IAEA-TECDOC-1867

Handbook for Regulatory Inspectors of Nuclear Power Plants

Techdoc 1867

Regulatory inspections of nuclear facilities and activities generally consist of a predefined programme of planned inspections and reactive inspections which are both announced and unannounced to ensure that the inspectors obtain a clear understanding of the overall operation of the Nuclear Power Plant. The purpose is to provide independent assurance that the operator is in compliance with regulatory and license requirements and conditions.

 

This Techdoc is a rather strange accumulation of advice on the inspection process.

GSG-13 identifies four basic methods for obtaining information during an inspection: Monitoring and Direct Observation; Discussions and Interviews; Document Evaluation; and Independent Tests and Measurements. These are expanded on in Section 2.3.2 listing suitable things to inspect in each style and giving hints about how to make the inspection more successful.

Inspections generally should follow a plan – perform – evaluate – report process, which is expanded upon in Section 3, which looks at the phases, and further in Section 4, which looks at how inspections are undertaken. This includes recommending that an inspector be armed with: note book, clipboard, drawings/diagrams; voice recorder; portable computers, tablets; laser pointer; camera; radiation meters; pyrometer/thermal imaging device; and Inspection mirror, providing the site rules allow them.

Section 4.3.1 is an extraordinarily detailed section about some of the components of a nuclear plant (gauges, valves, motors, pumps, pipe supports etc. which seems to be more general plant familiarisation than inspection material. Some nice diagrams are included.

A potentially useful annex gives tables of questions to ask during and after a tour of the plant.

This Techdoc makes an interesting read and could be useful to a reasonably novice inspector as a self-teaching aid and to a more experienced one as a refresher. However, I cannot help thinking that mature national regulators will already have their own material that fits this purpose. For example in the UK the ONR has its extensive set of technical assessment guides (TAGs).

Author: Keith Pearce

Emergency Planning and Health Physics consultant and author

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