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IEEE Agreements with Testing Laboratories Designed to Foster Collaboration on Certification Needs for Global Nuclear Power Industry

Global growth of nuclear-power industry heightens need for validated compliance with IEEE standards and leads to agreements with Curtiss-Wright, Kinectrics and NTS

IEEE Standards Association
Shuang Yu, Director, Global Standards Solutions & Content Marketing
+1 732-981-3424; shuang.yu@ieee.org

Jeff Pane, Solutions Marketing Specialist
+1 732-465-6605; j.pane@ieee.org

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 2 December 2015 – IEEE, the world's largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today announced memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with testing laboratories Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Kinectrics and NTS. The MOUs are intended to facilitate additional collaboration through the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Conformity Assessment Program (ICAP) on certification needs in the growing global nuclear power industry. ICAP works to advance and accelerate market adoption of conforming products through compliance testing by drawing together subject matter experts in development and maintenance of independent, industry-accepted conformity assessment programs related to IEEE standards.

“These three labs are stepping up into the forefront of qualification activities and taking meaningful, positive steps to foster more consistency in the application of IEEE standards in equipment for nuclear power plants,” said Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director, IEEE-SA. “Greater assurance that IEEE standards are effectively and properly implemented is a key step to cost-efficiently improve nuclear safety worldwide, and the collaboration that these MOUs allow will help move the industry toward that goal.”

In September 2014, the IEEE-SA and the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Nuclear Power Engineering Committee (NPEC) gathered device manufacturers, test laboratories and end-user power plants in formation of the NPEC Conformity Assessment Steering Committee. That committee and ICAP together are exploring development of a conformity assessment program for IEEE 323™, IEEE Standard for Qualifying Class 1E Equipment for Nuclear Power Generating Stations, and other related, globally leveraged IEEE standards. This collaboration also yielded a new white paper, Proposed IEEE Certification for Nuclear Qualified Electrical Equipment, that is available at techstreet.com/ieee/products/1904401.

“In the decades to come, more worldwide suppliers with no nuclear experience will enter the market. This growth will be driven by a need to support the growing demand for components to aid in new power plant construction,” reads the white paper. “Failures in design, qualification testing, or the validity of test results have a greater impact than ever on the nuclear power industry. Deficiencies in any of these areas can result in a large number of nuclear units being temporarily or permanently shut down. Entire countries can be adversely affected, and the economic and social cost would be devastating. The compliance, and validated compliance, with IEEE standards has never been more needed than it is today.”

Currently, IEEE certification processes are used to help improve quality control, interchangeability of parts, reliability and development of plug-and-play devices in multiple industries, including power and energy and telecommunications. Such programs are emblematic of the IEEE-SA’s work throughout the standards lifecycle, even beyond development and publication. ICAP bridges IEEE standards development activities with proven testing and certification frameworks in order to accelerate market adoption and the acceptance of new products and technologies. ICAP encompasses all aspects of conformity assessment, including self-declaration, third-party assessment/testing and interoperability plugfests. For more information on ICAP, please visit standards.ieee.org/icap.

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About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 1,100 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information visit the IEEE-SA Web site.

About IEEE
IEEE, a large, global technical professional organization, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at the IEEE Web site external link.


Appendix: Supporting quotes

Marie S. Nemier, Director of Operations–CGD/EQ, QualTech NP, Nuclear Division, Curtiss-Wright Corporation
“Curtiss-Wright looks forward to collaborating with IEEE to evaluate the development of a certification program that will align the global nuclear industry, reduce poor quality issues, spotlight and help prevent illicit activities and reduce the installation of fraudulent parts in nuclear facilities. As a long time provider of manufactured products and services for the nuclear industry, we believe that the program is vital in fostering knowledge transfer of best practices for a safer global nuclear generation.”

Garry Chapman, Director-US Nuclear Programs, Kinectrics
“As a leading supplier of equipment qualification testing services, Kinectrics recognizes that maintaining the highest standards for both quality and technical aspects is essential to maintain the level of safety the public demands and deserves. A certification program would help assure that core qualification and capability requirements are defined and independently verified for conformance. It is yet another example of how the nuclear industry works together with all stakeholders to keep the public’s interests at the forefront.”

Thomas Brewington, Senior Director of Nuclear Engineering and Test, National Technical Systems
“For all nuclear power plants currently under construction and those plants projected to be built around the world, a certification program would provide an extra level of assurance that safety related equipment is tested and qualified to the requirements of IEEE and industry standards. This is a strong step forward in supporting the growth and dependability of nuclear power globally.”

William A. Horin, Legal Counsel, Nuclear Utilities Group on Equipment Qualification (NUGEQ)
“The use of a defined, standard-based certification process for key steps in the design, manufacturing, testing and quality control for equipment production is a fundamental quality element for the nuclear industry. Supplementing existing quality assurance criteria with optional methods to certify Class 1E devices could be of particular utility in the area of equipment qualification where assurance of valid processes is key to obtaining confidence in the equipment’s ability to perform its safety function in post-accident environments. The effort by the IEEE Nuclear Power Engineering Committee Conformity Assessment Steering Group (NPEC CASG) to consider development of a conformity assessment program for Class 1E devices is a positive step in that direction.”

Robert Konnik, Chief Technology Officer, Marmon Innovation & Technology Group
“As nuclear power is used in areas of the world that it has not been used before and IEEE standards are used to qualify the equipment, the interpretation of how the equipment is qualified becomes critical. A certification program for nuclear qualified electrical equipment could provide a method to help ensure qualification is kept to the highest level. This would open up opportunities for companies like RSCC Wire and Cable (a Marmon engineered Wire & Cable Company) to compete on an even playing field around the world.”

Jonathan C. Cornelius, Nuclear Product Manager, TE Connectivity
“A conformity assessment and certification program is the mechanism that the global commercial nuclear power industry needs to aid and ensure safe and reliable operation. Certified compliance to the most widely accepted industry standards for equipment qualification could become the hallmark of dependability.”

Rafael Flores, Chief Nuclear Officer, Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant
“The nuclear community continually strives to improve safety across the entire fleet. We work closely with other utilities, as well as our suppliers, to ensure we are doing all we can do to enhance reliability as well. The proposed certification program for nuclear-qualified electrical equipment would give us additional assurance of nuclear safety and reliability by having a consistent, repeatable process to help ensure that parts used meet all necessary requirements.”