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Marko Juola  Fennovoima I&C Instrumentation Engineer

Marko Juola explains how the Finnish nuclear power industry is renewing the qualification procedures in cooperation.

Qualification procedures are reformed in the Kelpo project

In the nuclear sector, approval procedures for equipment procurement have traditionally been complex and required extensive paperwork. In the KELPO project, Finnish actors in the nuclear power industry, Fennovoima, Fortum, and TVO, are renewing the industry's qualification processes in cooperation. The nuclear safety authority STUK is also involved in and supports the project.

The parts and equipment used in nuclear power plants are traditionally custom-made. One of the KELPO project's main ideas is the use of series-produced products in accordance with well-known industry standards in nuclear power plants and safety class 3 and low-energy safety class 2 equipment.

Processes and quality control in industries manufacturing technology for nuclear power plants have developed by leaps and bounds in recent years, enabling the transition from custom-made to standardized series-produced products. Their quality is often better than that of individual customized parts and equipment, as series-produced products are optimized for a specific application by up to millions and tested according to established procedures. Their use in facilities thus also improves safety.

The modelling done in the KELPO project points out that the use of series-produced products can reduce the product approval checks. Also, the aim is to harmonize equipment requirements specifications and qualification processes so that all actors in the field in Finland use similar specifications in the future. The changes will ease the workload of power companies, the regulatory authority, and the manufacturer and motivate manufacturers and suppliers to make products for the nuclear power industry in the future as well.

One of the main reforms aimed at in the KELPO project is related to the nuclear power industry's digitalization. We have created a digital platform for nuclear qualifications that we introduced earlier this year. Qualifying documentation is prepared according to common rules and in cooperation. For example, when preparing a new qualification material begins, all actors in the nuclear power industry will be informed. Everyone will also have the opportunity to influence the documentation that will be accepted and utilized. Through the platform, all Finnish nuclear power companies have access to shared information on approved manufacturers and product families, within the limits allowed by competition law, of course. Digitalization enables power companies to work together in a unified way, approve equipment, and apply for common regulatory approvals.

With the new procedures created in the KELPO project, equipment procurement will be more straightforward, and clear cost savings can be achieved in procurement. The lessons learned from the project are valuable knowledge capital for the Hanhikivi 1 project, as we have large-scale equipment purchases just ahead.

 

Marko Juola
I&C Instrumentation Engineer

Marko Juola is the contact person for Fennovoima in the KELPO project. He was born in Kalajoki (near the Hanhikivi 1 site), and after years in China, has ended up back in Finland to work for Fennovoima as an automation engineer. In his free time, Marko plays with his little daughter and studies Mandarin Chinese.

Fennovoima I&C Instrumentation Engineer Marko Juola