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Consulting Services for Nuclear Power Industry

I have been actively involved in the commercial grade dedication (CGD) process for safety related digital equipment and plant engineering design and analysis software. Working with third-party dedicators, I have participated in developing dedication processes that provide reasonable assurance that commercial grade digital systems will perform intended safety functions in nuclear plants as well as meet all regulatory requirements for items relied on for safety (IROFS).

Safety related digital equipment is dedicated based on a CGD Plan developed specifically for the project. Activities such as verification and validation, supplier surveys, risk assessments and hazard analysis using FMEAs and Fault Trees, audits, reviews and inspections are often performed to provide confidence and documented evidence that the equipment will perform satisfactorily in safety related applications.
The goal of the dedication process is for the digital system to be deemed equivalent to an item designed and manufactured under a 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B quality assurance program. This is achieved by identifying the critical characteristics of the digital system and verifying acceptability by inspections, tests, or analyses by the purchaser or third-party dedicator.

Digital upgrades are conducted in accordance with several standards, EPRI technical reports, and NRC Regulatory Guides including:

  • Plant Engineering: Guideline for the Acceptance of Commercial-Grade Design and Analysis Programs used in Nuclear Safety-Related Applications, EPRI TR-1025243
  • Guideline for the Utilization of Commercial Grade Items in Nuclear Safety Related Applications, EPRI NP-5652
  • Guideline on Evaluation and Acceptance of Commercial Grade Digital Equipment for Nuclear Safety Applications, ERPI TR-106439
  • Evaluating Commercial Digital Equipment for High Integrity Applications - A Supplement to EPRI Report TR-106439 ERPI TR-107339
  • IEEE 7-4.3.2 Standard Criteria for Digital Computers in Safety Systems of Nuclear Power Generating Stations
  • NRC Reg Guide 1.152 Criteria for Use of Computers in Safety Systems of Nuclear Power Plants
  • NRC Reg Guide 1.168 Verification, Validation, Reviews, and Audits for Digital Computer Software Used in Safety Systems of Nuclear Power Plants

My team of experienced software engineers typically works with third party dedicators (under their Appendix B Program) and can perform the following commercial grade digital upgrade activities:

  • Prepare a Retrospective software verification and validation (V&V) Plan
  • Reverse engineer source code to create Software Requirements Specifications (SRS) and software design documents
  • Perform code reviews on safety-critical and non-safety-critical code
  • Develop Standard Operating Procedures consistent with the dedicators Quality Program
  • Develop rigorous test cases for validating safety-critical code
  • Participate in Hazard Analysis using FMEA and Fault Tree Analysis
  • Create all required project-specific SOPs and required records

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