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Approaching 40 Years, Fauske & Associates, LLC Celebrates Anniversaries

Posted by AnnMarie Fauske on 04.26.19

From Chernobyl to Fukishima and on... Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI) is a world leader in nuclear, industrial and chemical process safety. Founded in 1980 by Hans Fauske, D.Sc., Michael Grolmes, Ph.D. and Dr. Robert Henry, Ph.D., FAI became a wholly owned subsidiary of Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC, in 1986. FAI assumed early leadership roles in the acclaimed DIERS program for AIChE and the IDCOR program for the nuclear power industries. These activities led to state-of-the-art methodology and laboratory tools for characterizing chemical systems and computer models for analyzing severe accidents in commercial nuclear power plants used worldwide. Recognized worldwide for phenomenological modeling related to the prevention and accommodation of chemical and nuclear power accidents, FAI also provides advanced training and research in physics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, nuclear engineering, computer science and other fields.

The FAI quality program includes NQA-1 conformance for Nuclear Safety Related projects, ISO-9001:2008/TickIT certifications for Computer Software development, and several ISO-17025 certifications. FAI is an Authorized Provider of IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs).FAI is also recognized for conducting comprehensive plant evaluations. FAI’s Nuclear Systems Group helps its customers enhance the availability and reliability of their operating plants while maintaining regulatory compliance, extending plant life and reducing operation and maintenance costs. With regard to industrial safety, FAI is a leader in the dust explosivity/combustibility and process safety areas including Dust Hazards Analysis (DHA). In addition to parts and laboratory testing, on-site consulting services are a key customer request for FAI.

FAI celebrates its many people of talent as we move toward our 2020 40th Anniversary. Among some key dates:

Celebrating 35 Years

Martin G. Plys, Sc.D. Vice President Waste Technology & Post-Fukushima ServicesMartin G. Plys, Sc.D., Vice President Waste Technology & Post-Fukushima Services

After receiving Sc.D. from MIT in 1984, Dr. Plys began his career at FAI developing severe reactor accident models for the MAAP computer code. In 1988, he became Manager of Methods Development responsible for MAAP stewardship. In 1992, he was promoted to Vice President and moved to Brussels to assist Westinghouse with development of MAAP models for Russian reactor designs. In 1993, with MAAP/VVER completed, he moved back to the U.S. and began to focus on process safety and safety of wastes stored at the U.S. DOE Hanford site. Most recently, he has been a primary contributor to the technical bases for safe processing and storage of Hanford spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and sludge, explosive hazards analysis of the waste treatment plant (WTP) vitrification facility, and disposition of cesium and strontium waste capsules.

Dr. Plys has led development of FAI's general nuclear and chemical facility analysis program which is routinely used for a variety of Hanford projects including WTP, SNF, tank farms, and waste capsules. Model applications include in-facility combustion, fission product release, deposition, and transport, and fire hazards; in-vessel reactive waste transients; and evaluation of reactive metallic fuel and sludge processing, transport and storage. For the WTP, Dr. Plys has authored hydrogen design technical guidance, participated in management transition and due diligence, and was technical lead for the original explosive hazards analysis. His contributions to the Hanford SNF project included technical bases for pyrophoric behavior of SNF, process design and modeling, and post-process water content, radiolysis, chemical reactions, and long-term behavior. He is author of the advisory panel summary report for disposition of Cs and Sr waste capsules. Dr. Plys has also worked on litigation support defending Hanford contractors for Plutonium Finishing Plant operations. Dr. Plys' modeling contributions in severe reactor accident analyses include general flammability and combustion of gases, reactor material behavior during core melt, fission product release, aerosol transport and deposition, and general chemical equilibrium model development. In 201,5 he was named a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and also was named Consulting Engineer, Engineering Center of Excellence for FAI’s parent company, Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC.


Celebrating 30 Years


Christopher E. Henry, Ph.D., Senior Consulting EngineerChristopher E. Henry, Ph.D., Senior Consulting Engineer

Dr. Christopher E. Henry has been responsible for development and usage of analytical techniques for pressurized and boiling light water reactors during reactor conditions extending from normal operation through degraded core severe accident events, such as Three Mile Island Unit 2 (U.S.) and Fukushima Units 1 to 3 (Japan). This experience includes existing designs and future advanced designs, such as the Westinghouse AP1000® PWR, GE-Hitachi and Toshiba ABWR and GE-Hitachi ESBWR. His analytical capabilities involve usage of power reactor integral system computer codes including MAAP (Modular Accident Analysis Program). Originally developed by Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI) as part of the Industry Degraded Core Rulemaking (IDCOR) program, FAI has developed and maintained the code under the sponsorship of (EPRI) and the MAAP Users Group (MUG).  MAAP5, MAAP4 and its predecessor, MAAP3B, have been used by the nuclear industry throughout the world for more than two decades as an engineering tool to support PRA and severe accident analysis.

MAAP has gained widespread acceptance in the domestic and international nuclear industry. This computer code models such phenomena as when core damage would occur, core overheating, hydrogen formation, distribution, and combustion within the containment, debris distribution, debris bed coolability, challenges to reactor vessel integrity, core-concrete attack, fission product release, transport and deposition.

Also, Dr. Henry has used the RELAP5 integral computer code to analyze thermal hydraulic and hydrodynamic (water hammer) phenomena. In particular, the analyses include air-water hammer and steam-water hammer events within nuclear plant safety systems in support of industry efforts, such as the response to USNRC Generic Letter 08-01 regarding air intrusion into safety injection systems. He has also been involved in several plant-specific efforts related to component design basis inspection (CDBI) of the noted safety systems.

Since 2007, Dr. Henry has been part of a FAI team that consults on safety and operational issues for the modernization and power up-rate of Oskarshamn Unit 2 (Project PLEX) and Unit 3 (Project PULS) in Sweden.

Since 2012, Dr. Henry has also been part of a larger consortium analyzing the accident progression at Fukushima Units 2 and 3. Dr. Henry was a technical lead for the MAAP simulation for these units. The simulation has yielded multiple key insights regarding the specific accident progression, explaining the end-state configuration of these units. These insights will assist the existing BWR fleet in updated implementation of severe accident management guidelines (SAMG’s) for Fukushima related to Extended Loss of AC Power (ELAP) scenarios.

Dr. James P. Burelbach, Director, Process Safety & Business Development Leader

Dr. James P. Burelbach, Director, Process Safety & Business Development Leader

Dr. Burelbach provides technical management, consulting, and business development leadership for modeling and experimental activities relating to process safety at nuclear and chemical facilities. He is active in nuclear waste cleanup and disposal efforts at DOE and UK facilities. He coordinates and supports various projects from processing and packaging of spent/damaged nuclear fuel to emergent post-Fukushima issues such as hydrogen control. Since joining FAI as a Senior Chemical Engineer in 1988 he has been active in fundamental research, software development, reactive chemical testing, project management and global sales.

His diverse experience includes severe accident analysis, waste stream modeling, and supporting experimental work, activities which apply both to commercial nuclear plants and processing facilities such as at Hanford (US) and Sellafield (UK). Exerienced in MAAP and FATE software, having contributed to their early development, he has experience in accident simulator applications, and supported AP1000 thermal-hydraulic calculations using RELAP5. Other experience includes plant risk assessment, nuclear and chemical plant walkdowns, waste sludge characterization, waste solvent fire testing, hydrogen/air mixing and equipment qualification testing. He led development of PrEVent emergency vent sizing software for runaway chemical reactions and continues to support development of computational tools and calorimetry methods.

As International Sales and Business Development Leader, Dr. Burelbach developed an international network of distributors and partners to expand FAI’s global presence in the area of chemical process safety. He travels frequently to EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Asia) to support agents and customers through technical training, installation of instruments and software, product demonstrations, and conference presentations, applying extensive hands-on mechanical expertise in developing and actively using our VSP2 and ARSST adiabatic safety calorimeters and vent sizing software. He developed strategic partnerships with instrument-maker ChemiSens (SE) and chemical kinetics software specialist AKTS (CH) to distribute their advanced products and provide related testing and consulting services.

Dr. Burelbach previously served as Manager of FAI’s Chemical Testing and Consulting Services, responsible for all aspects of contract testing business while specializing in runaway chemical reactions and DIERS emergency relief system (ERS) design methods.

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Topics: severe accident, nuclear safety, chemical process safety


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