Holistic asset management aimed at all aspects of improved safety and business performance has identified poor bolt tightening as a major cause of leaks, thereby raising the need for understanding the concept of joint integrity and in particular the requirement to apply more control throughout this often overlooked process. The UK government’s Health and Safety Executive has reported on industry poor practice in offshore oil and gas applications, and working with the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) has produced guidelines and recommendations for the reduction of hydrocarbon leaks from bolted joints. This recommended safe practice, the lessons learnt and the guidelines made are equally applicable to the power generation industry and in particular the nuclear one. The goals of leak free assembly, failure reduction and the elimination of wasted time and effort are achieved through the use of a risk based approach and the implementation of industry best practice. Building on experience learnt from the petrochemical industry: - this paper will provide guidelines relevant to the nuclear power generation industry for leak avoidance using risk assessment methods and competency management to establish the principles of a Joint Integrity Management System and highlight best industrial practice.

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