China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection recently issued an administrative penalty for violations of safety rules by the Dalian Teikoku Canned Motor Pump Co (Dalian Teikoku) at two China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN)’s nuclear power plants (NPPs) currently under construction.
According to the document, Dalian Teikoku was found to have engaged in repair welding in violation with existing safety rules during the welding the drain pumps on the nuclear safety grade III deaeration tower for units 5 and 6 of CGN’s Yangjiang NPP. Dalian Teikoku, a Liaoning-based company, also failed to register design schematics for the nuclear safety grade III canned motor pumps to be used on units 5 and 6 of CGN’s Hongyanhe NPP with the appropriate authorities.
The issue with Yangjiang’s unit 5 and 6 was spotted on July 11, 2016 by CGN’s equipment quality supervisors, who discovered the problem during a routine inspection at Dalian Teikoku’s equipment manufacturing site. After spotting the problem, they immediately halted it and requested the manufacturer to discard the problematic components. Dalian Teikoku followed CGN’s requirements, disposing of the relevant components as scrap and replacing them with newly manufactured ones. Since the equipment is still in the manufacturing phase, the issue has had no safety implications on the relevant units of the power plant or the project.
The other problem found with Dalian Teikoku concerning Hongyanhe’s units 5 and 6 arose from Dalian Teikoku’s failure to strictly follow specific procedures stipulating that relevant parties must “register design schematics with the country’s nuclear safety supervision departments 30 days prior to beginning manufacturing”. The equipment involved remains in the design stage. So far, the design’s manufacture has been halted in accordance with regulatory orders, and Dalian Teikoku has proceeded to complete the required filings.
CGN always pays meticulous attention to safety, regarding it as the lifeline for developing nuclear power. In compliance with nuclear safety laws, the group has set up a comprehensive quality assurance and control system, covering the procedures from design and manufacturing to construction and operation. In the equipment manufacturing phase, a complete package of quality control procedures and technical documents, accompanied by on-the-spot inspections by the country’s nuclear safety supervisors and CGN’s own manufacturing supervision staff stationed at the factory, are implemented to ensure that no equipment contains problematic components and that no products leave the factory with defects. After being shipped to a nuclear power plant, all equipment will again be inspected and tested in accordance with unified standards before the delivery is accepted to ensure the performance parameters meet the design, safety and quality criteria. During the installation and testing phases, a series of additional inspections and tests are further carried out.
The latest case reflects the effectiveness of China’s nuclear safety supervision, as well as that of the CGN’s quality assurance and control systems for nuclear power plant equipment. The company will continue to learn from similar incidents and uphold the philosophy of “today’s equipment quality is tomorrow’s nuclear safety”. CGN will further step up equipment quality assurance and control so that all equipment design and manufacturing will conform to the country’s laws and technical regulations. Factory acceptance testing will also be tightened to ensure equipment delivered by suppliers meets all quality specifications.