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Chairman from the GPESPN asks ASN to support NQSA’s project

In his last report addressed to the French regulatory body ASN, Philippe Merle, from the ministry of economy, recommends NQSA’s project to be supported by ASN and that NSQ-100 becomes a “public and shared standard”. 

“It would be extremely favorable to maintain a network of high-level nuclear suppliers, as it is the case of the aircraft or car industries.”

Here is an extract from the report that Philippe Merle, chairman of the GPESPN (Permanent Group for the Pressure Nuclear Equipment) addressed to the French regulatory body, ASN:

“Facing this genuine problem, there is at least one trail which may clarify the subcontracting relationships, which obviously are not managed as they were 20 years ago:

That is clarify and explain the surveillance requirement.


Regarding this issue, what I discovered is not harmonized between the licensees. In my opinion, the good practice is that the team (from the licensee), responsible for lifting the hold points (at the supplier), have the most direct and smooth possible access to every one of those “3 legs”, and have the widest possible overview of the strengths and weaknesses of a given supplier. In other words, the quality function must be sufficiently united and not scattered, nor flooded into the procurement.

Concerning the “audit leg”, I emphasize the idea (initially launched by Areva and Bureau Veritas), that the “AQ nuclear” requirements (written from an industrial point of view, not limited to regulatory aspect – the H-modulus is nearly empty on this issue) be subject to a public and shared standard. In my view, this would be really helpful to maintain a network of high-level nuclear suppliers, as it is the case in the aircraft or car industries. The suppliers would then be confident not to have to change their own quality system to face various contractual requirements, when dealing with one nuclear purchaser or another.

(14) I recommend that ASN communicates towards licensees and suppliers about the surveillance requirement and its three components (audits, technical assessment and control) and the need for the licensee to make the necessary arrangements to have an overview of these three components.

At the same time, ASN should say to licensees and suppliers that it supports the implementation of a public quality assurance standard in the nuclear supply chain.

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