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Inspection organizations must prepare for new authorization procedure

Inspection organizations must prepare for new authorization procedure

4 Sep 2014 10:00

A new nuclear safety guide published by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) called ‘Authorized inspection body and the licensee’s in-house inspection organisation’ (YVL E.1) came into effect on 15 August 2014. The new safety guide stipulates that in order to be able to carry out inspections at nuclear power plants, an inspection organization needs to seek authorization directly from STUK. Up until now, the inspection organizations have applied for the authorization through the power company. The inspection organizations should prepare for the new authorization procedure in time.

The authorization procedure has been changed because of an amendment to the Nuclear Energy Act. The amended legislation emphasizes the independent position of an inspection organization as an organization carrying out a public administration duty authorized by STUK. The new Guide YVL E.1 is part of the series of Nuclear Safety Guides revised in November 2013 and replaces the old procedure for authorizing inspection organizations described in Guide YVL 1.3. STUK has also communicated the matter directly to inspection organizations via mail.

STUK authorizes inspection organizations to carry out inspections of pressure equipment, other mechanical devices as well as steel and concrete structures in nuclear power plants. In YVL E.1, STUK lays down detailed requirements regarding, among other things, the operation and structures of inspection organizations, their resources, competencies and reporting obligations, the authorization procedure and monitoring by STUK.

According to YVL E.1, an authorization requires that the inspection organization first receives an accreditation from an accrediting body in its own country. In Finland, such an accrediting body is FINAS, Finnish Accreditation Service. Accreditation is based on the SFS EN ISO/IEC 17020 (2012-05-21) standard, the technical standards applicable to inspection activities and STUK’s YVL Guides that set requirements on the operation of inspection organizations in regard to the planned inspection activities. Having received an accreditation, an inspection organization can then seek authorization from STUK.

Further information:

Section Head Martti Vilpas, tel. +358 9 759 88 655
Senior Inspector Mark Cederberg, tel. +358 9 759 88 691

YVL E.1 Authorized inspection body and the licensee’s in-house inspection organisation

Nuclear Safety
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