This paper provides a comparison between the requirements for the qualification of welding procedures, welders and welding operators, as well as for welding supervision/coordination and welding quality according to the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel code (ASME BPVC Sections III and IX), the Afcen RCC-M code (France) for nuclear plant components, and ISO standards referenced to by the latter. The work was carried out within an international project that included other major codes and standards applied in the Nuclear sector, ie CSA (Canada), JSME (Japan), KEPIC (Korea) and Rostechnadzor PNAE G-7 (Russia), as part of a larger effort towards harmonization of nuclear pressure-boundary codes and standards. The comparison work aimed at identifying significant differences, as well as areas of current or potential convergence and future harmonization of the abovementioned codes and standards.
A line-by-line comparison was carried out, using the ASME BPVC as the baseline. Corresponding requirements in the different codes and standards were identified and categorized as ‘identical’, ‘equivalent’, ‘technically different’ or ‘not specified’ (when addressed by the ASME BPVC only). The most significant differences are discussed and the main findings are presented, including upcoming code and standard changes that may affect harmonization. Concluding remarks are provided with regard to the future effort required for harmonization of the codes and standards considered, through convergence and/or reconciliation.