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The roots of RPS (AEC's parent division) can be traced back to the early 70’s within the Radiological Controls department of Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics, located in Groton CT; the pioneer of the nuclear powered submarine design and construction. RPS’s founders formed a talented group of Radiological Engineers, technicians and designers who supported the unique and challenging requirements of submarine reactor construction, refueling and overhauls. In 1979, the Three Mile Island reactor accident occurred, changing RPS and the nuclear industry forever…
1979: General Dynamics, EB Division was requested to provide assistance to General Public Utilities’ Three Mile Island accident. On-site within three days, GD was assigned to take over the management of the stricken reactors radiation protection program and remained on site for thirty months during the accident recovery program and acted on General Public Utilities behalf in managing the radiation protection program and in the recruitment, training and qualification of successor supervisors and managers.
1979: RPS is formed as a department within General Dynamics, and was staffed with many of the professionals evolved with the TMI post accident recovery. This group was challenged with capitalizing on the commercial opportunities that would result from the Three Mile Island lessons learned. As a result of the accident regulatory pressure and public concern was driving the commercial nuclear power industry towards the naval nuclear program’s high standards for conduct of operations. RPS’s staff was uniquely qualified to assist in the commercial nuclear industry in that transformation.
1981: RPS’ expertise was in high demand, with over 70 nuclear utility companies at over 100 sites purchased its products and/or services. As expected, the rigorous safety requirements imposed on the highly regulated nuclear industry drove the development of innovative management, planning and engineering control strategies that increased both worker safety and efficiency; resulting in reduced radiation exposure, reduced man-hours and improved performance to schedule.
1982: RPS develops an automated respirator cleaning station that results in the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) Good Practices recommendation.
1983: RPS develops the Perma-Con® modular containment system that results in the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) Good Practices recommendation.
1991: RPS is acquired by Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., the sole manufacturer of nuclear fuel for the U.S. Navy’s fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines. This new alliance allowed RPS to expand its market into the Department of Energy, as new emphasis was placed on the environmental restoration of the numerous DOE sites.
2000: RPS has over 2,000,000 CFM of portable ventilation in operation.
2004: A new division within RPS called Applied Engineering Controls (AEC) is created to concentrate on the life sciences industries. Capitalizing on over 30 years of controlling highly toxic nuclear materials, there was a direct technology transfer of containment principals. After harmonizing with the stringent cGMP requirements of the pharmaceutical industry, AEC then branched out to service the biopharmaceutical, cosmetic, fine chemical, and nanotechnology industries.
2005: AEC acquires exclusive rights to the Downflow Booth design from Applied Containment Engineering Ltd. (ACE), a UK based barrier containment company. AEC improves the booth design to increase containment performance and modular adaptability.
2006: AEC commissions SafeBridge Consultants to conduct surrogate testing on the redesigned booth, later publishing the study in ISPE’s Pharmaceutical Engineering magazine.
2007: AEC develops a modular Misting Booth for contained personnel egress. The unique nozzle arrangement makes the average airborne contaminant concentrations during degowning over 200 times lower than without the booth’s misting cycle, based on surrogate testing by Compliance Place Management.
2008: RPS and AEC undergo an employee purchase buyout when Nuclear Fuel Services becomes a subsidiary of the Babock & Wilcox Company, Inc. RPS and AEC re-register in the state of Connecticut under the VOSB (Veteran Owned Small Business) classification.
2009: AEC develops the flexible enclosure HEPA ventilation unit with a closed loop control system for maintaining a slight pressure gradient inside soft walled chambers/isolators.
2010: AEC designs and builds Seismically Qualified Downflow Booths that complies with California’s strictest seismic zone 4 code. The booths utilize an internal reinforced skeleton and do not rely on sheet metal fabrication for support.
2011: AEC has 20 Downflow Booths and 54 Misting Booths in operation.