Nuclear Consultants International, LLC (NCI) is an autonomously constituted business unit of Holtec International. NCI is chartered to support nuclear utility and industrial companies with management and technology support services. NCI’s principal area of concentration is oversight of decommissioning projects to ensure their regulatory and safety compliance with utmost consideration of ALARA. NCI advises the plant owner on licensee requirements and provides oversight activities that meet owner requirements. NCI serves as an agent of the plant owner.
NCI’s typical scope of work involves assessing the adequacy of operating procedures and practices, personnel qualifications, training programs, risk management tools, cost control protocols, vendor screening systems, security programs (including cyber security) and personnel safety programs. NCI performs continuing assessment of the project’s quality assurance and safety metrics, cyber-security infrastructures, aging management of the fuel in dry storage, 10 CFR 72 compliance of the fuel storage system, and on-site storage of Low-Level Waste (LLW). For Holtec International’s decommissioning projects, prior to close of the transaction, NCI acts as an agent of the owner to ensure that Holtec Decommissioning International (HDI) and Comprehensive Decommissioning International (CDI) are in full compliance with commercial agreements. Subsequent to the transaction close, NCI ensures that the supervening regulations are executed without any infraction. In the post-close phase, NCI advises on licensee’s obligations and assumes all other oversight functions and activities that typically belong in the realm of the nuclear plant’s owner. This includes performance of owner’s duties such as securing necessary site permits and assembling a qualified team of specialists to conduct periodic programmatic assessments.
NCI is also tasked with monitoring the withdrawals from the Decommissioning Trust Fund (DTF) in compliance with the applicable owner financial procedures, NRC guidelines, and IRS statutes. Another key function of NCI includes an independent assessment of the investment strategies for the DTF that accords with Holtec’s conservative investment policy and emphasizes the fund’s resilience in the face of market volatility. Monitoring the withdrawals from the DTF is also an important part of NCI’s responsibilities.
Corporate Independence: NCI is administratively independent from other Holtec entities. NCI’s management chain leads directly to the CEO of Holtec International. NCI’s administrative independence from other Holtec operating entities engaged in decommissioning such as CDI and HDI is a critical feature of its organizational structure.
The oversight function of NCI in decommissioning projects is summarized below. They encompass the principal goals of the decommissioning project which the NCI personnel are expected to keep as foremost considerations in their project execution plan.
Summary of NCI’s Principal Oversight Functions
- The decommissioning program is optimized to ensure protection of public health and safety which must trump speed and expediency, while maintaining efficiency.
- Operational measures have been established to ensure the risk of spread of contamination at any time is minimized.
- The oversight function means a procedure-guided invigilation as well as a fresh contemplation into “what if” scenarios that may bear upon safety.
- The dry storage operations will be carried out ALARA.
- Provisions of Holtec’s QA program are faithfully applied across all operations including Root Cause Evaluation & Corrective Action Requests,
- There are large margins of safety against heavy load handling operations in excess of those mandated by NUREG-0612 and ANSI-14.6.
- The operating procedures are focused to prevent injury to the workers.
- Maximum capacity casks are developed, licensed and utilized to minimize the number of off-site shipments of non-fissile radioactive waste.
- The quantity of the radioactive water is minimized by surgical decontamination of contaminated structures and systems.
- The decommissioning project plan is focused on developing a practicable approach for re-purposing of the site.
- The workers employed to carry out decommissioning are trained to the highest standards of safety and craftsmanship.
- An effective program of refresher training for the workers has been implemented.
- The execution of the project will adhere to Holtec’s QA program in every applicable respect.
- The project will leverage the large body of lessons-learned literature accumulated by Holtec’s site services teams.
- The security of the site is safeguarded by qualified personnel and effective procedures.
- The requirements by state and federal authorities are incorporated in the decommissioning procedures and observed throughout the project.
- Measures have been adopted to minimize disruption to the local commercial traffic during off-site shipment of waste.
- A robust self-assessment process for safety-significant operations has been developed and implemented.
- Withdrawals from Decommissioning Trust Fund are prudently made and are well supported as to their need.
- Insurance commitments and requirements are maintained.
Biographical Profiles of Senior NCI Faculty
Dr. Kalyan K. Niyogi
Technical Director, NCI
Dr. Kalyan K. Niyogi is the Technical Director of NCI with the responsibility to ensure that every NCI project is resourced with qualified personnel and that the organization’s work is competently rendered.
Dr. Niyogi earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972. His entire professional career has been in the commercial nuclear industry with over 47 years of experience in the design, engineering and licensing of nuclear power plants. Dr. Niyogi worked for Raytheon Engineers and Constructors from 1972 until 1996 where he served as the Manager of thermal-fluid analysis group for 15 years and subsequently as the Project Manager for plant modification and improvement projects. During his 24-year tenure at Raytheon Engineers, Dr. Niyogi provided consulting services to over two dozen US nuclear plants helping solve their start-up and operational problems. Nuclear plants have frequently called upon Dr. Niyogi for his technical specialties in the areas of thermal-hydraulics performance evaluation and life extension of nuclear plant systems and components. As a seconded expert to the NRC, Dr. Niyogi served in the various NRC audit teams for system design reviews of nuclear plants during their licensing process.
Since 1996, Dr. Niyogi has been a leading specialist at Holtec International engaged in the design, engineering and site implementation of systems, structures and components used in nuclear power plants. He has held the rank of Project Manager, Technical Sponsor and Director for number of dry spent fuel storage projects including the Chernobyl defueling project. He has extensive experience in the design, licensing and commissioning of domestic and international dry storage projects. Dr Niyogi is a registered professional engineer and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He served as the Chairman of ANS Committees and Chairman of Nuclear PV&P Committee. Dr. Niyogi holds the rank of Corporate Engineer within Holtec’s professional hierarchy of engineering personnel.
Mr. Riaz H. Awan
Managing Director, NCI
Mr. Riaz Awan serves as the Managing Director of NCI with the responsibility to manage NCI’s commercial, financial and administrative activities and coordination of NCI’s interface with counterparties such as CDI and HDI. Mr. Awan holds the rank of Senior Director in Holtec’s corporate management hierarchy. He has over 40 years of distinguished experience in both the federal government and the commercial nuclear industry in the US and abroad.
In recent years, he served as the head of Holtec’s Kiev Operations Center in Ukraine overseeing the Chernobyl Used Fuel Storage Project and the Central Storage Project. In the government, Mr. Awan served in the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) where he provided executive level direction and oversight for large and complex nuclear programs and projects as Senior Program Manager in DOE’s International Programs Office, and as Program Manager in DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.
Mr. Awan’s creditable performance at DOE led to his assignment as DOE/NNSA’s emissary overseas. For over 12 years, Mr. Awan served as the Director of the DOE Regional Office at the United States Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria and DOE Office Director/Senior Energy Attaché at the United States Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. In these positions, Mr. Awan significantly advanced the U.S. Government’s energy security and nonproliferation objectives in Central and South East Europe, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea region, and Former Soviet Republics.
In his early professional career, Mr. Awan worked at the Bechtel Power Corporation acquiring valuable technical and inter-personal skills as a practicing engineer and group leader which he later applied at the USDOE earning kudos and awards from the Department. Mr. Awan is the recipient of the DOE/NNSA Gold Medal, Silver Medal, and Service to America Medal for National Security and International Affairs.
A trained professional engineer, Mr. Awan holds the rank of Consulting Engineer in the Company’s engineering hierarchy.
Dr. Indresh Rampall
Consulting Engineer, NCI
Dr. Indresh Rampall earned his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1993. His professional career spans over 30 years and is marked by solving numerous fluid mechanics and heat transfer problems in the nuclear and chemical industries.
After graduating from Notre Dame, Dr. Rampall joined Holtec International as a Principal Engineer concentrating in steam generators and other capital equipment in the nuclear industry. He served as the lead thermal-hydraulics engineer for the re-rack licensing of fuel storage racks at over dozen nuclear plants, thermal qualification and licensing HI-STAR and HI-STORM spent fuel storage and transport casks and evaluation of natural circulation cooled nuclear reactors supporting Holtec’s SMR-160 program. He served as an Expert witness in the Atomic Safety Licensing Board hearings for the storage of spent nuclear fuel at the Private Fuel Storage Facility. He has authored over 50 industry reports and co-authored several patents supporting safety evaluation of casks, fuel pool racks, heat exchange equipment and dry storage facilities. His current areas of professional concentration include safety evaluation of dry storage casks, and high- density fuel racks, neutron absorber behavior, simulation of extreme environmental phenomena such as fire and flood events.
In his early career, Dr Rampall worked for Engineers India Limited, where he focused on the design, modeling and pilot-scale testing of chemical reactors.
Dr. Rampall is a member of the consulting faculty of NCI.
Dr. Alan Soler
Executive Engineer, NCI
Dr. Alan Soler is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BS and Ph. D.) and Caltech (Masters). He has been active in the nuclear industry since the 1960s with his early years of work as a university- based consultant to several nuclear equipment suppliers. He has served as a senior analyst in Holtec’s employ since 1992.
Dr. Soler’s work in the nuclear industry has been mainly focused in the areas of static and dynamic analysis of steel structures and reinforced concrete, quantification of the soil-structure interaction phenomena, safety analysis of nuclear systems and structures including ASME code vessels. His early work in the design of steam surface condensers and nuclear plant heat exchangers lives on even today as functioning equipment in nuclear power plants, many operating since the 1970s.
Dr. Soler is the co-author of an authoritative book on mechanical design of heat exchangers which has influenced the development of national codes and standards such as the ASME code, the TEMA standard and HEI standards since the mid-1980s. He has authored or co-authored over 70 technical papers, four patents and some 500 technical reports on nuclear plant equipment and structures.
Dr. Soler is a Fellow of the America’s Society of Mechanical Engineers (1985). He holds the rank of Executive Engineer (highest level in the Company’s professional engineering hierarchy). Dr. Soler joined as a member of the NCI’s consulting group in July 2019.
Dr. Pete Lipetzky
Consulting Engineer, NCI
Dr. Lipetzky graduated from Brown University in 1992. In addition to his PhD from Brown University, Dr. Lipetzky holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering, a MSc in Applied Mathematics, a MSc in Materials Science and Engineering as well as the University of Pittsburgh Executive MBA. His professional career spans over 30 years in a number of fields including nuclear, heat transfer, metallurgy, ceramics, polymers, petro-chemicals and large-scale manufacturing.
After graduating from Brown University, Dr. Lipetzky spent several years at the Max-Planck Institute and the Technical University of Vienna developing numerical and statistical stress models, teaching engineering courses and doing high temperature material research. Later he continued his Germany-based research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he was on the faculty in the Mechanical and Materials Engineering Departments. Subsequently, he worked extensively on applied heat transfer, refractory metal and ceramic material areas for commercial and naval nuclear applications. Dr. Lipetzky was later the project lead for the commercial development of borated stainless steel for wet fuel storage racks which required him to perform 10 CFR50 Appendix B nuclear audits. Dr. Lipetzky’s most recent position before joining NCI, LLC was that of Vice President of Engineering for a company that designed, modeled and built full-scale chemical reactors, separators, pressure vessels and ASME rated heat exchangers.
Dr. Lipetzky has authored over 40 industry reports, conference proceedings and open literature articles as well as co-authored several patents supporting powder metallurgical processing of nickel- based superalloys. His current areas of professional concentration at Holtec International includes heat transfer and nuclear materials.
Dr. Lipetzky is a member of the consulting faculty of NCI.