Aging management is a technical process that provides reasonable assurance that the aging of important nuclear power plant systems, structures and components (SSC) is being managed so they will continue to perform their intended function(s). Outside the United States, the aging-management process is being utilized to confirm the aging-management elements of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Periodic Safety Review (PSR) process. Most member states require a PSR review once every 10 years for continued plant operation. In the United States, the aging-management process provides compliance with the requirements for obtaining a renewed operating license. License renewal is a regulatory process that allows a nuclear plant in the United States to extend its operating license for an additional 20 years (beyond the 40 years of its original license). Whether applied to the PSR or license renewal, this process provides an extremely cost-effective way to assure available generation capability into the future.
The guidelines for a PSR are contained in IAEA Safety Guide No. NS-G-2.10, and the requirements for a license renewal application are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10CFR54. Both the IAEA and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have developed implementation guidance to support the development of aging-management documentation and the review process. The primary focus of the process is to demonstrate that aging of important safety-related equipment is recognized, has been evaluated, and will be adequately managed to support equipment functionality through the extended operating period.
Westinghouse support for aging-management activities covers a spectrum of evaluations required for preparing aging-management deliverables.
Time-limited aging analyses are calculations that address the cumulative effects of thermal and mechanical cycling, neutron exposure and thermal embrittlement. One of the requirements of both the IAEA guidance and 10CFR54 is that these calculations must be re-evaluated to include the extended period of operation. These are the same calculations performed as part of the original plant design, and as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for many international plants and the majority of the U.S. nuclear fleet, Westinghouse and its engineers are uniquely qualified to address the extended-life issue.
Aging-management reviews are comprehensive evaluations of structures and components to identify potential aging degradation effects and to monitor the aging-management programs in place to mitigate any adverse consequences. Westinghouse can provide expert consultation and aging-management project leadership to help initiate and design an aging-management program, or provide the technical expertise to perform aging-management evaluations along with on-site personnel support to augment an aging-management team.
A critical aspect of aging-management reviews is the identification of the materials used in the fabrication of components. Frequently, this information must be retrieved from original manufacturing specifications, drawings or quality records in order to provide the basis for subsequent evaluation. As the OEM, Westinghouse has immediate access to these specifications.
As part of the environmental report, severe accident mitigation alternatives (SAMAs) must be evaluated. Again, Westinghouse engineers skilled in using probability risk assessment methodology are ideally suited for performing this evaluation.
Westinghouse aging-management support services include:
In the course of performing the aging-management support service, Westinghouse offers the following:
In addition to the traditional aging-management process-related services described above, Westinghouse’s technical breadth in hardware, software and engineering services provides one-stop shopping for a myriad of additional products and services that are complementary to nuclear plant-life extension. These products and services, which can be combined into integrated packages or provided as stand-alone offers, include:
For additional details, flysheets exist for most of these stand-alone products and services.
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