ARS is a rapidly growing, international company with a strong and diverse client base. The company was founded in 2000 and has years of experience providing fire protection engineering services to the commercial nuclear power industry, government nuclear and non-nuclear facilities and high risk industrial facilities. ARS continues to be a major participant in the transition of fire protection programs to the new risk-informed, performance-based regulations under 10 CFR 50.48(c), the development of fire probabilistic risk analyses under NUREG/CR-6850 and the implementation of the new fire protection programs.
The ARS leadership team consists of former licensed operators and shift test engineers, including former station operations managers. The team also includes previous utility fire protection/safe shutdown program owners and former utility licensing managers.
History of ARS
Increasing concerns about the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants in the United States led the Nuclear Regulatory Committee (NRC) to write safety guidelines in 1979, known as Appendix R to Part 50 – Fire Protection Program for Nuclear Power Facilities Operating Prior to January 1, 1979. Appendix R Solutions (ARS) was founded in 2000, with the aim of assisting commercial nuclear power stations to develop strategies and programs to comply with these regulations, their respective license conditions, and their license to operate a nuclear reactor. The ARS expertise has grown and expanded to include government nuclear and non-nuclear programs as well as the Highly Protected Risk (HPR) class of industrial facilities.
With the unique blend of experience and skills on our staff, ARS has the ability to guide clients through every step of the path to compliance and licensing by the NRC. Our staff of fire protection engineers, electrical engineers, former operators, and licensing experts will perform plant walkdowns to determine the need for plant modifications, use fire modeling tools to simulate which areas of the plant would be affected during a fire, evaluate penetration seals, address reactor coolant pump seal injection issues, and any determine any other changes that need to be made while transitioning nuclear power plants to the NRC’s new NFPA 805 standard.
Fire protection engineers evaluate the basic design of the plant and whether that meets fire protection standards. The examination includes an evaluation of textile floor coverings, suspended ceilings, interior panel physical separation, fire dampers, fire doors, and examination of electrical cables, etc.
The licensing department reviews documentation to ensure that it meets the current regulations. If a plant has any variances from current regulations, the ARS licensing department will work with the plant to implement modifications, new procedures, and / or license amendments in order to achieve and maintain compliance with the licensing basis.
Electrical engineers evaluate which equipment a fire could damage. In particular, the ARS electrical engineers predict how equipment associated with achieving and maintaining a safe shutdown could potentially be affected by fire.
Operators draw on past experience in the field and current fire modeling techniques to evaluate a plant’s ability to shut down safely and quickly after a fire, and will develop a plan and procedures for safe shutdown strategies. They will develop a fire area strategy for the rest of the plant, as well as developing a mitigation strategy for fire events that could occur during non-power operations (NPO).
Appendix R Solutions (ARS) provides engineering and technical services to the nuclear industry. The management and employees of the company are committed to providing quality products and services that meet or exceed the customer’s requirements, needs, and expectations.
The senior management of ARS is responsible for ensuring that quality is an integral part of the company’s business practices and that organizational focus on the quality process is maintained. The ARS Quality Assurance Program is designed to maintain and continuously improve organizational effectiveness, continually provide quality products to our customers and meet applicable regulatory requirements to ensure nuclear safety. Oversight and management of the ARS Quality Assurance Program is performed by the Manager Responsible for Quality (MRQ), who reports directly to senior management. The MRQ has the authority to identify conditions adverse to quality, to initiate, recommend, or provide corrective actions, and to verify implementation of corrective actions. The ARS Quality Assurance Program is implemented and maintained through the issuance and revision of the ARS Quality Assurance Manual.
ARS employs highly experienced engineers and staff to provide premier consultants to the commercial nuclear fire protection sector. In addition to experience in the commercial power industry, the staff at ARS contains numerous previous project managers and process owners. ARS offers clients the assurance that comes from expertly managed projects, operating within budgetary guidelines and delivering quick and efficient solutions to suit the client’s requirements.
For each plant, a project manager initiates fire protection engineering projects, defines the scope, and keeps the client up-to-date about every step involved. With our staff’s history of successful project management through decades of experience in many fields in the nuclear industry, we are able to offer clients the highest level of service while guiding plants through the necessary steps to becoming licensed by the NRC and other nuclear governing bodies.
One of the ways we maintain this level of service, communication, and cost-efficiency is by using the most up-to-date computer software tools available. We use software tools to allocate resources and coordinate schedules with clients. The eTimeMachine project management tool allows us to track every instance of employee time and facilitates effective billing. WebTRAN, a proprietary ARS software tool, tracks each step in the NFPA 805 licensing and fire regulation process, allowing ARS project managers and the client to view and provide input at every point along the way to full licensing qualification.