|NDT.net - August 2002, Vol. 7 No.08|
3nd International Conference on NDE in Relation to Structural Integrity for Nuclear and Pressurized Components, Nov 14-16, 2001, Seville Spain
The need to qualify Non Destructive Tests (NDT) has been recognized for many years in the European countries engaged in nuclear power generation. The European Network for Inspection Qualification, ENIQ, which groups the major part of the nuclear power plant operators in the European Union and in the Applicant Countries, has developed the European methodology for Qualification of Non Destructive Tests.
As qualification of NDT is nowadays a standard method in the nuclear industry and in other industries for ensuring inspection performance, there is an increasing request by the Industry to refer to a CEN Standard document for NDT qualification.
Consequently, the CEN (European Committee for Standardization) Technical Committee 138 "Non Destructive Testing" has decided to establish a Working Group, which is responsible for developing a Standard document detailing the CEN Methodology for the qualification of Non Destructive Tests applicable to all industries carrying out Non-Destructive Tests.
This Standard document describes a flexible methodology for qualification of Non-Destructive Tests, applicable to all NDT methods and considers qualification of equipment, procedure and personnel training. It sets out basic principles and provides recommendations and general guidelines for carrying out qualification of NDT.
This paper presents the Standard document, which is now ready for the formal CEN inquiry to the CEN Standardization Bodies, and discusses the main features of the European Methodology for Qualification of Non-Destructive Tests.
In the European countries engaged in nuclear power generation, the first initiative for NDT qualification was undertaken in the late 80’ under the framework of the PISC III programme; in the Action 8 Inspection Qualification.
At the end of the PISC programme, this action became the ENIQ project. The European network for Inspection Qualification was created in 1992 and the first issue of ENIQ methodology was edited in 1995.
ENIQ is grouping the major part of the nuclear operators of power plants in the European Union, Switzerland and the applicant countries to the European Union. ENIQ has developed the European methodology for Inspection Qualification. Nowadays NDT qualification is a method widely used in the nuclear industry and also in other industries for ensuring inspection performance.
In the non-nuclear field, the network EPERC was established in the late 1990’. The task force TTF3 is dealing with the Inspection Qualification for pressure equipment.
EPERC, European Pressure Equipment Research Council, consists of several technical task forces. TTF3 deals with the harmonization of inspection and maintenance. The TTF3 overall objective is the development of harmonized European practices. The TTF3 agenda items are the European Inspection Qualification methodology for the pressure equipment industry, risk based inspection, risk based like management, reliability of inspections results, ….
Finally in 1999, CEN European Committee for Standardization has decided to develop a document dealing with the methodology for qualification of non-destructive tests.
Further to increased requests by the industry to refer to an EN document for NDT qualification, the CEN European Committee for Standardization Technical Committee 138, dealing with NDT, decided in late 1998 to launch in 1999 a Working Group to develop a standard document, dealing with the CEN methodology for the qualification of non-destructive tests applicable to all industries, enough flexible to be applicable to all NDT methods.
The EN methodology considers the qualification of equipment, procedure and personnel training. It sets out basic principles and provides recommendations and general guidelines for carrying out the qualification of NDT. The standard document is now ready for the formal CEN inquiry to the standardization bodies belonging to CEN.
The background for this standardization work is based on two resolutions taken during the plenary meeting of CEN TC 138 on November 9th, 1998, in Paris. A new item was decided to be undertaken, whose scope is, that the "new document (report) gives general guidelines to follow in carrying out qualification of NDT, i.e. Methods of assessing the capability of NDT to achieve the specified objectives for a defined application". The target dates were to have a standard report ready for the CEN TC inquiry in 2001 and an approved document by CEN for June 2002.
This new work item was stated as a support to the new approach directive "pressure equipment" directive 97/23/EC. The decision was agreed with the positive notes of Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the U.K., and the negative votes of Germany and Austria.
This first resolution was followed in the same meeting by the resolution defining the scope of the Working Group elaborating the methodology for qualification of NDT. This resolution was agreed unanimously, meaning that all CEN members were willing to participate actively to the working group.
The Working Group was constituted by the representatives of the standardization bodies of Denmark (DS), Finland, France (AFNOR), Germany (DIN), Italy (UNI), Spain (AFNOR), Sweden (SIS), U.K. (BSI), and of the JRC of EC, who got the convenorship of this working group.
The participants to this Working Group are recognized experts in the field of NDT and NDT qualification, and acknowledgement has to be made for their contribution, cornerstone to the elaboration of the EN methodology for qualification of NDT.
At the start of the work, several reference documents were consulted, firstly the ENIQ methodology, secondly the U.K. BSI draft standard, and thirdly the German DIN document.
The work progress was made mainly during 6 meetings in two years time, with in between meetings of the mirror national Working Groups of France, Germany, Italy and the U.K.
The contents of the report are the definition of scope, the normative reference (EN 473 certification of the NDT personnel), the general principles stating that the qualification consists of practical assessment, technical justification or a mixture of both, the terms and definition, in which 22 terms have been identified such as qualification dossier, qualification team and technical justification, the qualification phases, steps and responsibilities, complemented by 2 annexes, dealing with elements of NDT qualification and input information to be made available prior to NDT qualification.
The main features of the EN methodology are detailed by two tables in the EN report. Table 1 details the need for qualification when:
|Table 1: Need for qualification.|
Table 2 defines the qualification phases, steps and responsibilities:
|Phase||Step-N°||Responsibility||EN Report Reference|
|Phase 1: Prior to NDT qualification||Section 5.1|
|Make available all required input information concerning component, relevant discontinuities, specific NDT objectives||1||Parties involved||Section 5.1|
|Define the NDT qualification objectives and which kind of results the qualification is aimed at||2||Parties involved||Section 5.1|
|Define the field of application of the NDT qualification, e.g. oil industry, power industry, etc||3||Parties involved||Section 5.1|
|Identify the qualification team||4||Parties involved||Section 5.1|
|Prepare the draft NDT procedure to be qualified, if necessary Assemble the input data for the Technical Justification where appropriate||5||Parties involved, Qualification team where appropriate||Section 5.1|
|Phase 2: Planning of NDT qualification||Section 5.2|
|Prepare the Qualification Programme||6||Qualification team||Section 5.2|
|Agree Qualification Programme||7||Parties involved, qualification team where appropriate||Section 5.2|
|Phase 3: Conducting NDT qualification||Section 5.3|
|Conduct Qualification Programme||8||Qualification team||Section 5.3.1|
|Record the results and other additional information during qualification process||9||Qualification team||Section 220.127.116.11|
|Evaluate the qualification results||10||Qualification team||Sections 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52|
|Compile NDT qualification dossier which has to discuss and to point out, whether the requirements on the objectives of the NDT qualification are met||11||Qualification team||Section 5.3.2|
|Phase 4: Acceptance of NDT qualification||Section 5.4|
|Accept/reject NDT qualification||12||Parties involved qualification team where appropriate||Section 5.4.1|
|Define and/or confirm the required competence of personnel using the qualified NDT. Training may be established||13||Parties involved qualification team where appropriate||Section 5.4.2|
|Phase 5: Implementation of qualified NDT||Section 5.5|
|Based on the final NDT qualification dossier, establish and/or confirm the qualified NDT procedure. Finalize qualification dossier||14||Parties involved qualification team where appropriate||Sections 5.4.1, 5.5.1|
|Maintain and update the qualification dossier||15||Parties involved||Sections 5.5.2, 184.108.40.206|
|Table 2: Qualification phases, steps and responsibilities.|
The European methodology for qualification of NDT is developed and detailed presently in three areas.
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