Long-Term Operation

Helping nuclear plants to operate beyond their designed lifespan

Nuclear energy is essential

Nuclear energy is crucial for the compliance 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 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 Implement Long-Term Operation?

The analysis corresponding to the safety assessment of nuclear plants is made 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 an 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, repair or mitigation of the deterioration that may have affected the materials.

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

 Long-Term Operation in the Nuclear Sector Assessment System

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

  • Time ageing analysis (TAA), aiming to prove that the structures, systems and components of a nuclear plant securely and reliably maintain their operating capacity in compliance with the functions established in their licence during the long-term operation period.
  • Creation of Ageing Management Plans (AMP), aiming to provide a structured collection of activities geared towards the surveillance, monitoring and mitigation of the effects and mechanics of ageing materials.
  • Documenting the significant identified effects and mechanisms of ageing on the structures, systems and components of the nuclear plant, ensuring that suitable Ageing Management Plans (AMP) have been implemented.
  • Developing a Lifecycle Management Plan, together with ageing management actions to guarantee a plant’s lifespan without compromising on safety and complying with the existing licence requirements.

This type of Lifecycle Management Plan contains the structure, system and key component scope and selection as well as the ageing management review and the ageing management schemes definition and implementation.

  • The creation of a Comprehensive Assessment and Ageing Management Plan (CAAMP), which includes the Lifecycle Management Plan (LMP) and the required TAA resolution.
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