The nuclear industry is preparing for the licensing and construction of new nuclear power plants in the United States. Several new designs have been developed, including more traditional evolutionary designs, passive reactor designs, and small modular reactors (SMRs).
ASME (formerly the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) provides specific codes used to perform inspections and testing, both preservice and inservice, for many of the components used in the new reactor designs. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reviews information provided by applicants related to inservice testing (IST) programs for design certification (DC) and combined license (COL) applications under Part 52, “Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants,” of Title 10, “Energy,” of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 52) (Reference 1).
The 2012 Edition of the ASME OM Code, Operation and Maintenance of Nuclear Power Plants, defines a post-2000 plant as a nuclear power plant that was issued (or will be issued) its construction permit, or combined license for construction and operation, by the applicable regulatory authority on or after January 1, 2000. The ASME New Reactors OM Code (NROMC) Task Group (TG) is assigned the task of ensuring that the preservice testing (PST) and inservice testing (IST) provisions in the ASME OM Code are adequate to provide reasonable assurance that pumps, valves, and dynamic restraints (snubbers) for post-2000 plants will operate when needed. Currently, the NROMC TG is preparing proposed guidance for the treatment of active pumps, valves, and dynamic restraints with high safety significance in nonsafety systems for passive post-2000 plants, including SMRs. (Note: For purposes of this paper, “post-2000 plant” and “new reactor” are used interchangeably throughout.)
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