Delivering cost reductions via the Nuclear Promise can appear to be at odds with the safe operation and maintenance of nuclear facilities. However, In-Service Examination (ISE) and In-Service Testing (IST) programs can deliver significant gains in efficiency and effectiveness with proper application of the ASME O&M code. Along with scheduled maintenance prescribed by the manufacturer, Dynamic Restraints (snubbers) require periodic visual inspection and testing to ensure the installed population will perform its safety function during seismic events or dynamic operational transients. Methods prescribed in the ASME O&M Code Subsection ISTD are effective in identifying bad actors and verifying the operational readiness of the population, but can come at a significant cost when not properly utilized, especially when the penalty for a failed test or inspection is applied to the ISE or IST campaign. The Nuclear Promise can be realized in a snubber ISE or IST program with a thorough understanding of the intent of the prescribed testing and the mechanics of the safety functions to be verified. With this understanding, legacy requirements that were grandfathered into a program can be examined as to their relevance, and procurement specifications and testing procedures can be written that are pertinent and current to industry best practices.

This paper, through the lens of a snubber manufacturer and ASME certificate holder, examines some common and uncommon examples found in industry that add significant cost, time, or dose to a snubber ISE/IST program, and the basis for eliminating them. The methodology used to evaluate an ISE/IST program requirement and determine its effectiveness in verifying a snubber’s safety function while satisfying the O&M code could be used for other components under the jurisdiction of the O&M code. In this manner, the Nuclear Promise can be safely delivered in an ISE/IST program that does not compromise the intent or integrity of Code requirements.

Paper published with permission.

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