Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Why Quality Assurance Programs Verify Safety of Components at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

Pam Cowan
The following is a guest post by Pam Cowan, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal published a story concerning manufacturing records and forgings at AREVA’s Le Creusot forge in France. A very limited number of U.S. facilities are using components forged at Le Creusot.

After an investigation by AREVA in coordination with the affected plants, it was determined that the components were safe and met required quality standards. Additionally, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to date has not identified any safety significance at U.S. plants, stating, “examination of the evidence, to this point, fails to raise a safety concern.”

Here's more from AREVA:
Significant progress has been made on both investigations, including the identification of components that may have been affected in the United States, and the review and verification of the quality and safety of those components.

AREVA contacted the U.S. utilities that may have had affected components and, after completing the U.S. evaluations, followed up with component status confirmations to its U.S. utility customers regarding both investigations.
U.S. nuclear plants are built and operated with a defense in depth approach that ensures plant safety is maintained at all times. When it comes to safety-related components at U.S. nuclear power plants, the industry’s quality assurance programs are rigorous all the way from manufacturing to installation and operation. These components are also routinely monitored and inspected before, during and after they’ve been installed to assure that their performance is not compromised.

Safety is our first priority, and the industry will continue to follow this issue closely.

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