There is growing interest in life extensions to enable longer term operation (LTO) for both existing nuclear power plants (NPPs) and proposed new NPPs. In order to justify an initial license extension for the 40–60 year period, new non-destructive examination (NDE) approaches have been developed and deployed by NPP operators in their Aging Management Programs (AMPs). However, to achieve the goals of even longer term operation, and specifically for the USA in looking at methodologies to support subsequent license renewal periods (i.e., 60–80 years, and beyond), it is necessary to understand the capabilities of current NDE methods to detect, monitor and trend degradation and hence enable timely implementation of appropriate corrective actions. This paper discusses insights from past experience, the state-of-the-art, and current activities in the move towards providing a capacity for proactive management of materials degradation (PMMD) to support NPP LTO.

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