NTS Nuclear Services

Third Party Qualification (TPQ) and Commercial Grade Dedication

Safety-Related Replacement Items

NTS is a leading supplier of qualified replacements parts and equipment no longer available as nuclear grade from original sources. NTS provides 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 NTS's Appendix B QA program. NTS provides replacement and retrofit equipment from companies such as Foxboro, Homewood, Marathon and Siemens.

NTS originally qualified the majority of this equipment, so plant procurement specifications typically reference NTS reports. Thus, NTS is very familiar with the technical requirements and can exactly duplicate any necessary qualification testing and analysis. The ability to perform all testing in-house expedites availability, allowing NTS to supply some equipment within as little as five days. Some items are available for immediate shipment from stock at NTS facilities. Items can be purchased from NTS with the complete assurance of their compliance for safety-related applications. NTS assumes all 10CFR50 App B and Part 21 responsibilities.

Qualified Parts/Equipment Catalog
NTS maintains an inventory of selected qualified/safety-related parts and equipment. Typical equipment categories available include:

  • Motors
  • Switchgear
  • Fuses
  • Terminal Blocks
  • Storage Batteries
  • Motor Control Centers
  • Valves

Third Party Qualification (TPQ)

The NTS Nuclear Center of Excellence's TPQ program provides commercial grade dedication of retrofit equipment and replacement parts no longer available from original sources. TPQ relies on NTS's 30 years of EQ experience and extensive qualification databases, plus numerous formal alliances with key OEMs. Programs with significant engineering content are particularly well-suited for NTS. Direct links to major manufacturers permit the lowest pricing and greatest access to critical technical support. They also provide for explicit contractual assurance of long-term supply and attendant Part 21 responsibility.

The environmental qualification service work initially started in the early 1970s and includes activities such as 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 and the construction process controlled to provide the necessary assurance of continued qualification. NTS performs environmental qualification testing to the IEEE-323, and IEEE-344 requirements for any class 1E equipment for Nuclear Power Plants. The testing confirms the equipment design adequacy under normal, abnormal, design basis event, post design basis event, and in-service test conditions for the performance of safety function(s). Most of the qualification programs are currently being performed as either part of a replacement program or in conjunction with electrical equipment retrofit program.

Many of the traditional manufacturers of nuclear plant electrical and control equipment have eliminated their QA programs for the nuclear industry based on financial considerations. This has opened up a market in TPQ™. 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.

This aspect of NTS's business started with small items such as 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. 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. Documentation includes direct traceability to the OEM. Parts provided in an assembly are typically not known to be nuclear qualified by their original manufacturer, when qualified by the assembly supplier. NTS's EQ and Materials Aging databases readily support identification of alternate sources for these parts.

NTS provides 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 its 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, and all QA documentation.

Replacement Parts and Equipment Engineered Retrofits and Upgrades
Combined with NTS's own service and commitment record to the nuclear industry, alliances with key OEMs back up NTS's ability to sustain exceptional life-of-plant support. In-house laboratory testing rounds out NTS's full-service approach ensuring complete control of quality verification and fastest turn-around.

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.

Replacement Parts and Equipment
NTS excels at developing alternate sources for hard-to-find or obsolete safety-related electrical and mechanical parts. These are turn-key services under which 100% pedigreed parts are supplied with all of the value-added quality control and testing necessary for qualified substitutes. Complete documentation is provided including direct traceability by NTS barcode number.

Parts provided in an assembly are typically not known to be nuclear qualified by their original manufacturer, when qualified by the assembly supplier. NTS’s EQ and Materials Aging databases readily support identification of alternate sources for these parts.

Third Party Qualification Certification of Yokogawa Equipment

We certify 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 or are otherwise essential in preventing significant release of radioactive material to the environment.

Our Nuclear TPQ organization purchases each piece of equipment from Yokogawa as commercial-grade and 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 additional details about third party qualification certification of Yokogawa equipment please click here to download our fact sheet for more details on specifications, tests, and capabilities. Contact us today to discuss your next program!