As construction and rehabilitation of new and existing nuclear facilities continues, our company is positioned to support commercial dedication and material failure analysis activities in the Nuclear Power Industry. NSL provides critical material testing data to members of the nuclear power supply chain; from raw material and parts manufacturers, to engineering and construction firms, to plant operators. NSL has established itself as a proven provider of reliable material testing services.
NSL Analytical maintains a Quality Management System that is compliant to ASME NQA -1-2008/2009 addenda (that includes 10 CFR 50 Appendix B and 10 CRF 21 reporting.) NSL has been audited by Global Quality Assurance (GQA), a third party entity that is recognized throughout the nuclear industry for their leadership in compliance assessment. As a result of their recent assessment, GQA states that “NSL has established an ASME NQA-1 nuclear quality program and the program has been effectively implemented.”
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is NQA-1 and why is it important?
ASME Nuclear Quality Assurance (NQA-1) is a national consensus standard for quality assurance in the nuclear industry. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) established the standard as the means to ensure compliance with the requirements of the nuclear industry. The standard is based upon the federal regulations 10 CFR 50 Appendix B and 10 CFR Part 21,. These regulations dictate the exacting standards for disclosure, safety, documentation, planning, traceability, and robust quality systems when providing material or services to the nuclear supply chain. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) endorses the ASME NQA-1 2008/2009 addenda Standards that NSL has chosen for compliance.
While there may be systems and operations at a nuclear facility that do not perform “safety related functions”, and therefore may not require NQA-1 compliance, NSL takes pride in the high standard in which we operate by maintaining NQA-1 compliance in order to provide our customers with material testing for nuclear safety related and standard items. NSL’s compliance to NQA-1 contributes to the creation of a culture of safety throughout our testing facilities and with our people.
Why do you need NQA-1 compliance if the company adheres to 10 CRF 50 Appendix B?
The nuclear industry is moving in the direction of recognizing NQA-1 compliance as “thee” way to demonstrate compliance to Appendix B. 10 CFR 50 Appendix B contains pertinent requirements that apply specifically to safety-related functions of nuclear power and fuel reprocessing plants, and NQA-1, which is structured around the 18 point outline of Appendix B, defines the specific expectations for the Quality Assurance Criteria requirements found in the appendix.
What is the 18-point outline from 10 CFR 50 Appendix B?
18 MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS for NQA-1 compliance
- Quality Assurance Program
- Design Control
- Procurement Document Control
- Instructions, Procedures & Drawings
- Document Control
- Control of Purchased Material, Equipment & Services
- Identification and Control of Materials, Parts and Components
- Control of Special Processes
- Test Control
- Control of Measuring & Test Equipment
- Handling, Storage and Shipping
- Inspection, Test and Operating Status
- Nonconforming Materials, Parts or Components
- Corrective Action
- QA Records
What about ISO/IEC 17025?
NSL continues to maintain our accreditation to “ISO/IEC 17025 - General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.” This internationally recognized standard was first issued in 1999 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It is the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world. Laboratories that are accredited to this international standard have demonstrated that they are technically competent and able to produce precise and accurate test and/or calibration data.
This accreditation is a voluntary, third-party review process. As part of accreditation, a laboratory's quality management system (QMS) is thoroughly evaluated and all accredited tests are observed by an auditor on a regular basis to ensure continued technical competence and compliance with ISO/IEC 17025.
How can I learn more?
We welcome your nuclear inquiries. Please contact our Quality Assurance Department for a copy of our NQA-1 compliant Quality System Manual and to schedule an onsite audit.