The construction phase of a new nuclear power plant is vital to the safe operation of the facility through its design life. The most successful projects are those that have been carefully planned; have rigorous processes that ensure that the plant design, materials and personnel are ready before starting construction; that implement these policies, procedures and safety culture at the site; that ensure coordination between organizations such as the regulator, the licensee, the vendors and subcontractors; and that utilize the most effective construction methods that are available.
Commissioning covers a wide range of activities leading to putting into service a new nuclear facility or a new system, structure or component within an existing facility. During commissioning the structures, systems and components are verified to comply with the design, made operational and tested to confirm they meet the expected performance criteria.
Commissioning activities should be planned early in the design and procurement process and carefully consider acceptance criteria and test methods, including those for tests performed in vendor factories. Commissioning personnel play an important role in linking the construction and operating phases of a project. Planning human resource development for commissioning staff is an important aspect of a country’s nuclear power programme.