A well-planned and -implemented service-life program which is properly used can reduce the need for extended testing and examination activities and can result in a cost-effective overall program. Service-life monitoring is an essential part of an effective snubber program, yet it is often the least detailed and most overlooked aspect. Because of the historical emphasis on examination and testing requirements, there has been little industry-wide consistency or emphasis on the specifics of service-life monitoring activities. This paper will identify the purpose and basis for snubber service-life requirements, as well as outline key elements of an effective program to both identify service-life values and monitor them over periods of extended plant operation.

Included in the discussion will be topics such as: Identifying regulatory and code requirements, determining the scope of the program, establishing original service-life values, monitoring and evaluation, adjusting values, program documentation, and reporting. Identifying pertinent parameters for monitoring, appropriate methods for monitoring and trending, and incorporating condition monitoring and preventive-maintenance activities as alternatives to traditional programs will be discussed. Common challenges to implementing an effective program will be addressed, as well as some pitfalls to be avoided.

Paper published with permission.

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