The safety relevant components of nuclear power plant Neckarwestheim 1 — in service since 1976 — have been reviewed and updated for long-term operation (LTO). The actions included hardware retrofits as well as updates of analysis according to the latest state of the scientific and technical knowledge. For large piping such as the steam lines, the established pipes have been retained while the supports have been optimized. All shock absorbers (snubbers) including corresponding inertia have been eliminated resulting in a defined guidance and statically defined displacements.
The integrity analyses for the optimized steam lines, including break preclusion, have been validated successfully with comprehensive measurements. The verification has delivered an extra high level of credibility, exceeding the “standard” requirements to achieve fitness for service in long-term operation.
Measurement and validation, which are the main focus of this paper, range from monitoring of service loads to the static and dynamic measurements of pressure, local temperatures and displacements during initial start-up after implementation of the design modifications. The proper function of supports has been proved and the quality of the simulation models has been confirmed.
Some expected and some unexpected dynamic events have been detected during blow-down tests. It was demonstrated that the amplitudes of all dynamic loads stay within limits.
The validation of analyses with comprehensive measurement has been an important proof of quality and delivered the redundancy required for the integrity of a nuclear power plant in service, enhancing the high level of safety even more.