Within the scope of PLEX, a systematic and efficient ageing and plant life management system is becoming more and more important to ensure a safe and economical power plant operation in spite of continuous plant ageing. For the methodical implementation of PLIM & PLEX strategies, AREVA NP has developed the software tool COMSY. This knowledge-based program integrates degradation analysis tools with an inspection data management system. COMSY provides the capability to establish a program guided technical documentation by utilizing a virtual plant model which includes information regarding thermal hydraulic operation, water chemical conditions and materials applied for mechanical components. It provides the option to perform a plant-wide screening for identifying system areas, which are sensitive for degradation mechanisms typically experienced in nuclear power plants (FAC, corrosion fatigue, IGSCC, Pitting, etc.). If a system area is identified as being susceptible to degradation, a detailed analysis function enables the condition-oriented service life evaluation of vessels and piping systems in order to localize and conservatively quantify the effect of degradation. Based on these forecasts with COMSY, specific strategies can be developed to mitigate the effect of degradation and inspection activities can be focused on degradation sensitive areas. In addition, a risk-informed assessment tool serves to optimize inspection activities in respect to degradation potential and the associated damage consequence. After an in-service inspection is performed for a distinct location, the inspection data is to be evaluated according to generally accepted procedures. For this purpose an integrated inspection data management system module provides standardized, interactively operated evaluation functions. The key inspection results are transmitted as feedback in respect to the as-is condition of the component. Subsequently, all further life evaluations of the associated component are calibrated against the inspection results. The compiled condition-oriented knowledge provides the basis for a continuous optimization resulting in tailored inspection and maintenance programs geared to the specific plant. The systematic closed loop process ensures the generation of up-to-date plant documentation relating to the technical as-is status of the plant, as all the data involved in the process are compiled in a “living” documentation structure. The implementation of COMSY in various nuclear power plants has confirmed that systematic plant life management makes good economic sense, as cost reductions can be achieved while increasing the plants availability.

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