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Automating a Nuclear New-Build Field Welding Program to Include Construction Code Rules and Requirements

[+] Author Affiliations
Gary R. Cannell

Fluor Enterprises, Inc., Richland, WA

Evan Arms, Nikhil Chaubey

Fluor Power Group, Greenville, SC

Paper No. ICONE18-29852, pp. 439-442; 4 pages
  • 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Volume 6
  • Xi’an, China, May 17–21, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4934-7
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Fluor, a large Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor, recently renewed its ASME certifications for the construction of nuclear power plants. In preparation for a resurgence of commercial nuclear power plant construction, Fluor Nuclear Power (FNP) Construction Welding Engineers have prepared an electronic field welding program, to be used in conjunction with an automated system for the generation, control and documentation of work packages. The prior generation of nuclear power plants constructed in the US utilized a manual process for controlling field welding activities. The “manual” way of doing business required a relatively large, on-site staff (both technical and administrative) to create, issue, track, and document this work. In addition, the manual process was prone to human error. In an effort to improve this key construction activity and reduce construction costs, the FNP Construction Welding group has prepared an electronic welding program that automatically performs the majority of the work package preparation/documentation tasks previously performed manually. The electronic welding system has been designed to access engineering and construction code information related to welding, process the data through a series of logic-based spreadsheets and automatically populate the work package with welding requirements — preheat, post-weld heat treatment (PWHT), Welding Procedure Specification (WPS), etc. The spreadsheets analyze the engineering data (i.e., base material type, thickness, applicable code, joint design, etc.), in conjunction with construction code rules and Fluor welding practices, to determine appropriate welding requirements. System generated requirements are then automatically entered into the work package. This paper describes the design of the electronic welding program, it’s scope, development and qualification. In addition, preparation and qualification of the spreadsheet logic, that effectively translates specified code welding criteria into work package requirements, will be reviewed. It is believed that this type of system will be needed to successfully construct the next generation of US nuclear power plants.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Welding , Construction



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