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 and approved, including the “traditional” reactor designs, the passive safe shutdown designs and the small modular reactors (SMRs).
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) provides specific Codes used to perform preservice inspection/testing and inservice inspection/testing 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 Certifications and Combined Licenses (COLs) under Part 52, “Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants,” in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 52) (Reference 1). The 2012 Edition of the ASME OM Code 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 following January 1, 2000. The New Reactors OM Code (NROMC) Task Group (TG) of the ASME Code for Operation and Maintenance of Nuclear Power Plants (NROMC TG) is assigned the task of ensuring that the preservice testing (PST) and IST provisions in the ASME OM Code to address pumps, valves, and dynamic restraints (snubbers) in post-2000 nuclear power plants are adequate to provide reasonable assurance that the components will operate as needed when called upon. Currently, the NROMC TG is preparing proposed guidance for the treatment of active pumps, valves, and dynamic restraints with high safety significance in non-safety systems in passive post-2000 reactors including SMRs.