§ 50.49 Environmental qualification of electric equipment important to safety for nuclear power plants.
(a) Each holder of or an applicant for an operating license issued under this part, or a combined license or manufacturing license issued under part 52 of this chapter, other than a nuclear power plant for which the certifications required under § 50.82(a)(1) or § 52.110(a)(1) of this chapter have been submitted, shall establish a program for qualifying the electric equipment defined in paragraph (b) of this section. For a manufacturing license, only electric equipment defined in paragraph (b) which is within the scope of the manufactured reactor must be included in the program.
(b) Electric equipment important to safety covered by this section is:
(1) Safety-related electric equipment.3
(i) This equipment is that relied upon to remain functional during and following design basis events to ensure—
(A) The integrity of the reactor coolant pressure boundary;
(B) The capability to shut down the reactor and maintain it in a safe shutdown condition; or
(C) The capability to prevent or mitigate the consequences of accidents that could result in potential offsite exposures comparable to the guidelines in § 50.34(a)(1), § 50.67(b)(2), or § 100.11 of this chapter, as applicable.
(ii) Design basis events are defined as conditions of normal operation, including anticipated operational occurrences, design basis accidents, external events, and natural phenomena for which the plant must be designed to ensure functions (b)(1)(i) (A) through (C) of this section.
(2) Nonsafety-related electric equipment whose failure under postulated environmental conditions could prevent satisfactory accomplishment of safety functions specified in subparagraphs (b)(1) (i) (A) through (C) of paragraph (b)(1) of this section by the safety-related equipment.
(3) Certain post-accident monitoring equipment.4
(c) Requirements for (1) dynamic and seismic qualification of electric equipment important to safety, (2) protection of electric equipment important to safety against other natural phenomena and external events, and (3) environmental qualification of electric equipment important to safety located in a mild environment are not included within the scope of this section. A mild environment is an environment that would at no time be significantly more severe than the environment that would occur during normal plant operation, including anticipated operational occurrences.
(d) The applicant or licensee shall prepare a list of electric equipment important to safety covered by this section. In addition, the applicant or licensee shall include the information in paragraphs (d)(1), (2), and (3) of this section for this electric equipment important to safety in a qualification file. The applicant or licensee shall keep the list and information in the file current and retain the file in auditable form for the entire period during which the covered item is installed in the nuclear power plant or is stored for future use to permit verification that each item of electric equipment is important to safely meet the requirements of paragraph (j) of this section.
(1) The performance specifications under conditions existing during and following design basis accidents.
(2) The voltage, frequency, load, and other electrical characteristics for which the performance specified in accordance with paragraph (d)(1) of this section can be ensured.
(3) The environmental conditions, including temperature, pressure, humidity, radiation, chemicals, and submergence at the location where the equipment must perform as specified in accordance with paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section.
(e) The electric equipment qualification program must include and be based on the following:
(1) Temperature and pressure. The time-dependent temperature and pressure at the location of the electric equipment important to safety must be established for the most severe design basis accident during or following which this equipment is required to remain functional.
(2) Humidity. Humidity during design basis accidents must be considered.
(3) Chemical effects. The composition of chemicals used must be at least as severe as that resulting from the most limiting mode of plant operation (e.g., containment spray, emergency core cooling, or recirculation from containment sump). If the composition of the chemical spray can be affected by equipment malfunctions, the most severe chemical spray environment that results from a single failure in the spray system must be assumed.
(4) Radiation. The radiation environment must be based on the type of radiation, the total dose expected during normal operation over the installed life of the equipment, and the radiation environment associated with the most severe design basis accident during or following which the equipment is required to remain functional, including the radiation resulting from recirculating fluids for equipment located near the recirculating lines and including dose-rate effects.
(5) Aging. Equipment qualified by test must be preconditioned by natural or artificial (accelerated) aging to its end-of-installed life condition. Consideration must be given to all significant types of degradation which can have an effect on the functional capability of the equipment. If preconditioning to an end-of-installed life condition is not practicable, the equipment may be preconditioned to a shorter designated life. The equipment must be replaced or refurbished at the end of this designated life unless ongoing qualification demonstrates that the item has additional life.
(6) Submergence (if subject to being submerged).
(7) Synergistic effects. Synergistic effects must be considered when these effects are believed to have a significant effect on equipment performance.
(8) Margins. Margins must be applied to account for unquantified uncertainty, such as the effects of production variations and inaccuracies in test instruments. These margins are in addition to any conservatisms applied during the derivation of local environmental conditions of the equipment unless these conservatisms can be quantified and shown to contain appropriate margins.
(f) Each item of electric equipment important to safety must be qualified by one of the following methods:
(1) Testing an identical item of equipment under identical conditions or under similar conditions with a supporting analysis to show that the equipment to be qualified is acceptable.
(2) Testing a similar item of equipment with a supporting analysis to show that the equipment to be qualified is acceptable.
(3) Experience with identical or similar equipment under similar conditions with a supporting analysis to show that the equipment to be qualified is acceptable.
(4) Analysis in combination with partial type test data that supports the analytical assumptions and conclusions.
(g) Each holder of an operating license issued prior to February 22, 1983, shall, by May 20, 1983, identify the electric equipment important to safety within the scope of this section already qualified and submit a schedule for either the qualification to the provisions of this section or for the replacement of the remaining electric equipment important to safety within the scope of this section. This schedule must establish a goal of final environmental qualification of the electric equipment within the scope of this section by the end of the second refueling outage after March 31, 1982 or by March 31, 1985, whichever is earlier. The Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation may grant requests for extensions of this deadline to a date no later than November 30, 1985, for specific pieces of equipment if these requests are filed on a timely basis and demonstrate good cause for the extension, such as procurement lead time, test complications, and installation problems. In exceptional cases, the Commission itself may consider and grant extensions beyond November 30, 1985, for completion of environmental qualification.
The schedule in this paragraph supersedes the June 30, 1982, deadline, or any other previously imposed date, for environmental qualification of electric equipment contained in certain nuclear power operating licenses.
(h) Each license shall notify the Commission as specified in § 50.4 of any significant equipment qualification problem that may require extension of the completion date provided in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section within 60 days of its discovery.
(i) Applicants for operating licenses granted after February 22, 1983, but prior to November 30, 1985, shall perform an analysis to ensure that the plant can be safely operated pending completion of equipment qualification required by this section. This analysis must be submitted, as specified in § 50.4, for consideration prior to the granting of an operating license and must include, where appropriate, consideration of:
(1) Accomplishing the safety function by some designated alternative equipment if the principal equipment has not been demonstrated to be fully qualified.
(2) The validity of partial test data in support of the original qualification.
(3) Limited use of administrative controls over equipment that has not been demonstrated to be fully qualified.
(4) Completion of the safety function prior to exposure to the accident environment resulting from a design basis event and ensuring that the subsequent failure of the equipment does not degrade any safety function or mislead the operator.
(5) No significant degradation of any safety function or misleading information to the operator as a result of failure of equipment under the accident environment resulting from a design basis event.
(j) A record of the qualification, including documentation in paragraph (d) of this section, must be maintained in an auditable form for the entire period during which the covered item is installed in the nuclear power plant or is stored for future use to permit verification that each item of electric equipment important to safety covered by this section:
(1) Is qualified for its application; and
(2) Meets its specified performance requirements when it is subjected to the conditions predicted to be present when it must perform its safety function up to the end of its qualified life.
(k) Applicants for and holders of operating licenses are not required to requalify electric equipment important to safety in accordance with the provisions of this section if the Commission has previously required qualification of that equipment in accordance with "Guidelines for Evaluating Environmental Qualification of Class 1E Electrical Equipment in Operating Reactors," November 1979 (DOR Guidelines), or NUREG-0588 (For Comment version), "Interim Staff Position on Environmental Qualification of Safety-Related Electrical Equipment."
(l) Replacement equipment must be qualified in accordance with the provisions of this section unless there are sound reasons to the contrary.
[48 FR 2733, Jan. 21, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 45576, Nov. 19, 1984; 51 FR 40308, Nov. 6, 1986; 51 FR 43709, Dec. 3, 1986; 52 FR 31611, Aug. 21, 1987; 53 FR 19250, May 27, 1988; 61 FR 39300, July 29, 1996; 61 FR 65173, Dec. 11, 1996; 62 FR 47271, Sept. 8, 1997; 64 FR 72001, Dec. 23, 1999; 66 FR 64738, Dec. 14, 2001; 72 FR 49495, Aug. 28, 2007; 80 FR 45843, Aug. 3, 2015]
3 Safety-related electric equipment is referred to as "Class 1E" equipment in IEEE 323–1974. Copies of this standard may be obtained from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017.
4 Specific guidance concerning the types of variables to be monitored is provided in Revision 2 of Regulatory Guide 1.97, "Instrumentation for Light-Water-Cooled Nuclear Power Plants to Assess Plant and Environs Conditions During and Following an Accident." Copies of the Regulatory Guide may be purchased through the U.S. Government Publishing Office by calling 202–512–1800 or by writing to the U.S. Government Publishing Office, P.O. Box 37082, Washington, DC 20013–7082.
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, March 24, 2021