Integral management of Structural Inspections in CNAT Plants

Tlhe establishment of one or more structural inspection programs is a fundamental tool for the correct operation, maintenance and conservation of a nuclear power plant. In addition, these programs respond to the different requirements established by the Nuclear Safety Council for the renewal of the operating permit. The objective of these inspections is to review the structures, systems and components that make up the plant as a whole in order to ensure that they are capable of fulfilling the function for which they were designed.

The implementation of the inspection programs requires a wide deployment of resources, both material and human, to guarantee strict compliance with the requirements established by the reference standards. The success in the management of the inspection programs lies in the sustained achievement over time of an adequate maintenance and service of the structures causing the minimum impact on the operation of the plant.

Following the entry into force in 1999 of the Maintenance Rule at the Spanish nuclear power plants, a series of conditions were established for the operating permit for each of the plants. As from that moment, inspection work began to be carried out specifically to ensure that the structures, systems and components that make up a plant as a whole are capable of fulfilling their intended function, in accordance with the instructions issued by the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN).

Subsequently, subsequent to the entry into force of the Maintenance Rule, and with the development and evolution of standards and reference guides in the field of inspection, new and increasingly specific and detailed inspection programs began to be implemented. Structural inspection is developed through various programs, governed by different regulations and requirements, which results in the establishment of a powerful management system that allows proper compliance with all of them. For a correct fulfilment of all the demands, the company that develops the works must integrate all the activities that the programs and regulations establish. This ranges from the development of the plans and inspection procedures, to the emission of reports of results and management of the derived repair activities, passing through the execution of the inspection works in plant and the control of the planning of all the structural inspections. All this with the objective of ensuring the maintenance of the plants in an optimal state of conservation and complying with the highest safety standards of the industry.

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