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Equipment Qualification

KCI is an industry leader with extensive experience in the specialty areas of Equipment Qualification (EQ & SQ).  KCI typically applies these services to implement the stringent requirements of nuclear facilities, but we can and have applied these principles to other market sectors.
EQ is the methodical process of ensuring that components and systems can perform essential safety functions throughout their operational lives, including under abnormal, accident, and seismic conditions.  EQ encompasses what the NRC terms Environmental Qualification as defined in10CFR50.49 (LINK) for qualifying electric equipment important to safety. Its objective is to ensure the integrity of the reactor coolant pressure boundary, capability to shut down the reactor and maintain it in a safe shutdown condition, or prevent or mitigate the consequences of accidents that could result in potential offsite exposures in excess of allowable.  The IEEE standard 323 (and ancillary standards) defines methods generally acceptable to the NRC staff for environmental qualification

Seismic Qualification (SQ), as defined in Regulatory Guide 1.100 (LINK), is the seismic qualification of electrical and active mechanical equipment for nuclear power plants.  The IEEE standard 344 and ASME QME-1 (and ancillary standards) define methods generally acceptable to the NRC staff for seismic qualification.

KCI’s extensive EQ & SQ experience includes:

  • Designing, leading and performing numerous EQ & SQ qualification test series
  • Developing and implementing creative solutions to EQ & SQ challenges, such as material testing, thermal lag analysis, radiation shielding, and challenging seismic profiles
  • Establishing, updating and re-evaluating EQ Binders as a result of modified requirements due to power uprate, changes in nuclear fuel vendor, and license renewal projects
  • Interfacing with NRC inspectors on behalf of our clients
  • Serving and actively participating in IEEE 323 sub-committee SC2, NUGEQ, and other professional organizations
  • Designing obsolete, reverse-engineered and new components
  • Designing and applying software tools to implement and manage the nuclear station’s EQ program, such as KCI-developed EQPro software and EPRI’s Equipment Qualification Management System (EQMS).

KCI offers our proprietary engineered software called EQPro, designed for efficient and user-friendly management of data and technical evaluations that support the Environmental Qualification program.  This software provides a cost-effective way to generate and maintain EQ documentation in compliance with the regulatory requirements.  EQPro is actively in use at several nuclear sites.  To learn more about EQPro, please Contact Us.  

EQPro has modules dedicated to the 3 main categories of EQ data:

  • Environmental Qualification Master Equipment List (EQML)
  • Environmental Qualification Assessment (EQA) File
  • Equipment Qualification Environmental Parameters

The following are a few of the many EQ & SQ projects that KCI has successfully delivered:

  • Obsolete Rosemount Transmitter Replacement Project:  Developed design packages to replace 128 transmitters, including performance of Part 21 reconciliations and developing set point calculation revisions.
  • 480V Motor Control Center (MCC) Bucket Replacement Project: Developed design packages to replace 427 MCC buckets, including design collaboration with the manufacturer to minimize heat rise effects, definition and oversight of the entire EQ/SQ test sequence, and revision to affected electrical design calculations.
  • Constellation (previously Exelon) Fleet-wide EQ Preventive Maintenance (PM) Project:
    • Challenged the current PM frequency
    • Identified conservatisms and potential opportunity for improvements
    • For an example site (Clinton Power Station):
      • 262 PMs examined
      • 70% extended for 7 component types.
    • Exelon expanded the effort to examine its entire fleet under a corporate initiative
      • Common component types across the fleet
        • Transmitters
        • Limit Switches
        • Solenoid Operated Valves
      • Other components noted for potential savings
        • Relays, AC & DC MCC Buckets, Trip Units, Radiation Detectors, Motor Rewinds
    • Resulted in projected savings in excess of $30M due to:
      • Equipment replacement avoidance
      • Design Modification for obsolesce avoided
      • Costs for procurement, planning, installation, dose, scaffolding, disposal avoided
  • Multiple Plant EQ Binder and calculation update projects to address impact of EPU, LR, SLR and new fuel vendor
  • Multiple EQ & SQ test projects for cables and equipment for current and next generation nuclear facilities

To learn more about our EQ & SQ services, capabilities and experience, please Contact Us.

(1) Constellation PM Project: 32nd Annual EQ Technical Meeting presentation, “EQPM Extension Project” by Exelon & KCI. LINK