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Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences pres.

NERS Colloquium: Risk Management Perspectives from the Design and Deployment of the Westinghouse AP1000 Reactors

Speaker: Sola Talabi, Nuclear Industry Consultant

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The nuclear power industry has been historically plagued with considerable technology deployment risks, with project cost and schedule overruns presenting a significant risk to nuclear plant investors. The average realized cost of nuclear power plants built in the US was 3.18 times the planned cost. The industry has responded to these risks by employing various risk management practices to reduce the uncertainty associated with nuclear EPC projects. Some of these practices include streamlining the regulatory process with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (in the case of US reactors), standardizing designs, and modularizing physical structures and components to improve construction and constructability. Although these risk-management processes have been put in place, there are still considerable cost and schedule excursions that have occurred in the construction of recent nuclear power plant projects. Notably, the Westinghouse Vogtle and V.C. Summer projects reported significant cost and schedule overruns to an extent that the Vogtle project required a significant government bailout and the V.C. Summer project was cancelled.

Sola Talabi, will share his experience as the Westinghouse Risk Manager for the Engineering Procurement and Construction work scope for the Vogtle and V.C. Summer projects. Sola will explore the issue of cost and schedule overruns from the perspective of potentially overly optimistic targets and inadequacies in project execution. Sola will also provide recommendations on how to address these cost and schedule challenges for advanced reactor deployment.

Speaker: Sola Talabi, Nuclear Industry Consultant
Sola Talabi has 19 years' experience in the nuclear industry, with 14 years at Westinghouse Electric Company, where he was  the Nuclear Power Plants Risk Manager, and also the a member of the Westinghouse Intellectual Property and Innovation Committees. As Risk Manager, Sola was responsible for risk  management of the Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plant fleet, with deployments in China and the US. He was also responsible for managing risks on the Westinghouse scope of supply for plants in the UAE.

Sola’s risk responsibilities further included managing project development risk on the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor. Sola currently leads Pittsburgh Technical, which is a nuclear engineering practice that supports advanced nuclear deployment.

Sola holds the following degrees acquired at Carnegie Mellon University: a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy with a focus on risk management for large energy infrastructure projects, an MBA with a customized focus on energy, finance and operations, and a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. He holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Sola is also a PMI certified Risk Management Professional. Sola  has been recognized with leadership awards by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the National Black MBA Association. Sola has published several articles in peer‐refereed journals on the subjects of engineering, energy and risk management.
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