CORDEL: Certification of NDE Personnel

Harmonisation of International Code Requirements

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This report, written by the Codes and Standards Task Force of the World Nuclear Association’s (WNA’s) Cooperation in Reactor Design Evaluation and Licensing (CORDEL) Working Group, looks at and compares the current code requirements in the certification of NDE personnel for the major nuclear design codes..

Under the current national nuclear design codes, non-destructive examination (NDE) is required during the manufacture of nuclear grade components to provide assurance of the absence of unacceptable defects. National design codes are usually formulated to follow the national regulations in a state. Because these regulations differ from country to country, barriers are created to the transferability of NDE certification, with obvious effects for the supply chain.

As nuclear new build gathers pace, the need for qualified and experienced personnel will increase. In the UK, for example, a report by Cogent2 on nuclear skills, investigated the availability of resources for the UK nuclear new build programme. Taking into consideration the current available workforce, the time required to train a new workforce and the competition with various other local, national and international infrastructure programmes, the report calculated the risk of companies not being able to hire adequately trained and experienced staff at various stages of the construction programme. The report estimates that there is a high probability of skill deficit in the near term in equipment manufacturing and in the short term for engineering construction, for NDE personnel.

Harmonization of codes and standards lowers trade barriers, allows interoperability of products, systems and services and promotes common technical understanding. It can effectively reduce costs, by allowing personnel to be trained according to one consistent set of requirements and increase the international mobility of the workforce. In addition, this consistency can contribute to providing a large pool of certified personnel with adequate experience in the nuclear industry. All of these factors lead to a reduction in the amount of non-conformities and increased safety.

This report looks at and compares the current code requirements in the certification of NDE personnel for the major nuclear design codes. A survey conducted by the Codes and Standards Task Force (CSTF) identified that companies performing NDE procedures normally perform examinations on a wide variety of components. These could include components under different sections of the design code (other than nuclear grade) as well as under In-Service Inspection ISI codes. Hence, this document considers requirements for nuclear grade components as well as conventional equipment when appropriate. It also presents current international industrial certification practices. Finally, a recommendation for convergence in certification requirements for fabrication is presented at the end of this document.

 CORDEL Certification of NDE Personnel Large