Feeder Replacement Program Configuration Management
9th International Conference on CANDU® Maintenance - 2011 December 04-06

Presented at:
9th International Conference on CANDU® Maintenance
2011 December 04-06
Toronto, Canada
Session Title:
Industry Performance Special Session B1

Dan E. Pryor (Westinghouse Nuclear)


The Canada Deuterium Uranium reactor (CANDU®) 6 was originally designed to last twenty-five years.  In 2005, Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) made the decision to extend the life of the reactor by thirty years.  One of the most critical elements of the life extension project was determining how to refurbish the Primary Heat Transport System, especially the header and feeders.  It was determined that the refurbishment required replacing the entire length of inlet and outlet feeders, from the end fittings to the header.   Configuration Management would play an important role in the success of the CANDU program.

AECL hired Westinghouse to develop and qualify welding procedures for the feeder tube replacement program and to design, manufacture, test and develop the associated set of tools to perform the work scope.

One of the major challenges Westinghouse encountered was establishing and maintaining program consistency, both functional consistency (documentation, recording of procedures etc) and physical consistency (tests of equipment, tests of program etc), from concept thru implementation.  This challenge was caused by the complexity of the work scope and the vast quantity of tools required.

In order to create a smooth transition from the design phase through the implementation phase, Westinghouse created and implemented a training program.  The training program served as a perfect complement to the tool set and welding procedures already created by Westinghouse.  Configuration Management was essential to successfully implementing the training program.

After delivery of the complete feeder tube replacement program to AECL, configuration audits, both functional and physical, were conducted.  The functional configuration audit verified the function and performance attributes of the replacement program.  Every drawing, testing procedure, piece of equipment, personnel certification and training program record was accounted for and recorded in the AECL tracking system.  The physical configuration audit was equivalent to a program qualification.  As a contractual requirement, Westinghouse was required to perform a functional test of the toolset the purpose of which was to ensure that the replacement program would function correctly.  To this end, Westinghouse conducted a weeklong trial of the toolset, procedures and personnel at its Lake Bluff facility.

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