What is NQA-1? How Did it Start?
The NQA-1 quality assurance standard relates to the design, construction and operation of nuclear facilities in the US. The American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) created the highly-regarded NQA-1 standard in 1979 and it has evolved over time to be one of the primary standards for implementing federal regulations at nuclear power plants and fuel processing plants. The most current revisions of NQA-1 was released in 2008.
The NQA-1 standard is separated into four parts:
- Part I contains quality assurance program requirements for Nuclear Facilities
- Part I wholly-contains NCR 10 CFR 50
- Part II contains quality assurance requirements for Nuclear Facility Applications.
- Part III contains Non-mandatory Guidance and Application Appendices
- Part IV contains NQA Position Papers, Application Matrices for users, Cross-reference Comparisons to NQA, and other quality program information.
The 18 sections within Part I are as follows:
- Section 1 – Organization
- Section 2 – Quality Assurance Program
- Section 3 – Design Control
- Section 4 – Procurement Document Control
- Section 5 – Instructions, Procedures, & Drawings
- Section 6 – Document Control
- Section 7 – Control of Purchased Items & Services
- Section 8 – Identification and Control of Items
- Section 9 – Control of Special Processes
- Section 10 – Inspection
- Section 11 – Test Control
- Section 12 – Control of Measuring & Test Equipment
- Section 13 – Handling, Storage & Equipment
- Section 14 – Inspection, Tests & Operating Status
- Section 15 – Control of Nonconforming Items
- Section 16 – Corrective Action
- Section 17 – Quality Assurance Records
- Section 18 – Audits
What type of Businesses comply to NQA-1?
Typical businesses that comply the standard are as follows:
- Suppliers to nuclear facilities
- Servicers/contractors to nuclear facilities
What type of Auditing does the NQA-1 standard require?
Part 1 Section 18 of NQA-1 requires auditing of the system to ensure adequate operation of the system:
- Audit shall be performed to verify compliance with all aspects of Quality Assurance Program and its effectiveness
- Results of audits shall be made available to the Authorized Nuclear Inspector
- Audit frequency shall be specified in the Quality Assurance Manual
- Each ongoing Code activity is to be audited at least once annually