January 2013

2013 is starting with the same exhilarating pace that 2012 ended with. We opened the New York Office at 809 Destin Drive Endicott, NY 13760. You can contact the office at 607-321-3308 or E-Mail: Alex@berniesteam.com.

The office is the “Center of Excellence” for the Used Fuel Management Service organization headed by Alexander M. (Alex) Hay. Alex will be expanding Bernie’s Team’s presence in this industry segment along with Bernie. So look forward to hearing from and seeing Alex at your site in the near future.

M. Ali Egap Site Interference Design Lead for the CIS Project at OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station.

Hayes (June) Morgan begins an assignment as the Project Welding Engineer for Zion Solutions.

January should see an increase in opportunity for Bernie’s Team at Southern Nuclear under the oversight of John Dunning, “Roll John”!

Bernie will while over loaded with travel and other customer interfaces be finally getting his hip replaced thus taking away the last of his excuses.

Me? I am going to set back as usual and watch everybody else work after all that is what a VP of Operations does.

Kudos to the “Team”………A New Era………Ending the 2012 with a BANG!!!

For me, personally, 2013 brings forty two years of contracting history and/or direct labor applied to the Commercial Nuclear Power Generation sector!!!
My thoughts are that there could be little that would surprise me within this Industry. In all that time and with five companies going through startup in my career, Bernies Team is capturing historical proportions for instant growth in the normally slow period between “Thanksgiving and New Years”.
Contractors have been saying for years; hire the best people and get the job done…Safely…On or Ahead of Schedule…….At or Below Budget!!! No matter how many times you preach this, most clients accept mediocrity with deep pockets, in lieu of the lowest total cost!!!
Bernies Team looks to double in size and to accept, critical path, managed tasks starting in December. We have all heard the saying that “Necessity is the mother of invention!!!” Another way to say this is, “Difficult situations inspire ingenious solutions.” What I am saying here, that after forty two years of preaching this message is finally getting through. I think it is because at Bernie’s Team “We not only talk the talk but we walk the walk!!! Bernies Team has cut margins to supply the very best technically competent consultants to our clients. The clients in turn have shown their recognition of the quality we provide and the fiscal management we employ and constantly are giving us the new opportunity to assist..
Myself along with the rest of “Bernie’s Team” want to Thank the field personnel for your excellent effort to show what a true consulting “Team” can do!!! I personally want to Thank the member “Coaches and Players” for their undying dedication, to providing the hours, to find the talent, to fill the positions required, for our “Trusting Clients”. And finally all of “Bernies Team would like to Thank our Clients for putting their Trust in us, a new but highly qualified company!!!
Because of the entire organization which makes up “Bernies Team”, we have six Utilities and twelve sites under contract in 2012.
We are looking for an exciting 2013 in, Safety, Quality and Growth!!!

It is the spirit of the season that is important and a reminder to respect each other’s beliefs even if different than our own. Look for what we have in common and don’t focus on the differences. Remember that all men and women were created equal; it is what we learn later that makes us different.

That is more than enough of “The world according to Chuck” for 2012!!!

2012 for Bernie’s Team has been exciting with exceptional end of the year growth!!! The growth came in November and December normally a quiet time. The year began with a bang and is going out the same way. My Christmas wish is that “everyone will have a safe, prosperous and happy 2013. Congratulations to all of the Bernie’s Team members and thank you for all your efforts on our behalf. We could not have done it without you and your dedication.

Our promise to our teammates and our clients is that we will work even harder in 2013 for you!

 

Merry Christmas and a Joyous and prosperous New Year!!!!!

From our team to you:

Denise McClay, John Dunning, Alex Hay, David Kern, Scott Atwater, Rollie Clark, Peter Bell, Kurt Jennings, Bill Persick, Monte Layton, Charlie Ridout, Becki Wyscarver, Jake Tesar, Al Johnson, Bob Hopkins, Hayes Morgan, Ross Ridenour, Lydia Wong, Danni Yang, and Bernie!!!!!

A history of Commercial Nuclear Power for our Navy Nuclear Friends! – Page 2

ANPP significant accomplishments 

References for this list include the DOE document, the Suid book, and the Briefing Book. 

  • Detailed designs for pressurized and boiling water reactors, as well as gas-cooled and liquid-metal cooled reactors.
  • First nuclear power plant with a containment structure (SM-1)
  • First use of stainless steel for fuel element cladding (SM-1)
  • First nuclear power plant in the US to supply electrical power to a commercial grid (SM-1)
  • First in-place reactor vessel annealing, using nuclear heat source, in the US (SM-1A)
  • First steam generator replacement in US (SM-1A)
  • First pressure-suppression containment (SM-1A)
  • First operational boiling-water reactor power plant (SL-1)
  • First portable, pre-packaged, modular nuclear power plant to be installed, operated, and removed (PM-2A)
  • First use of nuclear power for desalinization (PM-3A)
  • First land-transportable, mobile nuclear power plant (ML-1)
  • First nuclear powered closed-loop (Brayton) gas turbine cycle (ML-1)
  • First floating (barge-mounted) nuclear power plant (MH-1A) 

Nuclear power plant operator training 

The Nuclear Power Plant Operator Course (NPPOC) was conducted at Ft. Belvoir. Applicants for the program were enlisted men who had to commit to serving a minimum of two years after completion of training. The requirements for admission to the NPPOC included aptitude test scores at least as stringent as those required for admission to Officer Candidate School. Over 1,000 Nuclear Power Plant operators were licensed between the years 1958 through 1977. The NPPOC was an intense and academically challenging year-long course. 

The training was in three phases of four months each: (1) Academic; (2) Operator; (3) Specialty. Academic phase was eight hours per day of classroom work on Electrical, Mechanical, Nuclear Engineering. Operator phase was at the SM-1, and was shift work both on the “floor” of the plant (i.e., as an “Equipment Operator”) and in the control room (Control Room Operator). Specialty phase was one of Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, or Health Physics / Plant Chemistry. The plants were maintained by the operator personnel, trained in these plant maintenance specialties. On graduation from the NPPOC, an individual was “licensed to learn” how to operate a nuclear power plant. A series of badges worn on uniforms designated the individual’s progress through the training program.

A history of Commercial Nuclear Power for our Navy Nuclear Friends! – Page 1

Oh my say it’s not so, Shippingport was not the first reactor to put power on the grid!!!!!!!

The Army Nuclear Power Program (ANPP) was a program of the United States Army to develop small pressurized water and boiling water nuclear power reactors to generate electrical and space-heating energy primarily at remote, relatively inaccessible sites. The ANPP had several notable accomplishments, but ultimately it was considered to be “a solution in search of a problem.” The U. S. Army Engineer Reactors Group was the entity that managed this program and it was headquartered at Ft. Belvoir, VA. The program began in 1954 and had effectively terminated by about 1977, with the last class of NPP operators graduating in 1977. Work continued for some time thereafter either for decommissioning of the plants or placing them into SAFSTOR (long term storage and monitoring before decommissioning). The current development of small modular reactors has led to a renewed interest in military applications.[1] [2]

 

List of ANPP plants

 

Eight reactors / plants were constructed. In this list MWe = megawatts electrical; kWe = kilowatts electrical. Any power plant, nuclear or otherwise, has an efficiency with which thermal energy can be converted to electrical energy. This thermodynamic efficiency is usually in the 30-40% range, but for the ANPP reactors was, for various reasons, more often about 20%. Also, the electrical energy available outside the plant is limited by (1) the need in some designs to extract steam for space heating, and (2) in all cases the need to supply electrical power to the plant itself (station service); in other words, “It takes electricity to make electricity.”

 

Due to the requirement for a small physical size, all these reactors other than the MH-1A used highly enriched uranium (HEU). The MH-1A had more space to work with, and more weight-carrying capacity, so this was a low-enrichment reactor; i.e., larger and heavier. The MH-1A was briefly considered for use in Vietnam, but the idea of anything nuclear in Vietnam was quickly rejected by the State Department.

Key to the codes: 

  • First letter: S – stationary, M – mobile, P – portable.
  • Second letter: H – high power, M – medium power, L – low power.
  • Digit: Sequence number.
  • Third letter: A indicates field installation.

 

The plants are listed in order of their initial criticality.

SM-1: 2 MWe. Fort Belvoir, VA, Initial criticality April 8, 1957 (several months before the Shippingport Reactor) and the first U.S. nuclear power plant to be connected to an electrical grid. Used primarily for training and testing, rather than power generation for Ft. Belvoir. The plant was designed by the American Locomotive Company (renamed ALCO Products, in 1955), and was the first reactor developed under the Army Nuclear Power Program. See the SM-1 image gallery, below. This plant was a tri-service training facility, with both the US Navy and Air Force sending personnel to be trained on shore-based facilities (the Navy had a different stand-alone program for ship-based nuclear power, which is still in operation). The SM-1 and associated training facilities at Ft. Belvoir were the only training facility for shore-based military power plants. The plant cooled its condensers using the waters of Chesapeake Bay. For about the first 10 years of its operation, the SM-1 unknowingly released tritium into the waters of Chesapeake Bay, until the development of the Packard Tr-Carb detector, which was the first capable of detecting the low-energy beta decay of tritium. The instrumentation in the SM-1 pre-dated the development of solid-state devices and used vacuum tubes.

SL-1: Boiling water reactor, 300kWe, National Reactor Testing Station, Idaho. Initial criticality August 11, 1958. Site of the only fatal accident at a US nuclear power reactor, on January 3, 1961, which destroyed the reactor. The SL-1 was designed by the Argonne National Laboratory to gain experience in boiling water reactor operations, develop performance characteristics, train military crews, and test components. Combustion Engineering was awarded a contract by the AEC to operate the SL-1 and in turn employed the Army’s military operating crew to continue running the plant. This BWR was specifically designed to power DEW line stations. Three men were killed when this reactor plant went from shutdown to prompt critical during a maintenance procedure. The accident happened when a control rod jammed during refueling. Two men entered the containment facility to unjam the rod. In so doing, they withdrew the rod. The core instantly went critical and the cooling water, which also served as the moderator, flashed to steam. The rod pinned one man to the ceiling and the steam flash killed the other. After the accident, the third man left the control room and entered the containment, where he was killed by the radiation. This accident was important in the development of commercial power because future designs prevented the core from going critical with the removal of a single rod.

PM-2A: 2 MWe, plus heating. Camp Century, Greenland. Initial criticality October 3, 1960. The first “portable” nuclear power reactor. Brought to Greenland in parts, assembled, operated, disassembled, shipped back to CONUS.[7] The PM-2A in Camp Century, Greenland, was designed by the American Locomotive Company to demonstrate the ability to assemble a nuclear power plant from prefabricated components in a remote, arctic location. The pressure vessel was subsequently used to investigate neutron embrittlement in carbon steel. This plant was shut down 1963-1964. PM-2A operated at a uranium-235 enrichment of 93 percent.

ML-1: first closed cycle gas turbine. Initial criticality was on March 30, 1961. Designed for 300 kW, but only achieved 140 kW. Operated for only a few hundred hours of testing. The ML-1 was designed by Aerojet General Corporation to test an integrated reactor package that was transportable by military semi-trailers, railroad flatcars, and barges. This reactor was shut down in 1965.

PM-1: 1.25 MWe, plus heating. Sundance, Wyoming. Owned by the Air Force, this pressurized water reactor was used to power a radar station. Initial criticality was on February 25, 1962. The PM-1 was designed by the Martin Company and provided electric power to the 731st Radar Squadron of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). This plant was shut down in 1968. PM-1 operated at a uranium-235 enrichment of 93 percent.

PM-3A: 1.75 MWe, plus heating and desalinization. McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Owned by the Navy. Initial criticality March 3, 1962, decommissioned 1972. The PM-3A, located at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, was designed by the Martin Company to provide electric power and steam heating to the Naval Air Facility at McMurdo Sound. PM-3A operated at a uranium-235 enrichment of 93 percent.

 

The PM-3A (Portable, Medium-power, 3rd generation) was a plant installed to provide power for the McMurdo Base in Antarctica. During the 1970 to 1971 winter, it achieved a world-record power run. It was one of the first shore-based power plants to use solid-state equipment. The PM-3A was not operated by the Army, but was under the NAVFAC (Naval Facilities Engineering Command “Sea Bees”), shore-based power division of the US Navy. Although the majority of the personal were Navy, the PM-3A was a tri-service stationing. For 1970-1971, there was an Army Sargent and an Air Force Sargent stationed with the crew. The plant was air-cooled with the condensers and fan units running glycol. Waste heat was also used for desalination using vacuum flash distillation. The reactor was located in buried tanks in the ground. After decommissioning, the plant was cut into pieces and transported to the US for burial. The soil surrounding the tanks had become radioactive; so it was also removed and transported to Port Hueneme Naval Base, California, where it was incorporated into asphalt pavement. An interesting aside is the plant was located on the flanks of Mt. Erebus, the only active volcano in Antarctica, an excellent geothermal source.

          SM-1A: 2 MWe, plus heating. Fort Greely, Alaska. Initial criticality March 13, 1962. The SM-1A at Ft. Greely, Alaska, was designed by ALCO Products and was the first field facility developed under the Army Nuclear Power Program. This site was selected to develop construction methods in a remote, arctic location. This plant was shut down in 1972. 

MH-1A: 10 MWe, plus fresh water supply to the adjacent base. Mounted on the Sturgis, a barge (no propulsion systems) converted from a Liberty ship, and moored in the Panama Canal Zone. Initial criticality at Ft. Belvoir VA (in Gunston Cove, off the Potomac River), January 24, 1967. It was the last of the eight plants to permanently cease operation. The MH-1A was designed by Martin Marietta Corporation. It remained moored at Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal from 1968 until 1977, when it was towed back to Ft. Belvoir for decommissioning. It was moved to the James River Reserve Fleet in 1978 for an expected 50 years of SAFSTOR. The MH-1A had an elaborate analog-computer-powered simulator installed at the Training Division, USAERG, Ft. Belvoir.

 

 

Of the eight built, six produced operationally useful power for an extended period. Many of the designs were based on United States Naval reactors, which were proven compact reactor designs.

 

Where in the world is the “A Team”

Left to right; Gene Grace-Exelon, Dave Kern-Bernie's team, Bernie, Tom Salerno-Exelon, Alex Hay-Bernie's Team, Doug Suddeth-Exelon
The Limerick “A Team” & Bernie

Left to right; Gene Grace-Exelon, Dave Kern-Bernie’s team, Bernie, Tom Salerno-Exelon, Alex Hay-Bernie’s Team, Doug Suddeth-Exelon

Bernie’s visit to Limerick included among other things a tour of the ISFSI and a picture session with ISFSI Pool to Pad Team.

Congratualtions to Exelon and the “A Team” for a job well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December is the month The “A Team” will visit the Exelon Limerick Nuclear Station and the ISFSI support Team, December 5th, 6th and 7th. Look for an overview of this visit from Bernie in a few days and some long awaited photograhs!

 

In November you will find The “A Team” in Nebraska discussing 2013 with NPPD folks and at Fort Calhoun greeting our new employees Jodie Risner and Matthew Miner. Later in the month, November 28th and 29th The “A Team” will be at the US Nuclear Used Fuel Strategy Conference in Charlotte, NC. We hope to see you there as well!

 

Bernie’s Team will be attending the Energizing Powerful Connections Supplier Diversity Conference on  Nov. 7 and 8, in Birmingham, Alabama.

 

During October The “A Team” was in Atlanta to discuss Dry Cask closure welding with BHI Energy’s WeldTech Services. We also met with Southern Nuclear Company to discuss our recent addition to their approved supplier list as a  Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, the approval also covered the entire Southern Company.

 

The “A Team” will be visiting two new clients in September in the Northeast!

 

The “A Team” including Scott Atwater, Shawn Miller and John Dunning attended a meeting at a new clients request in the South to show them our capabilities in Dry Cask Storage.

August 1 through August 3, 2012.

 

The “A Team” travelled to Ft Calhoun and Cooper to have lunch and dinner with our employees at these two sites. This was a new employee at Cooper trip. BT visits every site at least Quarterly and within thirty days of a new arrival.

June 25 through June 29, 2012.

 

The “A Team” attended the USA Conference in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado the week of June 12th through June 15th, 2012. The USA conference as always was a complete success on the venue it presented. We arrived before the fires were present and the beautiful state of Colorado was defiled with the Shootings. BT did not have a booth this year but was able to roam the floor and meet and greet several of the upper management staff of our Clients and friends. It was as usual an outstanding opportunity to renew friendships and create new ones.

 

Remember next years USA Conference is at The Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Virginia, June 4th through June 7th, 2013.

 

 

The “A Team” was represented by Bernie Preisz and Alex Hay at the NEI Dry Cask Forum in St. Petersburg, FL the week of May 7th through May 10th, 2012.

Happy Thanksgiving

 

With 2012 drawing to a close and Bernie’s Team nearing completion of its third year of business, it has been interesting and challenging to say the least. We have grown and expect to keep up our growth. We have added key players to our team and we are staffed for the future. We have formed alliances with key service providers enabling us to provide a complete solution to our clients. We have added Sothern Nuclear to our impressive list of General Service Agreements. We are in the process of entering into an agreement with BHI Energy’s WeldTech Services enhancing our Dry Cask Storage offering to include the canister closure welding. It is not a limiting agreement in that it allows for the use of other welding service providers should a client prefer a different welding services provider.

We have finished our first pool to pad transfer contract in support of Exelon at Limerick Station setting performance records including safety, dose exposure, budget, etc. I don’t think it is bragging as we were hired to provide the oversight to attain those goals. We are providing key oversight to the construction of the TN HSM’s as well.

We are performing key planning and scheduling for the NPPD Cooper EPU project, Vendor Oversight on the Fabrication of the new refueling bridge, and anxiously awaiting an opportunity to help with the construction of Cooper’s HSM’s for the upcoming campaign.

We have added two key people (Jodie Risner and Matt Miner) at Fort Calhoun to assist in the restart operations of that plant.

 

Knowledge gained should be Knowledge shared!!!

Every month seems to fly by faster than the last. November 6th is my birthday and is also the day of  reckoning for the USA. After listening to the debates it is very apparent to me that our concern should not be on what we haven’t done but what we have to do. Southern Company requested “Bernie’s Team” to have a meeting to learn what we could bring to their organization that they don’t already have. We showed them that although they may be happy with who they have it could be that they don’t know what they could get!   I like to refer to three types of companies you can hire as a Shot Glass, a Juice Glass and a Water Glass!!!

 

  

 

 

 

Shot Glass (Mom & Pop Company)   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juice Glass (AE – Large Engineering Firm)

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

Water Glass (Bernie’s Team)

 

 

 

All three glasses hold liquid. All are structurally correct. All when full are holding the most liquid they can. But as you see the “Bernie’s Team“ glass delivers so much more contained in one company!!! 

Although this to me is self evident when you look at our real structure contained within this website, we would be glad to come to your site and explain this postulate further!!! Bernies Team has over Three Centuries of experience dispersed throughout it’s management “TEAM”

“The Few, the Proud, the “A Team”

 

Exelon Limerick Station Update

Bernie’s Team (BT) members, Alex Hay (Project Manager) andDave Kern(Installation Lead), are currently providing project management and oversight for the transportation and installation of 19 HSM-Hs at Limerick Generating Station (LGS), scheduled to complete on December 14, 2012.

 

Limerick’s HSM project is responsible for erecting a single array of 19 HSM-Hs and corresponding temperature monitoring system (TMS).  BTs project team developed and awarded the installation contract to Hake Rigging Company with the assistance of Exelon’s Corporate Supply Category Management team.

 

To date, the project has successfully set 16 bases, 12 roofs, 10 back walls, and 8 roof vents. Installation activities are currently on schedule, on budget and injury free. The HSM project team has received numerous accolades from site and corporate leadership teams for human performance excellence and safe work practices.  Additional scope of work includes the receipt and inspection of 8 new 61BTH DSCs in preparation for LGSs 2013 Spent Fuel Loading Campaign (SFLC).

 

Limerick’s HSM installation project is Dave Kern’s fourth in a management or oversight role. Prior HSM installation projects include St. Lucie, Ginna, and Nine Mile Point. Nine Mile Point HSM project included onsite HSM fabrication, atypical for this technology. Dave’s knowledge and experience has been instrumental to the overall success of Limerick’s HSM Installation project.

 

Bernie’s Team stands poised to assist future customers successfully expand their current HSM array utilizing our experience and lessons learned from past installation projects.

 

Please contact Alex (Alex@BerniesTeam.com) for additional information.

 

 

 

 

Meanderings of a Beleagured Traveler

Bernie’s Corner

 

I have been visiting several new sites and thus have been on the road a lot lately. When behind the wheel traveling from Limerick to Susquehanna, and Peach Bottom it occurred to me that I should expound about “Why the name Bernies Team?”   

“Bernies Team”…..I express to everyone that the emphasis of the title is heavily on “Team” and not on Bernie!! Throughout the years, and several companies, I have always expressed that the Company needs to treat the Employee as number 1 if the Company wants to be number 1. When the idea came around not to retire but to start a new Company the first thought was I wanted a “Team” to work with because I believe a Company doesn’t exist because of…..or about one person!!!

Webster defines “Team” as….”marked by devotion to teamwork rather than individual achievement” It uses the example of ….<a team player>….!!! Every Company that has employed my services has started as a “Team” and ended up all about the owner. This Company is my Legacy!!! I decided to make what I believe to be the ultimate Company, to do that you have to have a reason other than remuneration.

My definition of “Team” is slightly different to Webster. My definition comes from the original reference to “Team” from the fourteenth century…..”Two or more draft animals harnessed to the same vehicle or implement”!!!  This, to me, means everyone pulling together and getting the job done. When I was growing up we had a “Team” of Belgian horses. Our neighbor had a combine and several tractors. We both plowed our fields and we both grew corn and other crops. The difference was that his tractor did not plow the field as good as these horses did. When you gave the order to pull the plow, these horses travelled in a straight line and their rows were true. The tractor bounced around and the plowed earth showed every bounce from the straight and narrow. The horses worked hard all day and when the day was over they received their reward of oats, clean hay and a good place to live.

We offer to our Clients, technically competent people who hit the ground running, do a good job and go back to their homes proud of the job they performed!!!

“The Few, the Proud, the “A” Team”