Acceptance Testing & Operational Scenarios Overview (Nuclear Commissioning)

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Acceptance testing in the nuclear industry (Factory, Site, Operational, etc.), are tests conducted to determine if the requirements of a specification, nuclear safety and contract are fully met.

Each system should be assigned a classification, then checking is performed to a system to ensure that processes and procedures are in place to allow the systems to be used and maintained throughout operation. With Nuclear (Safety Related) Equipment in particular, the scope of acceptance testing should meet all operational facility, governmental, legal and (nuclear) safety standards, which include demonstration of the following before handover:

  • Normal Operation
  • Maintainability (maintenance)
  • Abnormal Operation (a condition identified by the operator that may indicate a malfunction of a component, deviation from normal operations or a condition exceeding design limits)**
  • Recovery (from fault scenarios)**
Fig. 1

If a test condition cannot be met, the equipment or system may either be rejected or accepted on conditions previously agreed between the sponsor and the manufacturer, but should still be addressed within some testing / training criteria or mitigated before Hot Testing.

** All abnormal operation, recovery and failure modes should be identified with high or low confidence, of probability of failure. Where a condition exceeding design limits or probability of failure is high (above a predefined threshold), these elements should be included in testing and training.


Updated Fig. 1. – 16 May 2016.