Construction and Vendor Inspection for the Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) in Bangkok, Thailand

January 22nd, 2018 — 

From January 15 - 19, 2018, AdSTM staff conducted an IRDP workshop on Construction and Vendor Inspection for the Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) in Bangkok, Thailand. The audience was composed of OAP regulators, staff from the Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT), which is planning on constructing a nuclear power plant in the future; a nuclear engineering professor from the Chulalongkorn University; and two staff from the Suranaree University of Technology, who are involved with the licensing and construction of a new research reactor.

Over the five-day workshop, AdSTM staff Mel Fields and Bob Gramm, provided instruction and exercises that focused on nuclear quality assurance, construction inspection program attributes, regulatory enforcement, vendor inspection protocols, defect reporting for vendors, and training and qualification for regulatory personnel. The workshop covered attributes that lead to effective inspections (e.g., qualified inspectors and adequate inspection procedures) and how to develop inspection programs for both Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) construction; as well as regulatory oversight of vendors providing equipment and services for use in the nuclear power plant. During the workshop, the instructors provided illustrative examples from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) inspection related documents.

The course objective was to provide staff from both the Thailand regulator and the prospective applicants with an overview of the US NRC processes, to verify the NPP construction complies with regulatory requirements and licensing commitments. During the workshop, the instructors also discussed how the NRC NPP construction inspection approaches are amenable for use to inspect research reactor construction.

Throughout the workshop participation of the attendees was exceptional and energetic. Participants shared valuable insights and comments from their diverse perspectives, both as the regulator and applicants. They raised probing questions and were highly engaged. The breakout sessions offered an opportunity for the participants to identify regulatory facets related to construction inspection that the OAP could pursue in order to strengthen their inspection processes. The participants provided high marks in their feedback on the quality and practical usefulness of the workshop.