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PG&E Electric Costs In 2016

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We regulate the costs that PG&E can recover from electric customers and determine how these costs are to be allocated to various customer classes (i.e., residential, commercial, industrial, etc.). In this blog post we summarize the increases/decreases in costs that we authorized in 2016 for PG&E electric service.

Cost Changes Authorized in 2016 Vs. Cost Changes Incorporated in Rates in 2016

Many CPUC decisions (e.g., approving power purchase agreements that PG&E enters into with generators and capital investments in generating plants and transmission and distribution infrastructure) affect cost recovery over a period of years. Therefore, some changes that were put in rates in 2016 were decided by CPUC decisions issued prior to 2016. Likewise, some decisions issued in 2016 will have effect on costs beyond 2016. This blog post describes revenue requirement (the total amount of revenue needed by PG&E to pay all operating and capital costs of doing business) changes that were authorized to go into rates in 2016 and January 1, 2017.

PG&E’s total authorized electric cost recovery (i.e., revenue requirement) was approximately $14.3 billion as of January 1, 2016. As of January 1, 2017, it is approximately $13.7 billion, which represents a reduction of approximately $405 million.

 

Table A: Comparison of PG&E’s Electric Revenue Requirements on January 1, 2016, and January 1, 2017 

 

Costs Incorporated in Rates  January 1, 2016 January 1, 2017 Reduction in 2016
CPUC Jurisdictional  costs  $12,561,012,258 $12,190,081,640 $370,930,419
FERC Jurisdictional costs  $1,732,438,529  $1,698, 567,276  $33,871,253

 

 Total Costs in Rates

 
$14,293,450,787 $13,888,649,116 $404,801,672

 

The amount that PG&E needs to collect in a certain period to recover authorized costs can change depending on whether the sales level resulted in an under-collection or over-collection. Utility rates are set based on a forecast of sales. Any under-recovery or over-recovery resulting from the actual sales being different from the forecast is booked in a “balancing account”. Sometimes rates may change not because of any change in cost recovery but because of the under- or over-recovery.

The graphics below provide more information on PG&E’s electric rates.

PG&E Residential (Non-CARE) Customer Electric Rates  

 

  October 2015 - January 2017

  Tier 1 Baseline
Tier 2 101-130%
Tier 3 131-200%
Tier 4 Over 200%
Res Avg Bundled
System Avg Bundled
October 1, 2015
16.700 19.824 25.200 32.088 18.099 17.094
January 1, 2016
18.151 21.546 27.389 34.876 18.967 17.776
March 1, 2016
18.212 25.444 25.444 37.442 19.485 18.226
March 24, 2016 18.212 22.481 28.578 36.389 19.490 18.228
June 1, 2016 18.212 24.090 24.090 39.999 19.476 18.222
August 1, 2016 18.205 24.081 24.081 39.984 19.468 18.223
October 1, 2016 18.353 24.276 24.276 40.307 19.630 18.423
January 1, 2017 18.276 24.175 24.175 40.139 19.971 18.779

 

 

 

Breaking Down PG&E’s Natural Gas Costs and Rates

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Attachment on page 6 provides details on the specific gas areas where costs changed along with the pertinent decision authorizing the cost recovery.We regulate natural gas rates and services of the state’s investor-owned utilities, including those of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). In this blog posting we break down the components of PG&E’s gas costs and rates, and offer tips on reducing your bill.


A typical residential PG&E gas bill is comprised of three components:
1. Procurement Costs (cost of gas purchased by PG&E for customers): 31% of costs
2. Transportation Costs: 62% of costs
3. Public Purpose Surcharge: 7% of costs

Procurement costs depend on wholesale gas markets and fluctuate month to month based on national gas market prices. Natural gas prices are a result of national supply and demand conditions. For the current winter, the chart below shows that PG&E procurement rates increased in October 2016 from $0.296 to $0.387 (increase of $0.091/therm) and again in November 2016 by $0.072/therm to $0.459, totaling an increase of $0.163 in a matter of two months. The procurement rate came down in December but from that point increased in January and February 2017. Utilities are not allowed any return or profit on the gas they purchase to sell to customers. They are only authorized to recover the cost of the purchased gas.

Transportation costs are comprised of gas transmission and distribution costs. Gas distribution (or local service) costs are decided in a General Rate Case. For PG&E, gas transmission and storage costs are decided in the Gas Transmission and Storage (GT&S) proceeding. The cost allocation proceedings determine how the utility distributes costs to the different customer classes (i.e., residential, commercial, industrial, etc.). As shown below, the CPUC increased PG&E’s transportation rates in August 2016 pursuant to a GT&S decision (D.16-06-056) in order to fund various utility safety related programs. A subsequent GT&S decision (D.16-12-010) reduced the transportation rates in January 2017 because of various sanctions the CPUC levied on PG&E due to certain past transgressions.

Public purpose surcharge funds certain natural gas-related programs such as energy efficiency, low income assistance, and energy savings assistance and is also adjusted annually on January 1 to reflect changes in volume of gas used. The public purpose charge was $0.102/therm for 2016 and was decreased to $0.096 on January 1, 2017.

Rates for Baseline Usage: Per statutory requirements, residential gas rates for a basic level of consumption called “baseline” are set at a lower rate. From November through April, baseline rates apply to all usage up to 70 percent of average household usage. Usage above the baseline amount is charged at a higher rate.

Effect of Weather Conditions: Gas usage is generally higher during cold spells in winter months. The days of cold weather are referred to as heating degree days. The larger the number of heating degree days in a month, the larger the impact on gas bills. When a cold spell hits and customer usage increases, the bills increase not only because more gas was used but also because gas usage above baseline is charged a higher rate. So if a customer uses twice as much gas in a month due to cold weather, the gas bill could be more than double due to the fact a higher rate applies to above baseline consumption. The table below shows baseline and above baseline rates for each month in 2016 and January and February 2017.

Days in a billing cycle: Generally, gas meters are read monthly and the number of days in a billing cycle typically ranges from 28 to 33 days. A customer’s monthly bill can be higher depending on the number of days in the billing cycle.

Table A: PG&E Residential (Non-CARE) Customer Gas Rates Oct. 2015-Feb. 2017

 

 

  A B C D      

 

 


Procurement

($/Therm)  

Public Purpose Surcharge ($/therm) Baseline Transportation ($/therm) Non-Baseline Transportation ($/therm  Total Baseline Rate ($/therm) (A+B+C) Total Non-Baseline Rate ($/therm) (A+B+D)  

Oct-15

$0.326 $0.090 $0.760 $1.216 $1.176 $1.632  
Nov-15 $0.385 $0.090 $0.760 $1.216 $1.234 $1.690  
Dec-15 $0.394 $0.090 $0.760 $1.216 $1.244 $1.700  
Jan-16 $0.391 $0.102 $0.816 $1.305 $1.308 $1.798 *
Feb-16 $0.423 $0.102 $0.816 $1.305 $1.341 $1.831  
Mar-16 $0.153 $0.102 $0.816 $1.305 $1.071 $1.561  
Apr-16 $0.236 $0.102 $0.816 $1.305 $1.153 $1.643  
May-16 $0.266 $0.102 $0.816 $1.305 $1.184 $1.674  
Jun-16 $0.210 $0.102 $0.816 $1.305 $1.127 $1.617  
Jul-16 $0.272 $0.102 $0.816 $1.305 $1.190 $1.679  
Aug-16 $0.311 $0.102 $0.968 $1.549 $1.381 $1.962 *
Sep-16 $0.296 $0.102 $0.968 $1.549 $1.366 $1.947  
Oct-16 $0.387 $0.102 $0.968 $1.549 $1.457 $2.038  
Nov-16 $0.459 $0.102 $0.968 $1.549 $1.529 $2.110  
Dec-16 $0.394 $0.102 $0.968 $1.549 $1.464 $2.045  
Jan-17 $0.453 $0.096 $0.888 $1.421 $1.437 $1.970 *
Feb-17 $0.443 $0.096 $0.888 $1.421 $1.426 $1.959  

 *CPUC-authorized rate change to transportation or public purpose charge.

 

 PG&E Residential (Non-CARE) Customer Gas Rates October 2015-February 2017

 

 

Ways to Reduce Your Gas Bill: There are various programs available to help customers lower their gas bills. Among these are the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, which provides a rate discount for qualifying low income customers, and the Balanced Payment Plan program for level bill payments over the course of a year. You can find out about other consumer programs on our website.

 

Gas Cost Recovery: PG&E’s total authorized gas cost recovery (i.e. revenue requirement) was approx. $3.9 billion as of January 1, 2016. As of January 1, 2017, it is approx. $4.6 billion which represents an increase of $654 million. The biggest driver of the increase was the revenue requirement authorized in PG&E’s recent Gas Transmission and Storage (GT&S) rate case proceeding for various safety related programs.

Because much of the infrastructure used to deliver gas is long lived and requires high level of capital spending, many CPUC decisions affect cost recovery over a period of years. Therefore some changes that were put in rates in 2016 were decided by CPUC decisions issued prior to 2016. Likewise, some decisions issued in 2016 will have effect on costs beyond 2016. The cost changes incorporated in rates in 2016 reflect CPUC decisions issued in 2016 and prior to 2016. This fact sheet describes revenue requirement changes that were authorized to go into rates in 2016 and January 1, 2017.

The amount the utility needs to collect in a certain period to recover authorized costs can change depending on whether the sales level resulted in an under-collection or over-collection. Utility rates are set based on a forecast of sales. Any under-recovery or over-recovery resulting from the actual sales being different from the forecast is booked in a balancing account. Sometimes rates may change not because of any change in cost recovery but because of the under or over recovery.


Table B: Comparison of PG&E’s gas revenue requirements on January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017

 

$ in 000s January 1, 2016 January 1, 2017 Change
Distribution Revenues in Rates $1,794,494 $1,786,773 -$7,721
Transportation Forecast costs and Balances $498,398 $281,622 -$216,776
GT&S Revenue Requirement $544,993 $1,128,133 $583,140
Public Purpose Program costs $275,080 $267,938 -$7,142
Implementation Plan $0 $176,735 $176,735
Core Procurement costs $843,944 $969,369

$125,425

Total Gas Revenue Requirement in Rates $3,956,909 $4,610,570 $653,661

 


 

Map of Baseline Zones

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop to Discuss Criminal Background Checks for Transportation Network Company Drivers

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We are holding a workshop to discuss criminal background checks for Transportation Network Company (TNC) drivers as part of our ongoing TNC proceeding (R.12-12-011). 

When: Friday, February 17, 2017, 10 a.m.-12:45 p.

Where: CPUC Golden Gate Room, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco; also available via call-in number at 866-687-1953, passcode 7032187*

Why: To examine the current background check processes utilized by TNCs and the California Department of Justice, and discuss real-world safety and social justice implications.  CPUC staff will issue a workshop report within 45 days of the workshop for public comments.

 

Agenda:

 

10-10:15 a.m.                            Welcome and Background – Valerie Beck, CPUC
                                               Opening Remarks by Commissioner Liane M. Randolph
                                               Opening Remarks by Administrative Law Judge Robert Mason

 

10:15-11:15 a.m.                        Panel: Current Criminal Background Check Processes
                                               Moderator:  Valerie Beck
                                                ● Rasier-CA, LLC – Dorothy Chou, Head of Safety and Consumer                                                   Protection, Public Policy
                                                ● Lyft - Joseph Okpaku, VP of Government Relations      
                                                ● CA Dept. of Justice - Christina Rogers, Assistant Bureau Chief

11:15-11:45 a.m.                       Questions to Panel*
                                               Moderators: Brian Kahrs and Brewster Fong

11:45 a.m.-noon                         Break

Noon-12:30 p.m.                        Roundtable Discussion – 2 minutes per speaker.                                                Moderator:  Brian Kahrs
                                              

12:30-12:45 p.m.                      Wrap-up                                                                                                                            Moderator:  Valerie Beck                       

* Phone participants may email questions for the morning panel to Brewster.Fong@cpuc.ca.gov.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Join Us at UC Davis For Next Voting Meeting

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We are holding our March 2, 2017, Voting Meeting at UC Davis!  The meeting will feature a brief staff presentation on implementation of the area code overlay for the 916 region that was approved yesterday by the CPUC. 

WHEN: March 2, 2017, 9:30 a.m. 

WHERE: UC Davis, Appellate Courtroom, King Hall, 400 Mrak Hall Dr., Davis; also available via listen-only call-in number at 800-857-1917, passcode 92105 

WHAT: Our Commissioners will discuss and vote on proposed policies; our staff will make a brief presentation on the implementation of an all-services area code overlay approved by the CPUC to resolve the shortage of numbers in the 916 area code region.  

The Voting Meeting begins with public comment, and members of the public are encouraged to attend.    

“We have scheduled a number of Voting Meetings around the state this year in order to get into the communities we serve,” said CPUC President Michael Picker.  “Holding this meeting at UC Davis is of particular interest to me because it allows us to build a direct pipeline to students and let them know about the varied and important work that the CPUC does, how they can get involved, and how they can join our team when they graduate.”  

Those intending to make public comment can sign-up to speak in person before the meeting starts, or can sign-up online in advance.  

We typically hold Voting Meetings twice a month at our headquarters in San Francisco, and we also schedule Voting Meetings in other cities throughout the state.  In addition, we hold many Public Participation Hearings and other events statewide in order to reach out to consumers.  

More Information

 

 

Informational Workshop on Utility Transportation Electrification Proposals

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We are holding an informational workshop to discuss the transportation electrification program proposals that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE) recently filed for CPUC consideration, in accordance with Senate Bill 350.

When: Feb. 8, 2016, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: CPUC Auditorium, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco;

also available via listen-only call in number: 866-811-6884, passcode 8742156;
and via Webex: https://van.webex.com/van/j.php?MTID=m4e74902da38236f08b97785444a15819, Meeting number:748 453 490; Meeting password: !Energy1

 

Utility Applications and Testimony: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/General.aspx?id=5597  

Agenda: See below. 

Background: CPUCstaff will host a public informational workshop for investor-owned utilities to summarize their applications filed pursuant to requirements established in Senate Bill 350 to accelerate widespread transportation electrification. A September 14, 2016, Assigned Commissioner Ruling in R.13-11-007, which was subsequently ratified by D.16-11-005, required PG&E, SDG&E, and SCE to submit applications by January 20, 2017, proposing programs that will reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards, lower greenhouse gas emissions, achieve the goals set forth in the Charge Ahead California Initiative, and be in the interest of consumers.  This informational workshop will offer interested parties a chance to hear about the utilities’ proposed programs.

Though a quorum of Commissioners may be present, no decisions will be made.  

AGENDA

Transportation Electrification Plans from the Investor Owned Utilities

Informational Workshop at the California Public Utilities Commission

February 8, 2017

California Public Utilities Commission – Auditorium

505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102

 Webex: https://van.webex.com/van/j.php?MTID=m4e74902da38236f08b97785444a15819 

Meeting number: 748 453 490; Meeting password: !Energy1

Call in: 866-811-6884; Participant passcode: 8742156

 

Time

Topic and Speakers

 

Moderator: Jennifer Kalafut, Advisor, Commissioner Peterman

1:30 – 1:45

Welcome and Introduction

       Commissioner Carla Peterman, CA Public Utilities Commission

       Tyson Eckerle, Deputy Director of ZEV Infrastructure, Office of Governor Jerry Brown, Business and Economic Development

1:45 – 2:00

Background and Proceeding Process

       Amy Mesrobian, Lead TE Analyst, Energy Division

2:00 – 2:30

 

San Diego Gas and Electric, Presentation and Q&A

       Linda Brown, Senior Director-Clean Transportation

2:30 – 3:00

 

Southern California Edison, Presentation and Q&A

       Laura Renger, Manager, Air and Climate Regulatory Affairs

3:00 – 3:30

Pacific Gas and Electric, Presentation and Q&A

       David Sawaya, Principal, Electric Vehicle Program Design

3:30 – 4:00

Closing Remarks and Next Steps

       Commissioner Carla J. Peterman

 

 

Invitation for Comment on Candidates for the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee

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On December 8, 2016, we announced we were seeking applications from qualified persons to become nominees to fill a vacancy on the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee (Committee) for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2017.

The Committee consists of three members, one each appointed by the Governor, the California Attorney General, and the Chair of the California Energy Commission (CEC).  The Committee assesses the safety of the operations of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and has authority to review quarterly reports and conduct on-site inspections.  The Committee reports its observations and recommendations to PG&E annually; the Committee then transmits its report, along with PG&E's response, to the Governor, the California Attorney General, the CEC, and the CPUC. 

According to the procedures adopted by the CPUC in Decision 07-01-028, the President of the CPUC selects no more than three qualified candidates responding to the request for applications, plus the incumbent member whose term is expiring, if the incumbent consents to reappointment.  The CPUC will issue a resolution ratifying the President's selection of candidates for appointment. The Governor shall appoint the Committee member for the term beginning on July 1, 2017 from the list of candidates selected by the President of the CPUC and ratified by the CPUC.

Applications were received from Dr. Ivan Catton and Dr. Michael Quinn in response to the CPUC's December 8, 2016, announcement.  The incumbent member whose term is expiring, Dr. Per Peterson, informed the CPUC's Energy Division that he consents to reappointment for a new three-year term beginning July 1, 2017.  Their qualifications are summarized below.

The CPUC welcomes public comments on the qualifications of Dr. Catton, Dr. Peterson, and Dr. Quinn.  Please email comments to david.zizmor@cpuc.ca.gov or mail them to:

David Zizmor

Energy Division, California Public Utilities Commission

505 Van Ness Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94102

Comments must be received (e-mail) or postmarked by February 27, 2017.   

 

Dr. Per F. Peterson (Incumbent)

Per F. Peterson is a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley.  Prior to beginning graduate studies in 1985, he worked at Bechtel National on the design of the Defense Waste Processing Facility that now operates at the Savannah River Plant (South Carolina) to vitrify defense wastes.  After completing Masters and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley between 1985 and 1988, studying passive heat transfer processes, he performed postdoctoral work at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and was hired as an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley in Nuclear Engineering in 1990.  At Berkeley he has taught extensively in courses related to reactor design and safety.  This includes the undergraduate courses NE-161: Nuclear Power Engineering and NE-170: Nuclear Design, as well as the graduate courses NE-260: Thermal Aspects of Nuclear Reactors, NE-267: Nuclear Reactor Safety, and NE-275: Risk Assessment.  These courses cover all theoretical and practical aspects of nuclear reactor safety.

His research and publications cover both applied and fundamental topics related to nuclear technology.  This work and some 300 research publications have covered topics in nuclear fusion energy, fission reactor design and safety analysis, nuclear waste management, and fundamental topics in heat transfer and fluid mechanics that are relevant to these applications.  He is frequently called upon to serve on advisory panels for the federal government, the national laboratories and the national academies on topics related to nuclear technologies, as well as expert panels at academic conferences and workshops.

From 2010 - 2012, Peterson served as a member of President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America's Nuclear Future, where he co-chaired its Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technology subcommittee with retired Senator Pete Domenici.  The BRC provided recommendations to the Administration, Congress, and the DOE on strategies to manage U.S. spent fuel and high level wastes.  These recommendations have clear relevance to California, including defining the national approach to manage used fuel left at decommissioned reactor sites that include Rancho Seco, Humboldt Bay, and San Onofre in California.

He is also currently Executive Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, and is a former chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and of the Energy and Resources Group, at UC Berkeley.  He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and a former chair of its Thermal Hydraulics Division.  He previously chaired the Radiation Safety Committee for UC Berkeley, which is regulated by the California Department of Public Health and is responsible for reviewing all authorizations for radioactive materials and radiation producing machines used in research on the Berkeley campus, and he is chair of the Reactor Safeguards Committee for the Aerotest Research Reactor in Pleasanton, California.  In 2004, he was appointed to the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee by the Attorney General and served until 2007; he was appointed to the Committee again in 2008 by the Governor and re-appointed in 2011 and 2014.

 

 Dr. Ivan Catton

Professor Catton began his teaching career at UCLA in 1967 where his major areas of teaching and research were thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics.  In 1974 he became a consultant to the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) at the request of Professor David Okrent (the father of probabilistic safety analysis).  To gain the requisite knowledge of nuclear reactor plants, Professor Catton taught every undergraduate nuclear engineering course given at UCLA and took on the job of director of the UCLA nuclear reactor facility where he was responsible for teaching and licensing many UCLA students to operate the UCLA Nuclear Reactor.        

  Prof. Catton's career spans more than fifty years in both research and industrial applications in the field of heat transfer, ranging from aerospace systems to electronic devices and nuclear power plant design.  In 1981, he received the Heat Transfer Memorial Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), one of the most prestigious awards in the field.  In 2009, he received the Max Jakob Award from ASME and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for excellence in heat transfer research and engineering.  Dr. Catton has been involved in the study and design of nuclear power plants, water desalination plants, use of solar power, aerospace heat transfer for re-entry vehicles, and - more recently - optimum design of heat exchangers.

Prof. Catton spent most of his technical career as either a consultant to or a member of the ACRS, an advisory committee to the commissioners of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). This experience began with the safety review of the CRBR where liquid metal heat transfer was the focus of his efforts, followed with BWR suppression pool problems related to the LOCA.  He was the ACRS representative at Three Mile Island (site 2) during the accident and subsequent stabilizing of the plant.  Severe accidents then became important and he and his colleagues at UCLA gave technical assistance to the NRC in this area.  With Prof. Okrent's arrival at UCLA, Prof. Catton became more involved with licensing issues at various nuclear power plants around the country.  All aspects of nuclear power came under the auspices of the ACRS and in this capacity Prof. Catton consulted on a large number of plant-specific subcommittees.

Prof. Catton's research in the nuclear safety area has dealt with core melt problems and steam explosions, BWR suppression pool loading, water hammer, steam generator tube vibration, and loose parts induced wear among others.  More recent nuclear research activities were in two areas.  The first area was the result of a study supported by the NRC on Accident Management which resulted in several publications including an invited paper in Nuclear Engineering and Design, and an invitation by the International Atomic Energy Committee to evaluate the Krsko nuclear power plant accident management program.  The second area of study was steam generator tube vibration and loose parts wear.  This work extended the state of the art in vibration prediction for single phase flow over tube bundles by predicting the onset of vibration without resorting to use of experimental data, a first for rod bundles.  An invited paper appeared in Nuclear Engineering and Design that summarizes this work where results for two-phase flow were also included.  Another paper in the same journal addresses the issue of dry out and heat up of a reactor core following a severe accident.  This work placed UCLA at the forefront of nuclear power plant severe accident research, culminating with Dr. Catton being named general chairman of the sixth International Post Accident Heat Removal Information Meeting held at UCLA in 1986 and co-chair of a similar meeting held in Dubrovnik in 1989.

During 1988, Dr. Catton participated in an effort to establish the uncertainty in calculated reactor system behavior following a major loss of coolant accident.  The results of this work led to five publications in Nuclear Engineering and Design.  Prof. Catton's group brought  together the results of a $1.5B research program spanning a fifteen year period.  The work underwent peer review by eminent researchers and was judged to be the first of its kind.  A second such study addressing severe accidents (which led to elimination of the DCH issue) was initiated by the NRC, but Prof. Catton's appointment to the ACRS limited his involvement to oversight.  Dr. Catton was the ACRS representative to the Steam Generator, Safety Stop Valve and Check Valve Owner Groups.  As an independent consultant following his ACRS membership, Dr. Catton addressed  issues like core axial power distribution and erosion of shutdown margin (SDM) attributing to crud buildup on the nuclear fuel and subsequent boron deposition in the crud layer, and steam generator tube vibration at SONGS.

Prof. Catton became a member of the ACRS in 1989 and served until of 1997.  Any safety issue arising in the nuclear industry is within the charter of the ACRS and every licensed plant must have an ACRS letter of review.  Prof. Catton's area of responsibility on the committee was thermal hydraulics where he was instrumental in moving the industry towards the use of best estimate computational tools and played a strong role in the licensing of the new Westinghouse passive nuclear reactor (AP600).  He was also a member of the Savanah River Laboratory Severe Accident Advisory Panel where he reviewed all severe accident-related work.

While an ACRS member, Professor Catton was chairman of the Thermal/Hydraulics and Fire Protection subcommittees, and a member of the Severe Accidents, PRA, and Human Factors subcommittees.  He was instrumental in formulating ACRS comments and recommendations on a number of LWR technical issues, including: 

●       Post TMI-2 lessons learned review;

●       Advanced code development (RELAP5 and TRAC) ;

●       Determination of the uncertainties in best estimate calculations of  LOCAs (CSAU);

●       Sump screen and suction strainer blockage issues at LWR plants;

●       Post-accident level monitoring in LWRs;

●       Development of a regulatory guide on instrumentation to follow the course of an accident;

●       Steam generator overfill, multiple tube rupture, and the Steam Generator Rule;

●       Chilled water system reliability and pump seal issues;

●       AP600, ABWR, SBWR and CE System 80+ DBAs, Fire protection and Severe Accidents;

●       Review of the EPRI ALWR Utility Requirements Document;

●       Risk-Based Fire Protection Rule and resolution of the Thermo-Lag Fire Barrier Issue;

●       NRC Standard Review Plan for risk-based regulation; and

●       Westinghouse Best Estimate LOCA methodology and Simulator fidelity.

Following his service on the ACRS, Professor Catton became a consultant to the Congressional Nuclear Waste Technical Review Group to help in evaluating the use of various means of predicting the long term evolution of stored waste at Yucca Mountain.  He was also a consultant to the NRC on the impact of SBLOCA on PTS and to EPRI on the crud/boron issue, he participated in a review of the Diablo Canyon Seismic Design, and attended the final ACRS subcommittee meeting held at San Luis Obispo High School.

Professor Catton's broad range of experience will enable him to effectively serve on the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee.

 

 Dr. Michael Quinn

Dr. Quinn has invested over forty years into the public health and safety of nuclear industry operations, including twenty-five years in power block operations at a nuclear power station, and the past sixteen years as a consultant to the nuclear industry in the U.S. and Canada.  Michael's collective past and currently applied nuclear power experience is congruent with the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee's (DCISC) requirements and mission.  He can bring current, comprehensive nuclear operations assessment experience to complement the depth and breadth of the Committee's members. 

Equally important as his applied operational experience and academic background, Dr. Quinn can bring to the DCISC a demonstrated history of articulating his assessments in an objective, empirically based, and plain language manner to the full spectrum of stakeholders (e.g., the public, interest groups, station staff, the boardroom, utility commissions, and regulators, among others). 

1975-1999 Qualification Experience 

While in the power block of a nuclear unit with a large nuclear utility from 1975 to 1999, Michael earned a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Senior Reactor Operator License on a Pressurized Water Reactor unit (PWR), and held leadership positions that included Director of Nuclear Station Services; Nuclear Plant Operations Review Committee (PORC) and Corrective Action Review Board (CARB) Chair and Member; Director of Nuclear Station Emergency Operations; Refueling and Maintenance Outage Shift Manager; Nuclear Station Duty Officer; Manager of Chemistry and Radiochemistry; and Project Manager, reporting to the President, on a three-unit, four year Station Recovery Team.

During this time, Michael was part of, and frequently at the center of, many documented nuclear station challenges and operational evolutions, planned and unplanned.  Michael was a member of the senior station leadership team at Haddam Neck Station, a nuclear unit that continuously performed at NRC SALP-1 and INPO-1 performance levels (presently termed US NRC Column 1 and INPO-1). 

1999-2017 Qualification Experience

Since 1999 Michael has been engaged in the safe operation of nuclear units, as well as in the new build, refurbishment, and decommissioning sectors of the nuclear industry while consulting to more than two dozen nuclear units and facilities in the U.S. and Canada, often in the power block.

During these past sixteen-plus years, Michael has been, and is presently: conducting station and licensee program and operational assessments on operational aspects of nuclear organizations; performing root cause evaluation on significant events; and leading recovery project management for nuclear licensees and suppliers.

In addition, Dr. Quinn continues to assess and remediate licensee and supplier organizational and corrective action programs; provides PI&R, Human Performance, and Safety Culture coaching and training; and provides related consulting services to several nuclear industry sectors.  These sectors include the commercial nuclear power industry in the U.S. and Canada; U.S. Government (e.g., NRC, U.S. Department of Energy); and nuclear supplier organizations (large nuclear steam supply system providers as well as smaller nuclear suppliers to the new builds in South Carolina and Georgia).

Selected nuclear safety and culture issues that Dr. Quinn has successfully dealt with include: significant safety issues in a high-level trans-uranic nuclear waste underground facility; consequential design phase issues on the 'new build' project for North Anna 3; significant safety issues on the disassembly and reassembly of components on two CANDU reactors under refurbishment; Loss of Offsite Power to the Operations power block of a 1200 MWe nuclear unit; nuclear fuel handling project upgrade failures at five separate nuclear sites involving distinctly different failures during a four month refueling season; a Nuclear unit cooling tower failure; team member of a reliability assessment of Vermont Yankee;  Collective Significance assessment on six safety systems' performance challenges at a PWR; causal analysis of safety related flow control valve erratic operation; Collective Significance on Spent Fuel Transfer issues at a decommissioning station; Collective Significance of five nuclear fuel handling project upgrade failures; components that did not meet acceptance criteria at each of the four 'new build' nuclear units in SC and GA; significant transuranic (alpha) ingestion/ uptake by over 500 craft workers at a nuclear power station; technical, radiological, and safety culture issues significantly impacting a Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) campaign at a waste recovery site.

From a major nuclear industry 'campaign' perspective, Dr. Quinn has been and is still engaged in industry issue campaigns and challenges that include: safety culture challenges to nuclear operations; post-accident industryresponse and subsequent upgrades; containment sump screen upgrade (GSI-191); groundwater tritium; safeguards; nuclear fuel handling; Independent Spent FuelStorage Installations (ISFSI); uptake of trans-uranics to workers; corrective action program challenges, notably 10 CFR 50 Appendix B Criteria; Nuclear Promise Efficiency Bulletins; and no less importantly, the impact that a 'final shutdown decision' (as Diablo Canyon is facing within eight years) has had on nuclear station staffs' performance while trying to maintain focus on operational excellence.  

Michael has led numerous nuclear organizational assessments (and, in several cases, recoveries), and has also responded to a large number of programmatic breakdowns that have impacted Conduct of Nuclear Operations, Safety Culture, Corrective Action Programs, equipment operability, training programs, and management/personnel effectiveness at nuclear units.

Starting in 2006 and continuing into 2017, Dr. Quinn has trained NRC inspectors and technical staff in a concentrated three-day course on the selection and engagement of assessment tools and processes to evaluate significant nuclear licensee event and incident reports.  During these past ten years he has trained over 600 inspectors and technical staff.  In late February 2017, Dr. Quinn will provide this three-day assessment training to the first cohort from the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority.

LICENSES/CERTIFICATIONS CONTRIBUTORY TO A POTENTIAL POSITION ON THE DCISC:  

●       U.S. NRC Senior Reactor Operator License #10071 (now inactive) on a Westinghouse PWR (Diablo Canyon is a Westinghouse PWR design)

●       Certified Root Cause Investigator:

    o   Nuclear Safety Review Concepts Event Evaluation

    o   FPI/PII Prevention/ Reduction of Organizational & Programmatic Failures

●       Certified Root Cause Trainer

●       Certified Radiation Safety Officer

Dr. Quinn earned a Doctorate in Organizational Management Systems (organizational system dynamics) and Executive Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of New Haven. He had previously earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Charter Oak College. 

In summary, Michael brings directly applicable past and current nuclear industry analysis experience and assessment results for your consideration of his candidacy regarding an appointment to the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee.  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/quinnmd  

 

 


 

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