Long-Term Operation

Helping nuclear plants to operate beyond the design life

Nuclear energy is essential

Nuclear energy is crucial for the fulfilment of international environmental commitments. With current technology, it is impossible to simply disregard nuclear energy while being able to ensure a supply of electricity and comply with the greenhouse gas emission requirements.

That is why more and more countries are opting for a long-term operation strategy for their nuclear plants.

What is long-term nuclear operation?

The term Long-Term Operation refers to the continuous operation of an industrial installation, beyond its originally intended lifespan, maintaining or improving safety and reliability levels, while also meeting the applicable structural, systematic and component safety requirements.

How do we carry out Long-Term Operation?

The analysis corresponding to the safety assessment of nuclear plants is carried out based on a hypothetical lifespan of 40 years.

In order to operate beyond this period, a review of the original analysis needs to be carried out to decide upon the hypothesis of the extended lifespan, and to obtain more knowledge on the actual state of the structures, systems and components of the plant.

This will allow for, if necessary, the adoption of more timely measures for the replacement, reparation or mitigation of the degrading that may have affected the materials.

Therefore, to operate a long-term nuclear plan, a safety assessment needs to be performed which demonstrates that it maintains the safety requirements applicable to its systems and components.

Assessment system for Long-Term Operation in the nuclear sector

At Tecnatom we have a wealth of experience in the development of assessment programs for long-term operations of nuclear plants, and we are able to support plants with the following activities:

  • Time ageing analysis (TAA), with the aim of proving that the structures, systems and components of a nuclear plant maintain their operating capacity in a secure and reliable manner, in compliance with the functions established in their licence during the long-term operation period.
  • Creation of Age Management Plans (AMP) with the aim of providing a structured collection of activities geared towards surveillance, monitoring and mitigation of the effects and mechanics of ageing materials.
  • Documenting the significant effects and mechanisms of ageing identified which affect the structures, systems and components of the nuclear plant, ensuring that the suitable Age Management Plans (AMP) have been implemented.
  • The development of a  Life Management Plan, together with the age management actions with the aim of guaranteeing the lifespan of a plant without compromising on safety while complying with the existing licence requirements.

This type of Life Management Plan contains the scope and selection of structures, systems, key components and the review of age management as well as the definition and implementation of age management schemes.

  • The creation of a Comprehensive Assessment and Age Management Plan (CAAMP), which consist of the Life Management Plan (LMP)and the necessary resolution of the TAA.
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