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The mandatory periodic in-service inspection of commercial nuclear power plants in the United States is governed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section XI, “Rules for In-service Inspection of Nuclear Power Plant Components.” The scope of these rules is indicated, as well as a summary of the requirements that have evolved as the ASME Code was developed. Recent experience with austenitic pipe inspection is used to illustrate the interaction of ASME Code requirements, inspection technology development, and fabrication practice. Because the performance of these examinations requires skilled people, comments are made about certification and manpower availability.
inspection, nondestructive tests, standards, performance tests, nuclear power plants
Program manager, Nondestructive Evaluation, Nuclear Systems and Materials, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif.