ANSI, NIST publish report on nuclear energy standards

American National Standards Institute

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) have published a meeting report on the first gathering of the Nuclear Energy Standards Coordination Collaborative (NESCC).


NESCC is a joint initiative to identify and respond to the current needs of the nuclear industry. The activity provides a cross-stakeholder forum to facilitate and coordinate the timely identification, development, and revision of standards for the design, operation, development, licensing, and deployment of nuclear power plants. Standards for other nuclear technologies, including advanced reactor concepts, will also be addressed.


On June 1, 2009, more than thirty individuals gathered at the NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md., for the inaugural NESCC meeting. Attendees first discussed the intent of the activity, which is focused on collaboration and coordination rather than standards development. Ambler Thompson, Ph.D., of NIST and Fran Schrotter of ANSI then led participants in a thorough review of the group’s charter, and the group agreed on very minor revisions to the document. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Nuclear Society (ANS) indicated that they would need to seek their respective Board approvals at upcoming meetings. The charter will be finalized based upon any comments from ASME, ANS, or any other interested stakeholder, provided such comments are received by ANSI by close of business on Wednesday, July 15.


“ANSI stands ready to aid and enable the collaboration that is necessary to move the nation’s nuclear energy efforts forward,” said Schrotter. “This gathering is the first step toward the coordination of standards that will further the safe and efficient use of nuclear power plants and nuclear technologies across the country.”


Attendees discussed the working methods, organizational structure, and task groups planned for NESCC. Several participants provided brief overviews of potential technical areas for task groups to explore. At the highest level, attendees saw a need to address two technical areas: light-water or “new” reactors, and high-temperature or “advanced” reactors. Within these broad categories, several specific task groups were suggested, including:

·        fire protection;

·        seismic requirements;

·        concrete building classification and requirements for design and construction;

·        polyethylene pipe;

·        fabrication techniques, including welding procedures;

·        metallic pressure components;

·        graphite core support structures;

·        conformity assessment activities, including inspection technologies and quality assurance requirements;

·        implementation of risk-informed and performance-based approaches;

·        Level 2 probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) standards;

·        structure systems and components classifications; and

·        single-failure criteria standards; and quality assurance standards.


NESCC is now accepting formal proposals for these task groups. A review and selection process will be undertaken this summer so that the groups may meet and report out at the next NESCC meeting, scheduled for December 7, 2009.


More details can be viewed in the meeting report here.

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