Mel Fields

Senior Consultant (AdSTM)
Core Competencies: 

Engineer and senior project manager with over 40 years of experience in nuclear power plant licensing, inspection, and regulatory oversight. Extensive and in-depth understanding of NRC regulations, related guidance and practices, and their implementation for nuclear power reactors. Proven track record in achieving resolution of high-profile, technically complex regulatory issues. Areas of expertise in nuclear power reactors include:

  • Reactor licensing project management
  • Reliability and Risk Analyst
  • Containment systems Analyst
  • 10 CFR Part 50 licensing regulations
  • Advanced reactors (AP1000 design)
  • 10 CFR Part 52 new reactor licensing
Career Highlights: 
Advanced Systems Technology and Management, Inc. (AdSTM)
2011 - Present

Conducted US Nuclear Regulatory Commission sponsored workshops for regulatory bodies as part of the International Regulatory Development Partnership (IRDP). This has included workshops for nuclear regulatory authorities of Vietnam, the Forum of Nuclear Bodies in Africa, Jordan, Romania, and Singapore. The workshops have involved knowledge transfer of regulatory practices related to nuclear power plant design and construction codes, licensing practices, construction inspection, vendor inspection, equipment practical basics, and a simulated research reactor on-the-job inspection.

Participated in consultancy meetings at the Vienna IAEA offices on developing workshops for countries with emerging nuclear power programs. This participation included an expert mission to Ankara, Turkey and teaching a workshop on developing nuclear regulations at IAEA headquarters to representatives of several countries.

Managed the AdSTM contract with the Jordan nuclear regulatory authority to perform quality assurance, construction, commissioning, vendor inspections, and licensing task support for a new research test reactor. Prepared inputs for the research reactor operational safety evaluation report and coordinated the resolution of all safety issues.

Independent Consultant
2008 - 2010

Contracted with Information Systems Laboratories, Inc., to work with the NRC's Office of New Reactors on the Westinghouse AP1000 Safety Evaluation Report effort. This effort required extensive and direct interaction with the NRC staff on regulatory and technical issues associated with the development of SERs for the new reactors utilizing the AP1000 certified design. In addition to providing the staff with comments on the adequacy of technical arguments and the completeness of regulatory citations used in the draft SERs, the work included developing the initial safety evaluations for several issues at the direct request of the NRC.

U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S. NRC)
1975 – 2007

Contracted with Information Systems Laboratories, Inc., to work with the NRC's Office of New Reactors on the Westinghouse AP1000 Safety Evaluation Report effort. This effort required extensive and direct interaction with the NRC staff on regulatory and technical issues associated with the development of SERs for the new reactors utilizing the AP1000 certified design. In addition to providing the staff with comments on the adequacy of technical arguments and the completeness of regulatory citations used in the draft SERs, the work included developing the initial safety evaluations for several issues at the direct request of the NRC.

Senior Project Manager for Operating Reactors (1987 – 2007)
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) Project Manager (PM) for Palo Verde Units 1, 2, and 3 (April 1998 to February 2007), Waterford Unit 3 (November 2005 to April 2007) and San Onofre Units 2 and 3 (April 1992 to April 1998). Participated in every aspect of project management for operating nuclear power plants. Developed, without significant assistance from others, a number of safety evaluations for license amendments and relief requests over the years. The topics of these license amendments ranged from modifying the allowed outage times for safety systems to revising the licensing basis radiological consequence assessments. Was one of several PMs assigned to the operating license review of Comanche Peak Unit 1 from November 1988 to June 1990, and was the sole PM assigned to the operating license review of Comanche Peak Unit 2 from June 1990 to April 1992.

Reliability and Risk Analyst (1985 – 1987)
Was responsible for reviewing event trees, fault trees, and critical assumptions associated with PRA submittals. Examples included reviewing the reliability study justifying removing a portion of the North Anna service water system from operation for an extended period of time, evaluating the ability of Yankee Rowe to withstand external events, and conducting a study of the Probable Maximum Flood study to prioritize Generic Issue 103.

Containment Systems Engineer (1975 – 1985)
Performed independent computer analyses of the effects of LOCAs and MSLBs on containment structures, and reviewed the adequacy and configuration of those systems important to maintaining the integrity of the containment. Participated in several NRC hearings (Allens Creek, Black Fox and Shoreham), presenting expert testimony in areas such as the ability of the BWR Mark III containment design to adequately cope with the complex vent clearing and pool swell phenomena following a postulated LOCA and the containment design requirements set forth in GDC 50 of Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 50. Spent almost 2 years (January 1977 - October 1978) in the Power Systems Branch, conducting fire inspections, reviewing the design adequacy of the emergency power systems and their support systems for a number of different plant designs, and evaluating the functional capability of auxiliary systems.

Professional Development and Achievements: 

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, numerous performance awards

Education: 

MS – Mechanical Engineering – Catholic University of America – 1979
BS – Nuclear Engineering – University of Arizona – 1974