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ASME Section XI Meeting Notes - December 2003

Site Updates


Prepared By: Dajun Song and Jerry Crider

Company: Progress Energy

Meeting Dates: December 8 - 12, 2003

Meeting Location: Orlando, Florida


Meeting Notes

General Announcements

1. Next Section XI meeting is in Tampa, FL. The meeting dates, 02/23/04 – 02/27/04. The Tampa Airport Marriot, (813) 879-5151. $169.00/night. Please make your reservations ASAP.

2. NRC Report.

- Next Draft Reg. Guide will be published for public comment in January/February 2004. This will cover up to Supplement 6 of 2001 Code Cases.

- The NRC staff has completed its formal review of the changes to the ASME Code incorporated into the 2001 Edition/Addenda and the 2002 and 2003 Addenda. The proposed rule is in final concurrence and is scheduled to be published for public comment in the December 2003/January 2004 timeframe.

3. The process of annulling code cases. Code cases that have been incorporated into a code edition and addenda that the NRC has endorsed through 10CFR50.55a, AND are in the Regulatory Guide as annulled. The rest will be reaffirmed.

4. ISI/NRC Symposium will be held sometime in 2005. Jack Spanner will serve as the chairman.

5. Snubber Testing. Snubber testing portion in IWF-5000 will be removed from Section XI. Testing will be covered by ISTD. The visual examination will stay in Section XI.

6. S. Africans are planning to build Gas Cooled Reactors (Division II). ASME XI needs to update Division II. The code committee is looking for volunteers to serve on Division II. First meeting will be in February 2004.

Code Committee Protocol

A quick lesson on code committee protocol. Typically, a code item starts at Task Group (TG) level and must work its’ way through BNCS before it gets published. Here is the pecking order.

TG – Task Group

WG – Working Group

SG – Subgroup

SC XI – Subcommittee Section XI

MC – Standards Committee (Items can still pass with 3 negative votes if it’s a "second consideration" vote.)

BNCS – Board of Nuclear Codes and Standards

Some popular "Groups";

TG on Alloy 600

TG on Boric Acid Corrosion

WGISIO – ISI Optimization

WGISC – Inspection of Systems and Components

WGRBI – Risk Based Inspection

WGPT – Pressure Test

WGIWE/IWL – Containment

WGGR – General Requirements

SGWCS – Water Cooled Systems

SGNDE – Nondestructive Evaluation

SGRRM – Repair, Replacement, and Modifications

SGES – Evaluations and Standards

SCXI – Subcommittee Section XI

Code Committee Items

1. Task Group on Alternative NDE Methods for Repair/Replacement/Modification (RRM) Activities. Draft code case was discussed, and will be letter balloted by the following Working Groups:

  • WG Welding & Special Repair Process
  • WG Procedure Qualification & Volumetric Examination
  • WG Flaw Evaluation
  • WG Design & Programs

2. Task Group on Boric Acid. Task Group focused on two major aspects – the ability to detect leaks in borated systems and actions taken when a leak is identified. A code change to address "evaluation and corrective actions" was presented to WGISIO. Revised code change will be brought back to WGISIO in February 2004 meeting. Additionally, the task group will develop technical basis for moving insulation during visual examinations. This code action will be presented to WGISIO in the May 2004 meeting.

3. Working Group on ISI Optimization. Warren Bamford presented the proposed Code Case to eliminate surface and volumetric examinations on regenerative and residual heat exchangers. The proposed alterative examination method will be a VT-2 examination. Since the proposed Code Case will be limited to stainless steel vessel only, most BWRs will not benefit from this action. The proposed action received several comments. For this reason, the proposed action will be represented at the February’s meeting.

Frank Schaaf presented an update of the proposed changes to address the performance of on-line examinations of ISI Class 2 and 3 components. The proposed changes included a revision to IWX-2410 to clarify examinations and pressure tests may be performed during either plant operation or an outage. Currently wording only addresses system operation or plant outage. In addition, a revision to IWX-2430 (Additional Examination) is being proposed. The completion of additional examinations (for on-line examinations only) within fourteen days was first proposed. After several discussions, consideration was given to change the "within fourteen day" to within the specified Tech. Spec. requirement for the affected system/component. This action will be re-presented at the February’s meeting.

4. Working Group on General Requirements. The proposed revision to Code Case N-532 was approved. The proposed revision will (1) remove the requirement to document corrective measures that were performed; (2) better align the Code Case with the existing requirements of IWA-6000; (3) changed the reporting of examination percentage from each refueling outages to once per inspection period; (4) clarified reporting requirements on the OAR and NIS-2A forms; and (4) addressed the NRC’s conditions specified in RG 1.147. The proposed revision will be presented to Subcommittee for consideration at the February meeting.

5. A presentation on the proposed Code Case for repairing small-bore nozzles using a mechanical nozzle seal assembly (MNSA) was presented and discussed. Currently, the NRC considered the use of a MNSA as a temporary repair (based on discussion, the NRC does not believe that ASME Section III addresses this application). For clarification, several inquiries have been approved saying that Section III does allow the use of a MNSA. Based on the discussions, the SG agreed to form a new Task Group to address the use of a MNSA. The Task Group’s actions are to draft an inquiry on whether Section XI allows its use and, then evaluate whether further Code action is required.

6. Proposed revision to Code Case N-513-1, Evaluation Criteria for Temporary Acceptance of Flaws in Moderate Energy Class 2 or 3 Piping. This revision includes additional "condition" that the NRC has imposed on the code case, and to permit the evaluation to be conducted on cases where a non-planar flaw has penetrated through the pipe wall. Item goes to Standards Committee.

7. Proposed code change and code case (N-702). This item reduces the BWR IRS and nozzle-to-shell welds exam from 100% to 25%. In addition, for IRS, VT-1 can be used in lieu of volumetric exam. It excludes feedwater nozzles and operating control rod drive return line nozzles. Again, the issue is whether or not this item should include 1 mill or 0.5 mill wire for VT-1 exam. This item received 5 negative Letter Ballots at Standards Committee. The negatives were addressed and reaffirmed at SCXI. One lone negative at SCXI was Mr. Norris of NRC (the code cases does not address 1 mill or 0.5 mill wire for VT-1 exam). Goes back to Standards Committee on 2nd consideration.

8. Proposed revision to Code Case N-586, Alternative Additional Examination Requirements for Class 1, 2, and 3 Piping, Components, and Supports. This revision incorporates NRCs concern/comments. The revision requires the root cause evaluation to consider other piping systems than the one containing the original flaws or relevant conditions. Passed SCXI, and goes to Standards Committee.

9. Proposed code change (IWX-1220). This action is to revise the exemption criteria to clarify that the primary and secondary sides of heat exchangers are to be handled separately, and clarify that components surrounded by exempt components are themselves exempt. Passed SCXI, and goes to Standards Committee.

10. Proposed code change (IWL-5210). This action clarifies that an Engineering Evaluation Report (as specified in IWL-3310) is not required for exempting pressure tests. Instead, an Owner shall evaluate the minor repair/replacement activity to ensure that the containment satisfies the requirements of the Construction Code and the Owner’s Requirements prior to and during the performance of the repair/replacement activity. This evaluation should be reviewed by the Responsible Engineer. Passed SCXI, and goes to Standards Committee.

11. Proposed code change to IWB-3430 and IWB-3500. This action revises the code to exclude the use of acceptance standards for planar flaws caused by stress corrosion cracking. The industry practice for BWRs at present is not to use the acceptance standards for SCC while PWR have used the acceptance standards for SCC. Due to the difficulties associated with predicting SCC growth rates, the use of code acceptance standards could be "not conservative." Item passed with 5 negatives at SCXI. However, this item does not go forward until all the negative comments are resolved. Still at SGES.

12. Mr. Owen Hedden of Westinghouse is working on a Code Case (N-691) to extend the 10-year interval RPV ISI exams by 10 or more years. This means performing the RPV exams once every 20 years. The weld category includes B-A, B-D, and B-J. White Paper is written. Pilot plants have been identified. This item passed Standards Committee (Main Committee). The NRC would like to see the pilot plant study before passing judgment. This looks very promising.

13. An item to clarify code and Code Case (N-652) requirements. Basically, it clarifies that bolting on all steam generators require examination. The code and Code Case imply otherwise. This item (code change and Code Case revision) is out for Letter Ballot at Standards Committee.

14. Proposed code case using risk insights to determine the minimum required examination coverage for Class 1 and 2 (3, if using Risk-Informed ISI) piping welds. Letter balloted at SGWCS.

15. Proposed code case to eliminate surface examination of Class 1 socket welds that are not susceptible to outside surface attack. Item passed WGISC. SGWCS decided to incorporate this item into Code Case N-663.

Inquiry Session

Note: To expedite the Code Inquiry process, all inquiries must be received by the ASME office (Oliver Martinez, Secretary) two weeks prior to the Code meeting.

The following Requirement Inquires was approved.

  1. Q. May an NDE Level III initially certified in accordance with the requirements of ASME Section XI IWA-2300, 1989 Edition, and who has taken a Basic examination in accordance with SNT-1 TC-1A 1984 Edition, be recertified in accordance with the requirements of Section XI, IWA-2323, 1996 Addenda through the 2003 Addenda without re-taking the Basic examination?

    Reply. YES
  2. Q. Do the provisions of IWB-3112(b), IWB-3131(b), IWC-3112(b) and IWC-3121(b) apply to components with flaws observed on digitally enhanced original construction radiographs?

    Reply. YES, provided that the digitally enhanced radiographs satisfy the examination standards of the original Construction Code.
  3. Q. Does Section XI permit the application of the criteria of IWB-3613(a) to structural discontinuities at the intersections of nozzles and pressure vessel shells during conditions where pressurization does not exceed 20 percent of the Design Pressure?

    Reply. YES
  4. Q. Is it a requirement of IWA-4513.1(b) that electrodes for use in temper bead repair welding be baked even if the electrode manufacturer indicates that it is permissible to use such electrodes if taken directly from a freshly opened hermetically sealed container?

    Reply. NO
  5. Q. Is it a requirement of IWA-6220 that an abstract of pressure tests be included in Form NIS-1 and submitted as part of the Summary Report as required by IWA-6230?

    Reply. YES
  6. Q. If pressure tests are performed on systems or portions of systems, is it a requirement of IWA-6220(a) to list individual vessels, pumps, valves or welds within the scope of the pressure test?

    Reply. NO
  7. Q. Is it a requirement of IWA-6220(d) to list the test method of a pressure test?

    Reply. YES
  8. Q. Is it a requirement of paragraph IWG-2500 that relevant conditions be determined and recorded in the inspection report during the performance of a VT-3 examination?

    Reply. YES
  9. Q. When a relevant condition is not observed, is it a requirement of IWG-2500 that the presence or absence of a gap between a component and its support be recorded in the inspection report during the performance of a VT-3 examination as defined in IWA-2213?

    Reply. NO
  10. Q. Does the requirement of IWA-2313(a) to verify parameters such as clearances, settings and physical displacements require dimensional measurements?

    Reply. NO

The following Intent Inquiries was approved by SCXI. (Note 1: Typically Intent Inquires require approval of SCXI members, and need an accompanying code change. Note 2: Occasionally, Requirement Inquires goes to SCXI because the inquiry did not get a unanimous vote at Inquiry Session.).

  1. Q. Is it the intent of Section XI, IWA-2310 that personnel already certified to SNT-TC-1A Level II PT requirements being re-certified to CP-189-1991 receive an additional 4 hours of formal PT instruction prior to re-certification?

    Reply. NO
  2. Q. Is it the intent of IWE-5210 and IWE-5240 to require a VT-2 visual examination in addition to the Appendix J test specified by IWE-5220 for pressure retaining bolting and non-pressure retaining welds?

    Reply. NO

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