The NTS Third Party Qualification (TPQ™) Edge
As traditional manufacturers of nuclear plant electrical and control equipment began eliminating their nuclear QA programs due to financial considerations, a market for TPQ was born. The TPQ process procures standard commercial equipment from a manufacturer and utilizes a series of functional, dimensional and qualification tests to verify critical equipment characteristics. This testing and inspection provides the necessary assurance that the component is capable of performing its intended safety function.
TPQ permits utilization of the best equipment and retrofits from leading mass production manufacturers. Engineered replacements, as well as design upgrades, are fully supported. NTS remains the most experienced source for real time solutions to EQ issues, as well as for programmatic approaches to obsolescence management and alternate source development.
The NTS TPQ program stands out by providing commercial grade dedication of retrofit equipment and replacement parts no longer available from original sources. TPQ relies on our industry-leading environmental qualification (EQ) experience and extensive qualification databases, along with numerous formal alliances with key OEMs. If your program contains significant engineering content, it is particularly well-suited for NTS. Our direct links to major manufacturers permit the lowest pricing and greatest access to critical technical support. These connections also allow for explicit contractual assurance of long-term supply and attendant Part 21 responsibility.
Our environmental qualification service work began in the early 1970s and encompasses radiation testing, thermal aging, seismic testing and accident testing. Most of the original qualification programs were done on a representative sample of a standard manufacturer’s design.
NTS performs EQ testing to IEEE-323 and IEEE-344 requirements for any class 1E equipment for Nuclear Power Plants. This testing confirms the design durability of equipment under normal, abnormal, design basis event, post design basis event and in-service test conditions for the performance of safety function(s). Most qualification programs are performed as part of a replacement program or in conjunction with electrical equipment retrofit programs. NTS has performed a significant amount of work with medium voltage switchgear and motor control center retrofits. All components are furnished under a Nuclear Procurement Issues Committee (NUPIC)-audited QA program with NTS accepting 10 CFR Part 21 responsibilities.
The TPQ aspect of our business started with small items like fuses, relays and circuit breakers. As the business matured, many of the items requested were retrofit components. These components are present-day manufactured components that actually fit into the older electrical cabinets or on the original equipment skids.
Documentation includes direct traceability to the OEM. This is essential, since parts supplied in an assembly are typically unconfirmed to be nuclear qualified by the OEM (when qualified by the assembly supplier). What’s more, our EQ and Materials Aging databases readily support identification of alternate sources for these parts.
NTS executes engineered retrofits and upgrades that cost-effectively improve system performance and reduce maintenance costs. All retrofit equipment is fully qualified and documented for safety-related service. NTS and our OEM partners provide all required services, including:
- Custom design
- Qualification plans
- EQ and functional testing
- Software validation and verification (V&V)
- Installation support
- O&M training
- Spares recommendations
- All QA documentation
Your Source for Safety-Related Replacement Items
NTS is a premier supplier of qualified replacement parts and equipment no longer available as nuclear grade from original sources. We provide a wide array of 1E qualified items such as fuses, terminal blocks, relays, molded case circuit breakers, meters, transducers, switches, sensors and instruments. NTS procures all items from established OEMs and qualified—per customer requirements—using our Appendix B QA program. Our replacement and retrofit equipment suppliers include prominent companies like Foxboro, Homewood, Marathon and Siemens.
Because we originally qualified the majority of this equipment, plant procurement specifications typically reference NTS reports. Thus, NTS is very familiar with the technical requirements and can precisely duplicate necessary qualification testing and analyses. Our 360o in-house testing capabilities expedite availability, allowing NTS to supply some equipment in as little as five business days. We even carry some items in stock and can ship them immediately. When you purchase an item from NTS, you can be completely confident of its compliance to and readiness for safety-related applications. NTS assumes all 10CFR50 App B and Part 21 responsibilities.
Qualified Parts/Equipment Catalog
To meet your needs as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible, NTS maintains an inventory of selected qualified/safety-related parts and equipment. Typical equipment categories include:
- Terminal Blocks
- Storage Batteries
- Motor Control Centers
Replacement Parts and Equipment Engineered Retrofits and Upgrades
Our legacy of service and commitment to the nuclear industry, combined with solid alliances with key OEMs, back up our ability to sustain exceptional life-of-plant support. Rounding out the NTS full-service structure is our in-house laboratory testing. This ensures complete control of quality verification and fastest turn-around.
You Need It, We’ll Find It: Replacement Parts and Equipment
Our trusted reputation and far-reaching connections allow NTS to develop alternate sources for hard-to-find or obsolete safety-related electrical and mechanical parts. What does that mean for you? You receive fully pedigreed parts, supplied with the meticulous quality control and testing we apply to all qualified substitutes. We also provide complete documentation, including direct traceability via an NTS barcode number.
TPQ Certification of Yokogawa Equipment
NTS certifies Yokogawa recorders, controllers and parts that are classified as nuclear safety-related equipment. These items provide essential services in support of emergency reactor shutdown, containment isolation, reactor core cooling and containment and reactor heat removal. They are also used in preventing significant release of radioactive material to the environment.
Our Nuclear TPQ organization purchases each piece of equipment from Yokogawa as commercial-grade, then dedicates it for use as a basic component in Class 1E seismic and mild environment applications. We prepare a project-specific dedication plan that includes detailed information on the methods, procedures and acceptance criteria used to provide reasonable assurance that the equipment can perform its intended safety function. Next, we verify the critical characteristics, including its similarity to qualification test specimens. We evaluate the results of detailed inspections and functional testing against the established acceptance criteria in the dedication plan. If the results are satisfactory, NTS issues a certificate of conformance to certify that the equipment meets accepted standards for nuclear service.
For more details about third party qualification certification of Yokogawa equipment, you can download our fact sheet containing specifications, tests and capabilities.
Or, feel free to Request a Quote to begin a dialogue about your next program.