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Companion Guide to the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Volume 3, Third Edition

K. R. Rao
K. R. Rao
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ASME Press
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Chapter 61, authored by Dr. Luc H. Geraets, introduces Belgium as an important actor in the applications of nuclear energy. The author provides a short historical summary of the development of nuclear power in Belgium. He explains the choice made by Belgium to follow the USNRC rules for the construction of its nuclear units, and details how the design and safety analysis of these units have been done by applying the US rules and all the associated documentation (regulatory guides, standard review plans, ASME Code, IEEE standards, ANSI, ANS, etc.). The practical transposition of the ASME Code to the Belgian environment is then presented; in particular, the use of Section XI for repairs and replacements is analyzed in full detail.

This system has proven its workability and efficiency. However, in 2003, Belgium voted a nuclear phase-out law, which provides for abandoning the use of fissile nuclear energy for industrial electricity production; until new legislation happens, there will be no reason to question the rules that would be imposed for design and construction. If it happens, and new plants are built in Belgium, it is likely that the same philosophy as for the currently operating plants would be applied, with the selection of a “fresher” version of ASME Code Section III (and the other Sections called upon by ASME III) and Section VIII Div. 1. Transpositions would be revised, but the general framework and the actors would remain the same.

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