

We are looking for an exciting 2013 in, Safety, Quality and Growth!!!

Bernie’s Team UFMS 2012 Limerick Project Summary

On December 14, 2012, Bernie’s Team (Alex Hay and Dave Kern) successfully completed its Exelon Dry Cask Storage (DCS) contract, managing Limerick’s 2012 Spent Fuel Loading Campaign (SFLC) and HSM-H Installation project.

Acting as the site DCS Program Manager, Alex Hay, with the assistance of other site support groups, prepared and executed a three (3) cask loading campaign consisting of TN 61BT dry shielded canisters (DSCs). The entire team completed this task safely, on schedule, error free, on budget, and under dose stretch goals, despite weather delays and emergent site issues. The team received numerous site and corporate accolades for Limerick’s best DCS performance to date.

Immediately following the SFLC, Alex and Dave Kern initiated the HSM-H Installation project consisting of nineteen (19) HSM-H storage modules with the assistance of HAKE Rigging Company. Accolades to the following Team members:

HAKE for their excellent and professional performance in all aspects of the project. Jim Radomicki, John Picking and Pat Moore provided excellent leadership and their team executed their duties with the highest standards.

Dave Kern provided HSM field subject matter expertise and oversight during the installation process that attributed to our success. Dave’s questioning atittude assisted in more than one occasion.

Tom Salerno (Project Coordinator) and Gene Grace (Work Planner), retired site employees, provided invaluable site expertise instrumental in the team’s success.

Doug Suddeth provided timely QC field support second to none!
Like the SFLC, this effort also received numerous site and corporate accolades for excellent performance.

In summary, although challenging, Bernie’s Team enjoyed the opportunity in assisting Exelon meet their Limerick 2012 DCS goals. Bernie’s Team will continue to provide consulting services to assist Limerick prepare for their upcoming 2013 SFLC.