Published: Jan 1977
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At an Atomics Industrial Forum in Minneapolis in May, 1974, William Anders, head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said, in essence, that nuclear components must be qualified and that the utility companies' reactor facilities should not be used as the test beds for the qualifications. To fully appreciate the Commissioner's statement, it is necessary first to understand what is meant by the term “qualified” in the technical sense in which he used it. For a component to be considered qualified, two conditions must be demonstrated–one, that the component is capable of being manufactured in accordance with its physical drawing and specification requirements, and two, that the component (having met the first condition) is capable also of performing in accordance with its functional requirements under the most adverse environment expected to be experienced. In other words, qualification demonstrates the capabilities of both the manufacturing process and the design to each contribute to the component's successful operation under worst case environmental conditions. If a component is expertly qualified, its chances of being manufactured without a defect and its chances of operating without a failure both are improved substantially.