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Chapter 3 Commissioning

Section 9: Pre-requisites of commissioning

58. At any time, no person shall initiate any related commissioning activity without holding a valid authorization or written approval by the NRRC.

59. The licensee shall ensure that the commissioning of a system important to safety will not commence before manufacturing and installation of the system and its structures and components is completed and the licensee has verified the readiness for commissioning.

60. The licensee shall ensure that the management system for the commissioning stage is established and implemented before the commencement of commissioning activities. Operating procedures shall be available before the commencement of commissioning. 

61. The licensee shall ensure safe handling and storage of the fuel before bringing fresh nuclear fuel to the nuclear power plant site for the first time.

62. The licensee shall not commence the initial fuel loading until all relevant pre-operational tests have been performed and the results approved by the licensee and the NRRC.

63. After fuel loading, the transfer to the next stage of commissioning (subcritical tests, initial criticality tests, low power tests, power ascension tests at several power levels) shall not be commenced until all the tests of the previous stage have been performed and the results have been approved by the licensee and the NRRC. 

Section 10: Responsibilities of the licensee and suppliers during commissioning

64. The licensee retains the prime responsibility for safety throughout the lifetime of the facilities and activities, and this responsibility cannot be delegated.

65. The licensee shall specify for its vendor of the facility, contractors and suppliers the safety and quality requirements for commissioning, as prescribed by the NRRC. 

66. The licensee shall ensure that the commissioning activities are conducted in accordance with the NRRC requirements, and shall be able to demonstrate such compliance. 

67. The licensee is responsible for the activities of contractors, suppliers and subcontractors whose activities might affect the safety of the facility, and for supervising these activities.

68. The licensee is responsible for establishing and implementing a management system for the commissioning of a nuclear facility, giving due priority to safety. Responsibilities of the organizations participating in commissioning activities shall be clearly defined in the management system.

69. The vendor of the facility, contractors and suppliers are responsible for fulfilling the safety and quality requirements specified for the commissioning, including the work of their subcontractors. 

70. The licensee and the vendor of the facility, contractors and suppliers whose activities might affect the safety of the facility shall have the needed competence, experience and resources within their organizations to ensure that the facility is commissioned in accordance with specified safety and quality requirements.

Section 11: Management of commissioning activities

71. During the commissioning, the licensee shall verify that the nuclear facility and its systems, structures and components, as well as the functions they accomplish, fulfil the safety requirements, including regulatory requirements, as specified in the Safety Analysis Report and detailed design requirements.

72. During the commissioning, the licensee shall verify and validate the procedures for normal operation, including periodic testing and maintenance, of the facility and its systems, structures and components. The procedures for anticipated operational occurrences and accident conditions shall be verified and validated to the extent practicable.

73. During the commissioning, the licensee shall ensure that the competence of the operating personnel of the licensee is adequate for the safe operation of the facility. The operating personnel shall be directly involved in commissioning activities.

74. The licensee shall have in place a management system for implementing the management of commissioning activities. This management system shall be appropriately certified or independently evaluated.

75. The licensee shall ensure that processes and procedures required to manage, control and implement the commissioning of a nuclear facility are defined and described in the licensee's management system for the commissioning. These processes shall take account of risks related to the implementation of commissioning activities according to plans, and relevant experience gained in the commissioning of other similar facilities.

76. As a part of the management system for commissioning, the licensee shall specify the interfaces and establish clear lines of communication between various organizations participating in the design, construction, commissioning and operation of the facility.

77. The licensee shall ensure that arrangements for work control, modification control and configuration control are in place from the commencement of commissioning.

78. The licensee shall ensure that all the functions of its organization, defined in the management system, are performed at the appropriate stages of the commissioning. These shall include personnel managerial functions, radiation protection, waste management, fire safety, physical protection and emergency planning.

79. During the commissioning, the licensee shall monitor and maintain the facility, following the normal procedures for the operation of the facility, to maintain the consistency with the Safety Analysis Report.

80. To enhance the reliability of commissioning activities, they shall be carefully planned, scheduled, and carried out by competent staff with high quality and in accordance with approved procedures. The overall commissioning schedule should include, at least, the activities to be performed, the organizations responsible for implementing various activities, the planned sequential order and duration of the activities and the resources needed for each activity. 

81. Independent safety reviews or verifications of commissioning activities shall be carried out for defined activities, as necessary, and its hold points shall be specified by the licensee. The NRRC may define additional hold points.

82. The licensee shall use a formal procedure for design modifications implemented during commissioning, which have to be reviewed and their impact independently assessed by a designated entity of the licensee organization responsible for the design.

83. The licensee shall establish a configuration management process to control design modifications during construction. Safety related design modifications during the commissioning stage shall be approved by the NRRC.

84. During the commissioning, the licensee shall use an effective system for collecting, analyzing and follow-up of non-conformances. Non-conformances shall be categorized based on their safety significance, and significant non-conformances shall be reported to the NRRC.

85. The licensee shall make it clear to all individuals engaged in commissioning activities that they are expected to report non-conformances.

86. The licensee shall investigate safety significant events during the commissioning and report them immediately to the NRRC, and shall determine direct causes and root causes of events and preventive and corrective action plans shall be determined as a part of the investigation. The investigation report shall be approved by the NRRC.

Section 12: Commissioning program

87. The licensee shall establish and implement, subject to the NRRC approval, a commissioning program in the framework of the management system for commissioning. The program shall specify the responsibilities for implementing and reporting the various parts of the program.

88. The commissioning stages, test objectives and acceptance criteria of the tests shall be specified in the commissioning program so that it is auditable.

89. The commissioning program shall include all the tests necessary to demonstrate that the facility, as built, meets the safety requirements, including regulatory requirements, as specified in the Safety Analysis Report and detailed design requirements. 

90. The commissioning program shall demonstrate that the facility can be safely operated in accordance with the operational limits and conditions of the facility. The licensee shall review the operational limits and conditions on the basis of the results of the commissioning tests.

91. The commissioning program shall be sufficiently comprehensive and provide reference data to characterize the systems, structures and components of the nuclear facility. Such reference data shall be retained for ensuring the safety of the facility during the operation and for subsequent safety reviews.

92. The licensee shall ensure that no such commissioning tests are performed that might place the facility in an unanalyzed condition or otherwise jeopardize its safety.

93. After fuel loading at a nuclear power plant, a safety review shall be carried out by the licensee before the commencement of each test.

94. If it is not considered reasonably practical to fully test the functionality of a system, structure or component important to safety for all operating or accident conditions, the licensee shall ensure that additional compensatory measures, such as off-site testing, safety assessments and third-party reviews, are used. The compensatory measures and their justification shall be approved by the NRRC.

95. A test procedure shall be drawn up for each test of the commissioning program. Safety related commissioning test procedures shall be approved by the NRRC before performing the tests.

96. A report shall be drawn up for the review of the test results for each test of the commissioning program, and a summary report shall be drawn up for each stage of the commissioning. Safety related commissioning test reports and summary test reports for each stage shall be approved by the NRRC before entering the next stage.

97. On the basis of the review, a judgement shall be made on whether the commissioning program can proceed to the next stage. Judgements shall also be made on whether the succeeding stages will be modified as a consequence of the test results, or because some tests in the stage had not been undertaken, or some tests had been undertaken but had not been completed.

Section 13: Culture for safety during commissioning

98. The licensee shall ensure that the NRRC's requirements concerning culture for safety are implemented during the commissioning of a nuclear facility, as stipulated in the Regulation on Leadership and Management for Safety (NRRC-R-04).

99. The senior management of each organization participating in commissioning activities shall actively demonstrate commitment to safety in all their activities. Safety-oriented decision-making shall be applied in all commissioning activities.

100. The licensee shall ensure that individuals working in organizations participating in commissioning activities understand the essential features of the safety significance of their work.

101. Managers at all levels in organizations participating in commissioning activities shall encourage workers to report any potential safety concerns which shall be responded properly.

102. The licensee shall ensure that any unplanned actions are avoided in the commissioning activities. In unforeseen situations or if the situation is not fully understood, the activity shall not be continued before an assessment of the situation is made.

103. The licensee shall ensure that in all organizations participating in the commissioning activities, procedures are in place for reporting deviations, non-conformances and safety concerns to the management of the organization or to the licensee. Procedures shall be established for reporting safety concerns to the NRRC.

104. The safety culture of the organizations participating in the commissioning of a nuclear facility shall be adequately monitored by the licensee, throughout the commissioning process.

Section 14: Transfer of responsibilities

105. The licensee shall ensure that procedures are established to control and coordinate the handover of responsibilities from the commissioning organization to the operating organization. These procedures shall be a part of the management system for commissioning.

106. The procedures shall specify the necessary documentation for the transfer. The documentation shall be reviewed by both parties for completeness and accuracy. Records presenting the commissioning results and the configuration of the facility shall be transferred.

107. The responsibility for the systems needed for the safe storage of the fresh nuclear fuel shall be transferred to the operating organization before nuclear fuel is brought to the site. The responsibility for all systems shall be transferred to the operating organization before the initial fuel loading.


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