ASME NQA-1 Certification Program Meeting Nuclear Industry Needs
The nuclear industry plays an important role in energy, science, innovation, and national security, and in addressing the current and future nuclear challenges of the environment. The business environment has been cyclical, but has been active since the creation of the first man-made reactor, known as Chicago Pile-1, in 1942. Having an adequate supply chain is essential in supporting the industry's needs and cultivating continued advancement in the field of nuclear science and engineering. Entering into the supply chain and ensuring a commitment in establishing and maintaining a nuclear quality culture within the supply chain is no easy feat and a costly endeavor for all involved.
It's a daunting task for companies to understand and meet the numerous requirements imposed upon them within this highly regulated industry. ASME has been in the forefront in developing consensus standards as a means of complying with regulations imposed by governmental authorities, such as the Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the United States. The ASME NQA-1 Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility Applications is internationally recognized.
The NRC Regulatory Guide 1.28, June 2010, Revision 4, endorses the NQA-1-2008 edition and NQA-1a-2009 Addenda with exceptions and modifications. This endorsement along with thousands of sales to users of the standard in over 40 countries reflects ASME's ability to work with industry in publishing a consensus standard establishing the current understanding of quality assurance requirements necessary to achieve safe, reliable, and efficient utilization of nuclear energy, and management and processing of radioactive materials.
ASME's experience in publishing an internationally recognized standard on quality assurance for the nuclear industry has led it to promote the growth of a strong supply chain through the rollout of a new certification program. Although the ASME NQA-1 standard sets forth the requirements for establishing and executing a nuclear quality assurance program, being a performance-based standard (as opposed to a highly prescriptive design standard) the application and flow down of QA requirements could possibly be misunderstood or misapplied.