This paper explores the relationship between the Design Specification required for each Section III component and the terms Quality, Quality Assurance, Quality Product, and Management System (Quality Management System). The author’s experience indicates that the relationship between Quality and Quality Assurance is poorly understood and that the resistance experienced to the implementation of a Quality Assurance Program is often due to the person’s lack of understanding that a Quality Assurance Program really does help people do their work “right the first time”.
This lack of understanding often results in poorly defined requirements in the purchasing documents, inadequate definition of scope and a product that does not meet requirements. Even more importantly it can lead to the development of poor relationships between the purchaser and the supplier and particularly in the nuclear field, poor relationships with Regulators. The economic impact is also significant, delays in schedule, delays in product acceptance and payment results in costs that are eventually passed on to the consumer.
Once the above relationships are properly understood and appreciated resistance can turn into positive acceptance. The Section III concept of providing a Design Specification as a complete basis for construction also takes on new meaning.