EXCEL is dedicated to the highest levels of licensing and engineering excellence and integrity. Our personnel deliver quality technical solutions as well as provide strategic support to help our clients achieve their business goals.

The adoption of a holistic strategy is imperative if the nuclear industry wants to achieve significant reductions in operation and maintenance costs. However, for plant modernization and innovation in performance, utilities are faced with challenges when demonstrating return on investment. The return on investment from the activities below include: reduced plant staffing, establishing higher equipment reliability, and increasing maintenance efficiency and operational flexibility – all while increasing plant safety. Utilities need to know what the most informed investment is for their organization; which technologies are most transformative and where they should plan on spending in future.

Service Offerings Include:

  • Digital Instrumentation and Control (DI&C)
  • Physical, Cyber, & Information Security
  • 24-Month Fuel Cycle and Surveillance Interval Extension
  • Single / Multiple Traveler Adoptions
  • Improved Technical Specification (ITS) Conversions/Upgrades
  • Power Uprates
  • 50.69 Implementation
  • Risk-Informed Licensing
  • License Renewal / Subsequent License Renewal
  • Decommissioning Support

and Control (DI&C)

EXCEL is a leader in Digital I&C. Specifically, EXCEL:
  • Led the NEI team in the development of a new NRC digital licensing process (DI&C-ISG-06, Revision 2, "Licensing Process") and the industry license amendment request (LAR) guidance document for digital upgrades
  • Participated in the development of NRC Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2002-22, "Supplement 1, Clarification on Endorsement of Nuclear Energy Institute Guidance in Designing Digital Upgrades in Instrumentation and Control Systems"
  • Participated in the Design Oversight Working Group (DOWG) sub-committee for the EPRI Digital Engineering Guide and NISP-EN-04, "Standard Digital Design Process"
  • Supports utility's strategic modernization planning
  • Performs cost-benefit analyses to determine which modifications or digital enablers provide the best return on investment

Physical, Cyber, & Information Security

EXCEL's Critical Infrastructure Protection Services team is organized to support clients and reduce operating and maintenance costs in the physical, cyber, and information security areas. EXCEL provides immediate access to a dynamic team of subject matter experts with extensive nuclear industry and regulatory experience.

Physical Security

The cost of maintaining a physical security program at a licensed nuclear power plant has grown over the years. With increasing requirements, more aggressive performance testing by NRC, and post-9/11 actions, the security budget has grown enough to get the attention of decision makers at the corporate level. EXCEL has had tremendous success in recent years assisting plants by reviewing the security protective strategy and making independent recommendations on changes that can be accomplished under 10 CFR 50.54(p), with additional reviews of changes possible under 10 CFR 50.90. EXCEL has also been successful in providing on-demand licensing and regulatory assistance to clients. This assistance includes inspection support, preparing for interactions with the regulator, developing and/or reviewing licensing or change packages, and assisting and mentoring staff.

Cyber Security

EXCEL’s team has assisted clients and the nuclear industry in preparing for NRC cyber security full implementation inspections, establishing appropriate safeguards to protect the digital assets and systems from unauthorized use, writing guidance documents, and recommending innovative solutions for addressing potential areas of weakness. During readiness assessments for the NRC full implementation inspection, EXCEL conducts a review of the client’s Cyber Security Plan (CSP) and program implementing procedures and activities being conducted to be in full compliance with the CSP. This includes walkdowns of critical digit assets (CDAs); CDA assessment reviews; and review of portable media and mobile devise (PMMD) controls, and Kiosk controls and processes.

Information Security

Some of the recent nuclear security projects have included assisting clients in the design, inspection, and validation of information protection programs, including Classified Information, Safeguards Information, Sensitive Security-Related Information, and other categories of information which, if improperly stored and protected could result in a threat to the facility and the public health and safety.

24-Month Fuel Cycle and Surveillance Interval Extension

EXCEL's professionals have extensive involvement with nuclear utilities performing all aspects of the evaluations necessary for transition to a 24-month operating cycle (except for the fuels and vessel analysis). EXCEL work with the NRC in the development and licensing of the 24-month operating cycle extension projects, as well as the relevant industry guidance documents. EXCEL is the premier consulting firm for the development of surveillance failure analyses, instrument drift analyses, instrument uncertainty/setpoint calculations, and Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) revisions to support the surveillance interval extensions. EXCEL has significant experience in all phases of 24 Month Fuel Cycle and Surveillance Interval Extension projects, from the scoping study phase, through design and licensing, to project implementation and trending.

Traveler Adoptions

EXCEL created all of the 500+ TSTF travelers (generic changes to the Technical Specifications), including all risk-informed travelers. EXCEL also supports a number of Nuclear Energy Institute and Owners Group committees associated with TSTF travelers.

EXCEL’s professionals have experience in providing all facets of Technical Specification services. Consistent with ISTS Conversions / Upgrades, EXCEL has had extensive involvement with numerous nuclear utilities specifically in the area of either improving or amending the Technical Specifications to support continued operation.

EXCEL’s professionals have extensive on-site experience at all PWR utilities and all BWR utilities in the development of license amendment requests. This experience with other operating PWRs and BWRs provides a nuclear utility with a unique resource for Technical Specification activities. This experience also enables EXCEL to make customized strategic recommendations for traveler adoption oriented to the specific plant – increasing the client’s return on investment, and operational and licensing flexibility.

Improved Standard Technical Specification (ISTS) Conversions/Upgrades

ISTS Conversion

A plant’s conversion to the ISTS will support the plant in four major performance areas:

  • Enhanced Safety Performance
  • Improved Operational Performance
  • High Regulatory Performance, and Reduced Cost

Standardizing a Fleet TSs to the current revision of the ISTS NUREG will enhance the interface between the Engineering, Operations, Licensing and Technical Support Organizations within the Fleet. EXCEL’s support of ISTS clients in their ISTS conversion effort extends beyond the preparation and licensing of the plants ISTS. EXCEL has provided support to ISTS clients in the planning and scheduling of ISTS activities. EXCEL has provided Initial Training to all PWR and BWR ISTS clients and has developed the lesson plans and programs for, and is currently providing, licensed operator training for many of our clients.

EXCEL is also providing support in the development of programs and procedures to implement the ISTS and in the appropriate revisions to their Updated Final Safety Analyses Report. In addition, EXCEL’s experience in procedure upgrades related to Technical Specifications and ISTS affiliation with professionals extremely knowledgeable in procedure development and revision provide clients with complete ISTS conversion support.

EXCEL believes that, in order for the full benefit of the ISTS to be realized, an individual(s) who has detailed knowledge and experience with the ISTS and who developed the plant specific ISTS should participate in the procedure revision effort to ensure the procedures accurately reflect the requirements and benefits of the ISTS. This experience in ISTS conversion and implementation efforts will provide a nuclear utility with the confidence that the services performed by EXCEL will be based largely on experience and expertise at several similar plants. EXCEL has been successful in ensuring that a plant’s conversion to ISTS has still resulted in the plants being able to retain current licensing basis.

ISTS Upgrade

EXCEL’s support to ISTS clients in their ISTS line item improvements to their TSs has ranged from providing technical input and support to developing the entire product. This full level of effort includes:

  • Coordination and performance of the detailed assessment,
  • Research and development,
  • Preparation of the draft document,
  • Coordination and interface with the NSSS vendor review,
  • Engineering review,
  • Plant technical review,
  • Onsite and Offsite Review Committees support,
  • Support NRC preliminary meeting to establish schedule, lines of communication, and review process,
  • Identification of major issues and efficiencies for both the utility and NRC,
  • Interface during NRC review and approval,
  • Plant implementation, including operator and staff training and procedure changes.

This level of effort by EXCEL ensures that the support of the utility is focused on the plant and engineering technical review of the product. This level of support can be tailored to support a nuclear utility’s specific requirements.

Power Uprates

EXCEL has significant experience and expertise in the analysis and licensing for Measurement Uncertainty Recapture (MUR) power uprates, which utilize a reduction in feedwater measurement uncertainty through the use of ultrasonic flowmeters. EXCEL has provided the calculation and licensing support for various plants, supporting power uprate projects for both PWRs and BWRs. EXCEL also has significant experience in strategic licensing for Extended Power Uprate (EPU) projects. EXCEL has supported the technical and licensing of over 20 MUR power uprates and EPUs.

50.69 Implementation

EXCEL is committed to supporting Risk Informed initiatives throughout the industry through participation in Technical Specification Task Force (TSTF) activities and various other industry groups. EXCEL’s professionals actively participated in NEI for the development of a template for use as a License Amendment Request (LAR) for 10CFR50.69 and in IEEE for the development of IEEE Std 1819-2016, “Standard for Risk-Informed Categorization and Treatment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment at Nuclear Power Generating Stations and Other Nuclear Facilities.” EXCEL’s professionals continue to participate in the NEI Risk Informed Engineering Programs 10CFR50.69 Implementation Guidance task force. EXCEL’s unique background in design and licensing basis, along with extensive electrical and I&C design and Probabilistic Risk Assessment experience, provides the necessary skills to prepare the LAR and to perform the requisite component categorizations and treatment changes to make 10CFR50.69 a profitable venture for NPPs.

Risk-Informed Licensing

EXCEL has been the author of every risk-informed TSTF traveler, including the Surveillance Frequency Control Program and Risk-Informed Completion Times, giving us a unique insight into their successful adoption. EXCEL plays a key role on the NEI Risk Informed Technical Specifications Task Force (RITSTF), working to resolve issues with licensee adoption of risk-informed initiatives and keeping EXCEL at the forefront of these activities.

License Renewal / Subsequent License Renewal

EXCEL has significant experience supporting License Renewal projects in the areas of project management, engineering, and licensing. EXCEL provides licensing leadership and strategy for a number of license renewal projects.

EXCEL's experience in license renewal includes assisting licensees with the following:
  • Mechanical scoping and screening
  • The Aging Management Report (AMR) production
  • The Aging Management Program (AMP)
  • Time-Limited Aging Analysis (TLAA) development
  • License amendment request submittal development and defense including audit and request for additional information (RAI) support.

Decommissioning Support

EXCEL is a trusted resource for those plants that are undergoing the difficult process of decommissioning. Our exemplary vision of the decommissioning process provides the basis for our experienced personnel to plan and execute the necessary decommissioning tasks to alleviate any uncertainty or concerns. EXCEL’s reputation as a leader in the nuclear industry and long-standing, excellent relationship with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has contributed to being recognized as the premier supplier of licensing and regulatory compliance.

EXCEL’s experience in decommissioning includes assisting licensees with the following:
  • Drafting of the Cessation of Power Letters
  • Drafting of the Permanently Defueled Letters
  • Development of the Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report
  • Development of the Decommissioning Cost Estimate
  • Conversion of the Emergency Plan to the Permanently Defueled Technical Specifications including answering NRC Requests for Additional Information (RAIs)
  • Conversion of the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) to a Defueled Safety Analysis Report (DSAR)
  • Revision of the Licensee Controlled Specifications (LCS) to reflect the Permanently Defueled condition of the plant; and
  • Providing Independent Review of the 10 CFR 50.59 Screens and Evaluations performed for retirement of plant systems from service as part of the decommissioning process.

EXCEL’s past and present decommissioning clients include Dominion Energy, Duke Energy Florida, Inc., and Southern California Edison. EXCEL’s teams of professionals are known for delivering projects on schedule, within budget and in full compliance with regulatory requirements.