Our codes

AFCEN’s design and construction codes are generally prefixed with RCC-, while the in-service code is prefixed with RSE-.

In some cases, codes can only be used on the EPR design, in which case the code is prefixed with ETC-. This prefix is likely to be superseded by RCC-.

AFCEN currently publishes seven codes, including five RCC- codes, one RSE- code and one ETC- code.

Preparation of an eighth code for the deconstruction of nuclear facilities is currently under discussion. A working group led by an AFCEN member produced a draft in 2016. Further work will be required before a Subcommittee can be created.

Nos codes

Codes updates

There are several reasons for updating AFCEN codes: the need to incorporate feedback, R&D work, changes to legislation and standards, and extension of the subject matter covered by the codes.

Incorporation of feedback

Incorporating feedback is a major reason for updating codes. Several examples will be provided in the following sections which describe each of the codes, but one notable example is the change to the “Liner” chapter in the RCC-CW code to reflect feedback from the Flamanville 3 plant.

New developments, scientific breakthroughs and R&D work

These also represent major reasons for updating the codes.

For example, the 2016 edition of the RSE-M code has been updated to describe the loading history effect on the resistance to the cleavage brittle fracture of RPV steel by taking account of the warm pre-stressing phenomenon (WPS) as well as the associated criteria that were proposed and which are currently being defined within a probationary phase rule (RPP).

To drive the continual improvement process, AFCEN is involved in a R&D focus group on a European level for three codes (RCC-M, RCC-CW and RCC-MRx), with the aim of producing proposals for Gen II-III mechanical engineering, Gen IV mechanical engineering and civil engineering works.

Regulatory changes

Changes to regulations in the various countries in which the codes are used constitute a major reason for updating the codes.

For example, efforts are being made to ensure that the mechanical codes can be applied to guarantee compatibility with the essential safety requirements of French regulations governing nuclear pressure equipment (ESPN Regulation).

Depending on the type of change, regulatory-related modifications are either introduced into the body of the text or as an appendix specific to the country in question.

For instance, AFCEN’s work on France’s Nuclear Pressure Equipment Regulation will either lead to modifications to the body of the code (such as the toughness of low-thickness materials), or the creation of a French appendix.

Changes in standards

AFCEN codes are updated to reflect changes to the standards on which they are based. ISO international standards are the first to be called when available. Otherwise, European EN standards are used.

AFCEN regularly analyzes the standards to determine whether any revisions have been made and updates the codes accordingly (see Section 3.1).

For example, RCC-M was updated in 2014 to introduce the new ISO 9712 standard for the qualification of non-destructive testing personnel, while the 2016 edition of RCC-CW incorporates the recent changes to EN 1992-4.

Extensions of the subject matter

AFCEN codes may be revised if the subject matter is extended.

One example is the future inclusion of a new chapter in the 2017 edition of RCC-M to cover the qualification of mechanical components under accidental conditions.

RCC-M

RCC-M


RCC-M : Design and construction rules for mechanical components of PWR nuclear islands

Purpose and scope

AFCEN’s RCC-M code concerns the mechanical components designed and manufactured for pressurized water reactors (PWR).

It applies to pressure equipment in nuclear islands in safety classes 1, 2 and 3, and certain non-pressure components, such as vessel internals, supporting structures for safety class components, storage tanks and containment penetrations.

RCC-M covers the following technical subjects:

  • sizing and design,
  • choice of materials and procurement.
  • fabrication and control, including:
    • associated qualification requirements (procedures, welders and operators, etc.),
    • control methods to be implemented,
    • acceptance criteria for detected defects,
    • documentation associated with the different activities covered, and quality assurance.

The design, manufacture and inspection rules defined in RCC-M leverage the results of the research and development work pioneered in France, Europe and worldwide, and which have been successfully used by industry to design and build PWR nuclear islands. AFCEN’s rules incorporate the resulting feedback.

Use and background

Use

  • France’s last 16 nuclear units (P’4 and N4).
  • 4 CP1 reactors in South Africa (2) and Korea (2).
  • 44 M310 (4), CPR-1000 (28), CPR-600 (6), HPR-1000 (4) and EPR (2) reactors in service or undergoing construction in China.
  • 4 EPR reactors in Europe: Finland (1), France (1) and UK (2).

Background

AFCEN drafted the first edition of the code in January 1980 for application to France’s second set of four-loop reactors with a power rating of 1,300 MWe (P’4).

Export requirements (Korea, China and South Africa) and the need to simplify contractual relations between operators and building contractors quickly prompted the code to be translated and used in English, followed by Chinese and Russian.

Subsequently, the code was thoroughly updated and modified to reflect the feedback from France’s nuclear industry, as well as through regular interactions with international stakeholders. Six editions ensued (1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1993 and 2000) with a number of addenda between each edition.

The 2007 edition took account of changes to European and French regulations (Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC and France’s Nuclear Pressure Equipment Regulation), with the harmonized European standards that were subsequently released.

To date, the 2007 edition is widely used in France and China for EPR projects and replacement steam generators.

The 2012 edition, with three addenda in 2013, 2014 and 2015, incorporated initial feedback from EPR projects. The 2013 addendum also included Probationary Phase Rules (RPP) as a way of providing an alternative set of rules in cases where industry feedback has not been sufficiently consolidated for permanent inclusion in the code.

Edition available as of January 1, 2017

The 2016 edition is the most recent version of the code. It integrates 114 modification files.

The majority of these modification files were produced after testing the code for conformity with the essential requirements of France’s Nuclear Pressure Equipment Regulation.

This edition also includes a host of significant changes, such as:

  • evolution of the fatigue curve for austenitic stainless steels and consideration of environmental effects on the fatigue analysis of those steels in the form of two Probationary Phase Rules (RPP),
  • the introduction of complete quality requirements for fusion welding in accordance with international standard ISO 3834-2, which builds on ISO 9001,
  • the introduction of welding coordination requirements in conformity with ISO 14731 “Welding coordination - tasks and responsibilities”,
  • the introduction of the new standards for the qualification testing of welders (ISO 9606-1) and welding operators (ISO 14732),
  • the introduction of advanced inspection methods (TOFD and multi-element ultrasonic testing) as an alternative to radiographic examination.

CONTENTS OF THE 2016 EDITION OF THE RCC-M CODE

SECTION I - NUCLEAR ISLAND COMPONENTS
  • SUBSECTION “A”: GENERAL RULES A
  • SUBSECTION “B”: CLASS 1 COMPONENTS B
  • SUBSECTION “C”: CLASS 2 COMPONENTS C
  • SUBSECTION “D”: CLASS 3 COMPONENTS D
  • SUBSECTION “E”: SMALL COMPONENTS E
  • SUBSECTION “G”: CORE SUPPORT STRUCTURES G
  • SUBSECTION “H”: SUPPORTS H
  • SUBSECTION “J”: LOW PRESSURE OR ATMOSPHERIC STORAGE TANKS J
  • SUBSECTION “P”: CONTAINMENT PENETRATION P
  • SUBSECTION “Z”: TECHNICAL APPENDICES Z
SECTION II - MATERIALS M
SECTION III - EXAMINATION METHODS MC
SECTION IV - WELDING S
SECTION V - FABRICATION F
SECTION VI - PROBATIONARY PHASE RULES

Next editions

In accordance with the new sales model, AFCEN will now publish annual editions instead of addenda.

2017 edition

The major change with the 2017 edition is the new “Q” subsection to address the qualification of active mechanical components.

Work began on developing this subsection in 2014 with the creation of a new drafting group within the RCC-M Subcommittee to address the functional qualification of active mechanical components (valves and pumps) in close liaison with the RCC-E Subcommittee.

The scope of the code, which is currently restricted to the integrity of pressure-bearing structures, is being broadened to encompass the operability and functionality of so-called “active” mechanical components. The first edition of the Q subsection will be restricted to pumps and valves.

2018 edition

The 2018 edition will incorporate a significant change in the code, since it will be compatible with all the findings from the commissioned studies related to the Nuclear Pressure Equipment Regulation. Those findings will be worked into the body of the code, featured in a specific appendix for France or described in technical publications.

This edition, along with its specific appendix and technical publications, will enable French industry to address the requirements of the new Nuclear Pressure Equipment Regulation of December 30, 2015.

The new 2018 edition of the code will also incorporate the feedback on the code’s use in current projects (EPR UK, TSN, FA3, replacement steam generators) and on the results of the studies of international groups (UK, China, Europe and MDEP), which are monitored by ASN.

Proof of compliance with the PED Directive / France’s Nuclear Pressure Equipment Regulation

The Editorial Committee has launched 17 working groups to demonstrate how the RCC-M code can be used to meet the essential safety and radiation protection requirements stipulated in France’s Nuclear Pressure Equipment Regulation and the European PED Directive.

These groups have the following missions:

  • risk analyses,
  • inspectability and vulnerability criteria,
  • uncertainties and safety factors,)
  • the dimensions required to ensure conformity with requirements,
  • fatigue damage,
  • specific evaluations for nuclear components,
  • toughness of low-thickness materials,
  • unacceptable defects (including defects beneath the cladding and sequential penetration),
  • visual inspections during fabrication,
  • proof of compliance with essential safety and radiation protection requirements,
  • definition of a component’s admissible limits,
  • instructions manual,
  • fabrication of assemblies,
  • developments in technologies and practices,
  • safety devices and pressure accessories,
  • technical qualification,
  • code compliance for N2 and N3 equipment.

The mission facing the last group is to extend the previous topics to encompass N2 and N3 equipment, since work initially focused on N1 equipment. The group began to work late 2015 and features AFCEN members who manufacture N2 and N3 equipment in order to draw on their feedback and deliver an appropriate and graded response for this type of equipment compared to the responses provided for N1 equipment.

The groups’ findings were published in 2016 as:

  • Generic modifications introduced into the body of the code.
  • Modifications specific to French regulations and introduced in non-generic appendices ZY and ZZ exclusively for France.
  • Technical publications in the form of guides and criteria.

The aim of the working groups is to produce all the requested changes and evidence to ensure that the 2018 edition of RCC-M conforms to the requirements of France’s Nuclear Pressure Equipment Regulation. This aim and the associated milestones have been shared with ASN.

The results of the work related to N1 equipment are to be submitted to ASN.

The results of the work related to N2 and N3 equipment are to be submitted to GSEN (Group for Safety of Nuclear Equipment).

Preparation of future changes to the code

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In addition to the ESPN program, several focus groups have been set up since 2015 to pave the way for the code’s significant changes:

  • A draft appendix addressing non-linear finite element analyses was prepared by 14 experts from 7 member companies. This appendix covers excessive deformation damage, plastic instability, fatigue and fast fracture. It defines best practices for performing and validating non-linear finite element analyses and interpretation methods for verifying RCC-M criteria. The draft is being examined by the RCC-M Subcommittee. The group will subsequently turn its attention to progressive deformation.
  • A working group comprising 18 experts from nine companies is currently carrying out a complete overhaul of the design rules for flanged connections (including Appendix Z V of RCC-M). This work will range from updating sizing rules through to joint characterization testing.
  • A new appendix on the seismic design of pipelines has been prepared and is currently being analyzed by a working group of subject-matter experts.
  • The “Inspection Methods” editorial group elaborates an appendix describing the procedure for preparing an equivalence report, the principles of which were introduced into the 2016 edition.

PTAN (AFCEN Technical Publications)

Guides

In 2015, AFCEN published a radiation protection guide for the design of nuclear pressure components in PWR plants in France.

Commissioned studies into the ESPN Regulation led to a series of guides, some of which were published in 2016:

  • a guide featuring a set of methods for preparing risk analyses focusing specifically on steam generators,
  • a guide for defining dimensions in accordance with ESPN requirements and measuring dimensions while quantifying uncertainties,
  • a methodological guide specifying the contents for instructions manuals in keeping with the guide defining risk analyses.

Commissioned studies related to the ESPN Regulation should lead to the publication of new PTANs in 2017:

  • a guide for examining inspectability during equipment design in relation to the risk analysis performed according to the AFCEN guide and based on sheet COLEN 37 issued by the Nuclear Pressure Equipment Liaison Committee (currently being revised),
  • a guide defining visual examinations and visual inspections during fabrication in association with the risk analysis,
  • a methodological guide to accompany the risk analysis guide for identifying the admissible limits of a given item of equipment.

RCC-M criteria:

The RCC-M criteria, prepared by Jean-Marie Grandemange and approved by the Subcommittee members, were published late 2014.

This 550-page document, produced in both English and French, takes a look back at the code’s background since the decision was taken for its creation.

The technical origins of the code and the changes made to the recommendations until publication of the 2007 edition are explained from the point of view of an engineer who was required to draft a design specification in alignment with the RCC-M code.

A PTAN was also published in 2016 to justify the absence of any requirements for measuring resilience in austenitic stainless steels and nickel-based alloys, and their welds as defined in RCC-M for products less than 5 mm thick.

International challenges

The RCC-M Subcommittee is continuing to scale up its activities on an international level by arranging events, carrying out communication initiatives and taking part in technical work sessions within the different organizations influencing the standardization process.

Events in 2016:

  • On March 27, 2016, a seminar was held to compare international welding practices. The seminar was organized as part of the 2016 AFCEN Days event in Paris and was attended by over 60 experts, who carried out a thorough review of the different approaches in this particular field and proposed equivalent practices.
  • During the WNE World Nuclear Exhibition in June 2016, users from all countries in which the code is used were able to chat directly with the RCC-M experts present on the AFCEN stand.

Active Users Groups:

  • The RCC-M Subcommittee engaged with players from China’s nuclear industry. On two occasions (in May and October), four experts traveled to China to field questions on design and construction issues from members of the Specialized Chinese Users Group (CSUG). These two sessions resulted in over 30 code interpretation and modification requests, which are currently being examined. The trip gave the experts chance to audit the RCC-M training courses provided by the Chinese partners, CNEA/SNPI, in Chinese language by Chinese trainers, which enabled CNEA/SNPI to obtain the AFCEN training certification for the second session.
  • Acting on an initiative by TWI, the United Kingdom Users Group (RCC-M UK UG) held sessions in February and December to compare the RCC-M code against other nuclear and non-nuclear mechanical engineering standards. These sessions attracted over 35 companies.

In 2016, the RCC-M Subcommittee also took part in several international working groups and participated in the associated events, including the following :

  • RCC-M experts play an active role in the Convergence Board of Mechanical Standards Developing Organizations (SDO Convergence Board), which gives them chance to meet the authorities during a joint meeting with the MDEP Codes & Standards Task Force (CSWG-MDEP) in November in Saint- Louis, which was also attended by the CORDEL/WNA Codes & Standards group.
  • Participation in the different CORDEL working groups covering welding, inspections, non-linear analysis methodologies, fatigue and quality management systems.
  • Non-nuclear standards, especially European standards, are relevant to the inspections, welding operations and materials used in the construction of nuclear equipment. That is why they are subject to specific requests within the Gen II/III Prospective Group (PG1), as part of CEN Workshop 64 Phase 2. Subcommittee members were also involved in the report that IRSN prepared for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy on the topic of “Modernization & Optimization of the European Nuclear Supply Chain”. Such was their involvement in the first stakeholder meeting in October 2016 that the Directorate-General for Energy has scheduled further meetings to finalize the topic in 2017.

In 2017, there are plans to maintain international initiatives:

  • At the European level by extending Phase 2 of the CEN Workshop 64 by one year and examining the prospect of a subsequent Phase 3 to factor in the findings of the study on the Modernization & Optimization of the European Nuclear Supply Chain.
  • Focusing on international comparisons by publishing the studies launched by CORDEL and the SDO Convergence Board.
  • By leading the Chinese and UK Users Groups, and the corresponding international training courses.
RSE-M

RSE-M


RSE-M : In-Service Inspection Rules for Mechanical Components of PWR Nuclear Islands.

Purpose and scope

The RSE-M code defines in-service inspection operations. It applies to pressure equipment used in PWR plants, as well as spare parts for such equipment.

The RSE-M code does not apply to equipment made from materials other than metal. It is based on the RCC-M code for requirements relating to the design and fabrication of mechanical components.

Use and background

Use

The inspection rules specified in the RSE-M code describe the standard requirements of best practice within the French nuclear industry, based on its own feedback from operating several nuclear units and partly supplemented with requirements stipulated by French regulations.

To date:

  • The 58 units in France’s nuclear infrastructure enforce the in-service inspection rules of the RSE-M code.
  • Operation of 30 commissioned units in China’s nuclear infrastructure, corresponding to the M310, CPR-1000 and CPR-600 reactors, is based on the RSE-M code (since 2007, use of AFCEN codes has been required by NNSA for Generation II+ reactors).

Background

AFCEN drafted and published the first edition in July 1990.

This initial edition served as a draft for preparing the 1997 edition, which extended the code’s scope to encompass elementary systems and supporting structures for the mechanical components concerned.

This edition was updated on a number of occasions (in 2000 and 2005) before undergoing a complete overhaul in 2010.

Editions available as of early 2017

AFCEN is aiming to prioritize development of the RSE-M code in the following directions:

  • incorporate developments in technology and legislation,
  • factor in the constraints facing operators-partners,
  • deliver support for all international practices.

2010 edition

The 2010 edition is supplemented by addenda in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

2016 edition

The 2016 edition is in keeping with the work that has been pursued since the 2010 edition by continuingto update the existing version and incorporating EPR aspects (FLA3).

The changes made to this new edition mainly involve:

  1. Restructuring Sections A/B/C/D: Section A still contains the rules that apply to all pressure equipment,while Sections B, C and D describe the specific rules for components depending on their class.
  2. Changes to make the text easier to understand:

    • difference between “maintenance operations” and “inspection operations”,
    • set of rules relating to cleanliness,
    • procedure for performing hydraulic tests,
    • surveillance of main primary system leaktightness,
    • recommendations for maintenance operations,
    • new chapters on spare parts,
    • quality system requirements,
    • requalification hydraulic test methods,
    • classification method for maintenance operations,
    • inspection of safety devices,
    • classification of maintenance operations.
  3. Enhancement of the code for simplified implementation with EPR projects (FLA3).

Additional information to be included in the next editions

  1. Technical developments:

    • for the qualification and certification of testing personnel, the certificate is issued by a recognized third-party organization (RTPO) for personnel certified according to ISO 9712,
    • further details are required concerning significant variations and stray indications.
  2. Appendices must be adapted to reflect these changes:

    • Appendix 1.1: revision of the glossary,
    • Appendix 1.3: referral to RCC-M 2016 and replacement of standards,
    • Appendix 1.8: fluid groups aligned with European rules,
    • Appendix 5.4: improved consideration for the global bending moment,
    • Appendix 5.5: improvement for the material’s mechanical characteristics,
    • Appendix 5.6: new characteristic values for ductile tearing resistance,
    • Appendix 3.1.I: inspection program for the FLA3 EPR pre-service inspection,
    • Appendix 3.1.II: review of Class 2 or Class 3 vessel inspections,
    • Appendix 3.2: methodology for defining an inspection plan.

Outlook and next edition

2017 edition

The 2017 edition has the objective to consolidate and build on the technological, legislative and international developments that occurred in 2016.

With this aim in mind, special attention will be paid to the following points:

  • update of the references specified in the list of applicable standards and codes (Appendix 1.3), especially by analyzing any impacts from the changes made to RCC-M,
  • further information for the parts marked “pending publication” in relation to in-service surveillance and the associated methods (§6000 and §7000),
  • summary of the measures taken for inspecting pressure accessories and safety devices,
  • completion of the process of revising the sections addressing the examination techniques used for visits (B 4000), especially the sections covering:

    • piping, tapping and valves for the main primary and secondary systems,
    • global examination of the main primary system,
  • revision of the appendix entitled “NDE, surveillance and inspection methods” (Appendix 4.4 associated with B 4000),
  • continued enhancement of the mechanical and material data (Appendices 5), including:

    • Appendix 5.4: Kth2, K-beta for nozzle corner defects, distinction for KI between cladded and noncladded components,
    • Appendix 5.6: EPR materials, carbon-manganese steels (resistance in the T-L orientation),
  • further analysis of the content of sections 5000 (indication processing/defects),
  • incorporation of regulatory changes as applicable to repairs / modifications (§ 8000 and Appendix 1.6 concerning the associated documents),
  • development of the section covering spare parts.

Work relating to France’s Nuclear Pressure Equipment Regulation (ESPN)

As part of its involvement in France’s ESPN Regulation, the RSE-M Subcommittee has commissioned four studies on the following topics:

  • guide to classifying maintenance operations on nuclear pressure equipment (not including Class 1 equipment),
  • documentation associated with repaired / modified nuclear pressure equipment,
  • methodology for the periodic requalification of Class 2 or Class 3 piping,
  • constitution of nuclear facilities.

AFCEN criteria and technical publications for RSE-M

“Appendix 5.5” criteria

The publication entitled “Principles of and background to the formulation of the criteria in Appendix 5.5 of RSE-M”, relating to the fast fracture resistance of pressure equipment presenting an operational planar defect, describes the basic principles and background to the process of defining the criteria for Appendix 5.5 of the RSE-M code, especially the characteristic values of the main variables and the partial safety factors. These criteria were published in 2014 and are currently being revised.

“WPS” criteria (relating to Probationary Phase Rule 2 of RSE-M)

The purpose of this publication is to describe the loading history effect on the resistance to the cleavage brittle fracture of RPV steel by taking account of the warm pre-stressing phenomenon as well as the associated criteria that were proposed and which are currently being defined within a probationary phase rule (RPP2) in RSE-M.

2017 criteria

Other AFCEN criteria and technical publications (PTAN) are being prepared:

  • criteria “Appendix 5.4” for offering a clearer insight into mechanical analyses such as described in Appendix 5.4 of the RSE-M code,
  • criteria “Appendix 1.4” for helping control the specific provisions for applying RCC-M for modifications/ repairs,
  • technical publications associated with work on the ESPN Regulation (see point above).

Work of the IEWG

In the United Kingdom, when evaluating the risk of a fast fracture in non-breakable piping and major mechanical components, the critical defect size must be assessed for comparison against the size of detectable defects.

An Independent Expert Working Group (IEWG) carried out a review to determine whether application of the mechanical fracture methods specified in Appendix 5.4 of RSE-M was suitable for a safety case demonstration for the fast fracture preclusion in the United Kingdom.

In the review’s conclusions, operator NNB GenCo has chosen to use Appendix 5.4 of the RSE-M code and the associated supplements for mechanical fracture assessments for the Hinkley Point C EPR in the United Kingdom.

Discussions continued in 2016, and the data resulting from these discussions should be incorporated into the 2017 edition.


CONTENTS OF THE 2016 EDITION

VOLUME I - RULES
  • SECTION A - GENERAL RULES
  • SECTION B - SPECIFIC RULES FOR CLASS 1 COMPONENTS
  • SECTION C - SPECIFIC RULES FOR CLASS 2 OR 3 COMPONENTS
  • SECTION D - SPECIFIC RULES FOR COMPONENTS NOT ASSIGNED TO ANY PARTICULAR RSE-M CLASS
VOLUME II - APPENDICES 1 to 8
  • APPENDICES 1.0 to 1.9: supporting appendices for the general requirements
  • APPENDIX 2.1: appendix associated with § 2000 Requalifications, Hydraulic Proof Tests and Hydraulic Tests
  • APPENDICES 4.1 to 4.4: appendices associated with § 4000 Examination techniques
  • APPENDICES 5.1 to 5.8 and RPP2: appendices associated with § 5000 Mechanical and Materials
  • APPENDICES 8.1 to 8.2: appendices associated with § 8000 Maintenance Operations
VOLUME III
  • APPENDIX 3.1 - VISIT TABLES: main primary and secondary systems, EPR pre-service inspection program, Class 2 or 3 vessels
  • APPENDIX 3.2 - INSPECTION PLANS FOR NON-NUCLEAR PRESSURE EQUIPMENT
RCC-E

RCC-E


RCC-E : Design and construction rules for electrical equipment of PWR nuclear islands

Purpose and scope

RCC-E describes the rules for designing, building and installing electrical and I&C systems and equipment for pressurized water reactors.

The code was drafted in partnership with industry, engineering firms, manufacturers, building control firms and operators, and represents a collection of best practices in accordance with IAEA requirements and IEC standards.

The code’s scope covers:

  • architecture and the associated systems,
  • materials engineering and the qualification procedure for normal and accidental environmental conditions,
  • facility engineering and management of common cause failures (electrical and I&C) and electromagnetic interference,
  • testing and inspecting electrical characteristics,
  • quality assurance requirements supplementing ISO 9001 and activity monitoring.

Use and background

Use

RCC-E has been used to build the following power plants:

  • France’s last 12 nuclear units (1,300 MWe (8) and 1,450 MWe (4)),
  • 2 M310 reactors in Korea (2),
  • 44 M310 (4), CPR-1000 (28), CPR-600 (6), HPR-1000 (4) and EPR (2) reactors in service or undergoing construction in China,
  • 1 EPR reactor in France.

RCC-E is used for maintenance operations in French power plants (58 units) and Chinese M310 and CPR-1000 power plants.

RCC-E has been chosen for the construction of the EPR plants in Hinkley Point, UK.

Users include:

  • equipment suppliers,
  • engineering firms responsible for designing, building and installing equipment and systems,
  • control and inspection organizations,
  • Safety Authorities.

Background

The editions published between 1981 and 2002 address Generation II reactors.

The 2005 edition incorporated the requirements stipulated in the design codes specific to the EPR project - ETC-I and ETC-E, which focus on I&C and electrical systems respectively (ETC: EPR Technical Code Instrumentation and Electrical).

The 2005 and 2012 editions concern Generation II and III reactors. As from the 2005 edition, project specifications must be written to supplement and implement the rules in RCC-E and allow the code to be used in the project.

The various editions of the code have been published in French and English.

The 2005 edition was translated into Chinese and published under CGN’s authority in 2009.

Edition available as of January 1, 2017

The RCC-E 2012 edition is the most recent version.

Edition pending publication in 2017

The 2016 edition will be available in French and English during the first quarter of 2017.

The following sources are used when revising the code:

  • feedback from facilities under construction and in operation,
  • the Safety Authorities’ investigation process,
  • users inquiries,
  • changes in the standards used and IAEA’s requirements,
  • changes in industry’s maturity.

The 2016 edition:

  • represents a departure from previous editions, which have been updates instead of overhauls,
  • addresses Generation II, III and IV reactors, research reactors and naval reactors,
  • organizes requirements into four key areas for easier identification and greater clarity: monitoring, systems, equipment, and component and systems installation. Each key area covers all lifecycle activities,
  • takes account of IAEA requirements as applicable to the scope of the code,
  • clearly defines the supplements to the requirements in the chosen IEC standards for I&C systems.

Reasons for overhauling the code include:

  • changes to IAEA requirements SSR-2/1, GSR Parts 2 and 4, and recommendations for designing and building electrical and I&C systems (SSG 34 and SSG 39), which are used as inputs to the drafting process,
  • the WENRA handbook on the design of new reactors,
  • changes to IEC standards relating to the SC 45 Technical Committee and IEC industry standards.
  • feedback from current projects: EPR, ITER, RJH and ASTRID,
  • lessons learned following the British Safety Authorities’ investigation into the UK’s EPR as part of the generic design assessment into the electrical and I&C systems,
  • feedback following Fukushima.

Requirements are:

  • adapted so that they can be applied to nuclear projects other than pressurized water reactors,
  • harmonized and coordinated with the requirements of the relevant IEC international standards. The structure of the code has changed to include seven volumes.

CONTENTS OF THE 2016 EDITION OF THE RCC-E CODE

  • VOLUME 1 - GENERAL REQUIREMENTS AND QUALITY ASSURANCE
  • VOLUME 2 - SPECIFICATION OF REQUIREMENTS
  • VOLUME 3 - I&C SYSTEMS
  • VOLUME 4 - ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS
  • VOLUME 5 - MATERIALS ENGINEERING
  • VOLUME 6 - INSTALLATION OF ELECTRICAL AND I&C SYSTEMS
  • VOLUME 7 - INSPECTION AND TEST METHODS

Technical publication of the RCC-E Subcommittee:

Contribution to the ESPN program

The RCC-E Subcommittee commissioned a study on the following topic:

SRMCR (Safety Related Measurement, Control and Regulation): the purpose of this study is to define the practical rules for designing an SRMCR in compliance with the applicable requirements for safety devices.

Editions gap analysis

AFCEN has produced a document that compares the 2012 and 2005 editions of the code entitled: “Nuclear Codes & Standards: RCC-E 2012 Gap analysis with the RCC-E 2005”

Outlook

The work topics for the next editions will include:

  • feedback from the application of RCC-E 2016,
  • measurement, control and regulation systems,
  • design extension situations,
  • IT security.
RCC-CW

RCC-CW


RCC-CW : Design and construction rules for civil works in PWR nuclear islands

Purpose and scope

RCC-CW describes the rules for designing, building and testing civil engineering works in PWR reactors.

It explains the principles and requirements for the safety, serviceability and durability of concrete and metal frame structures, based on Eurocode design principles (European standards for the structural design of construction works) combined with specific measures for safety-class buildings.

The code is produced as part of the RCC-CW Subcommittee, which includes all the parties involved in civil engineering works in the nuclear sector: clients, contractors, general and specialized firms, consultancies and inspection offices.

The code covers the following areas relating to the design and construction of civil engineering works that play an important safety role:

  • geotechnical aspects,
  • reinforced concrete structures and galleries,
  • prestressed containments with metal liner,
  • metal containment and pool liners,
  • metal frames,
  • anchors,
  • concrete cylinder pipes,
  • containment leak tests.

The RCC-CW code is available as an ETC-C version specific to EPR projects (European pressurized reactor).

Use and background

AFCEN published the first civil engineering code (RCC-G) in 1980. This edition included feedback from France’s 900 MWe nuclear reactors and mainly drew inspiration from the French BAEL regulation (limit state design of reinforced concrete) and BPEL regulation (limit state design of prestressed concrete). It has been used for the Ulchin project in Korea and the M310 project in China.

AFCEN updated the edition in 1985 and again in 1988 to reflect the latest developments in civil engineering technology.

In particular, the 1988 edition served for France’s 1,450 MWe PWRs. In April 2006 in response to the specific needs of its Flamanville 3 EPR project in France, EDF published a reference document called ETC-C for the design and construction of civil engineering works.

The reasons that prompted the development of the ETC-C code are as follows:

  • cover both French and German legislative requirements and practices,
  • consider new load cases to represent severe accident conditions or events of a more serious nature,
  • integrate application of Eurocodes into the design of nuclear structures,
  • take account of the latest feedback on the operation of in-service nuclear power plants and updated requirements for safety analyses,
  • incorporate the latest knowledge on the behavior of materials and structures (obtained through laboratory and model testing).

The EDF document was not published by AFCEN, but acted as a blueprint for a civil engineering code that AFCEN produced in 2009 as part of the RCC-CW Subcommittee, which led to:

  • initially, the publication of a specific code for EPR projects: ETC-C edition 2010, followed by ETC-C edition 2012,
  • subsequently, the publication of a generic civil engineering code, called RCC-CW, that is not specific to any given project. Two successive editions of RCC-CW were published in 2015 and 2016.

The ETC-C 2010 edition, which was the first version prepared and published by AFCEN, was used for the generic design assessment of the EPR project in the United Kingdom.

The RCC-CW 2015 edition is being used for the NM EPR project in France.

Edition available as of January 1, 2017

The RCC-CW 2016 edition is the most recent version

As from the 2015 edition, this code no longer adheres to the EPR project and can be used for PWR reactors featuring a prestressed containment with a metal liner.

RCC-CW 2015 includes all the relevant proposals based on the experience acquired during current projects:

  • technical discussions concerning the licensing process for Flamanville 3 and the generic design assessment of the EPR project in the United Kingdom,
  • the experience acquired by members through their participation in the Olkiluoto, Flamanville and Taishan projects.

Publication of the RCC-CW 2015 code early 2015 is the first edition that AFCEN has prepared and published of a generic civil engineering code that does not relate to any specific project.

It takes account of the latest changes in European standards. It includes technological openings and improvements:

  • bonded prestressing has been supplemented with unbonded prestressing,
  • the code covers the design and development of seismic isolation devices,
  • the section on external hazards has been updated to include tornadoes.

The design approach has been expanded to provide greater focus on design extension situations.

The following improvements have been incorporated into the 2016 edition of RCC-CW:

  • Correction of various editorial mistakes.
  • Thorough revision of the DANCH chapter on anchors and inclusion of the latest changes to EN 1992-4.

CONTENTS OF THE 2016 EDITION OF THE RCC-CW CODE

PART G - GENERAL
  • SCOPE
  • STANDARDS, NOTATIONS
  • QUALITY MANAGEMENT
  • GENERAL PRINCIPLES
PART D - DESIGN
  • ACTIONS AND COMBINATIONS OF ACTIONS
  • GEOTECHNICAL ASPECTS
  • PRESTRESSED OR REINFORCED CONCRETE STRUCTURES
  • METAL CONTAINMENT LINERS
  • METAL POOL LINERS
  • METAL FRAMES
  • ANCHORS
PART C - CONSTRUCTION
  • GEOTECHNICAL ASPECTS
  • CONCRETE
  • SURFACE FINISH AND FORMWORK
  • REINFORCEMENT FOR REINFORCED CONCRETE
  • PRESTRESSING PROCESSES
  • PREFABRICATED CONCRETE ELEMENTS
  • METAL CONTAINMENT LINERS
  • METAL POOL LINERS
  • METAL FRAMES
  • ANCHORS
  • EMBEDDED PIPELINES
  • JOINT SEALING
  • SURVEY NETWORKS AND TOLERANCES
PART M - MAINTENANCE AND MONITORING
  • CONTAINMENT INTEGRITY AND RATE TESTS

Outlook

As already initiated by AFCEN in preparing the RCC-CW code, the development of the civil engineering code is continuing in the following directions:

  • integrate feedback from projects currently under development or construction,
  • broaden the scope of robust technologies covered by the code (anchors, metal liners, and so on),
  • encourage application of the code in the European and international arena by offering greater coverage of the latest international standards and promote the code as a civil engineering benchmark for the Prospective Groups that CEN set up to prepare the future nuclear codes,
  • according to AFCEN’s requirements and development objectives, develop appendices and addenda specifically addressing how the code can be adapted to the countries targeted by AFCEN.

The work program includes the following core topics:

  • design extension situations and the associated criteria,
  • composite steel and concrete structures,
  • pile foundations,
  • improved reinforcement rates,
  • maintenance,
  • anchor channels,
  • tolerances.

Technical publication on seismic isolation

Technical publication “PTAN – French Experience and Practice of Seismically Isolated Nuclear Facilities” was published in 2014.

It presents the best practices and experience of French industry resulting from the last 30 years in designing and installing seismic isolation systems beneath nuclear facilities.

This publication enables European industry to:

  • codify the industrial design and construction practices according to AFCEN: in this respect, RCC-CW 2015 includes a section on seismic isolation,
  • showcase its experience within international organizations and bodies (IAEA, OECD, WENRA, etc.).

At the same time, experts are working on dissipation systems to reinforce the seismic resistance of existing structures.

International activities

CEN/WS 64

The Subcommittee is involved in the activities of CEN Workshop 64.

The RCC-CW code is being shared with the other European participants.

During the workshop’s activities, AFCEN will examine all requests to update the code.

Chinese Users Group (CSUG)

The ETC-C and RCC-CW codes are being shared within the Chinese Users Group, which held a meeting in 2015 and another meeting in 2016 attended by 30 Chinese experts.

Any interpretation requests for AFCEN codes issued during the meetings are examined by the Subcommittee.

UK Users Group

On November 22, 2016, the preliminary kick-off meeting was held for the UK Users Group on civil engineering codes. The meeting was attended by the main companies involved in the Hinkley Point C project. The Users Group should be officially launched during the AFCEN 2017 Congress.

RCC-C

RCC-C


RCC-C : Design and construction rules for fuel assemblies of PWR nuclear power plants

Purpose and scope

The RCC-C code contains all the requirements for the design, fabrication and inspection of nuclear fuel assemblies and the different types of core components (rod cluster control assemblies, burnable poison rod assemblies, primary and secondary source assemblies and thimble plug assemblies).

The design, fabrication and inspection rules defined in RCC-C leverage the results of the research and development work pioneered in France, Europe and worldwide, and which have been successfully used by industry to design and build nuclear fuel assemblies and incorporate the resulting feedback.

The code’s scope covers:

  • fuel system design, especially for assemblies, the fuel rod and associated core components,
  • the characteristics to be checked for products and parts,
  • fabrication methods and associated inspection methods.

Use and background

Use

The RCC-C code is used by the operator of the PWR nuclear power plants in France as a reference when sourcing fuel from the world’s top two suppliers in the PWR market, given that the French operator is the world’s largest buyer of PWR fuel.

Fuel for EPR projects is manufactured according to the provisions of the RCC-C code.

The code is available in French and English. The 2005 edition has been translated into Chinese.

Background

The first edition of the AFCEN RCC-C code was published in 1981 and mainly covers fabrication requirements. The second edition of the code was released in 1986 and supplemented the first edition by including design requirements in a specific section at the end of the code. This structure remained unchanged and prioritized the fabrication aspects.

In recent years, the RCC-C Subcommittee has been busy overhauling the code to implement a new structure for improved clarity as well as to reflect the requirements of the latest quality assurance standards and describe all technical requirements that have been missing from previous editions. 45 nuclear fuel experts were involved in these activities.

Edition available as of January 1, 2017

The RCC-C 2015 edition is the most recent version

CHANGES TO THE PLAN OF THE RCC-C CODE, FROM THE 1981 EDITION TO THE 2015 EDITION

Plan of the 1981 code Plan of the 1986 - 2005 code Plan of the 2015 code
1 - General provisions

2 - Product and part characteristics

3 - Fabrication and related testing and inspection

4 - Tables of inspection requirements

5 - Inspection methods

Appendices

1 - General provisions

2 - Product and part characteristics

3 - Fabrication and related testing and inspection

4 - Tables of inspection requirements

5 - Inspection methods

6 - Design

Appendices

1 - General provisions

2 - Description of the fuel

3 - Design

4 - Manufacturing

5 - Handling and Storage


Review of the changes between the 2005 and 2015 versions

In terms of the general requirements and description of the fuel:

  • Quality assurance requirements have been improved compared to previous requirements by including the requirements of the IAEA GS-R-3 standard.
  • the definitions used for fuel assemblies have been enhanced,
  • the procedure for managing nonconformities has been described,
  • the fuel description has been improved.

In terms of design:

The design chapter has been updated to reflect comments from the French nuclear Safety Authority in 2009 following discussions about the prospect of a draft fuel regulation. The chapter has been restructured for improved clarity. The statement of functional requirements for assemblies and core components has been improved. Paragraphs on thermal hydraulics requirements and neuron transport have been added. A paragraph covering stress corrosion cracking/pellet-cladding interaction studies has been added.

Changes have also been introduced to take into consideration the findings of the French Permanent Working Group on Loss-of-Coolant Accidents in April 2014.

In terms of manufacturing:

  • The paragraphs in the manufacturing chapter covering zirconium alloys have been updated to include commercial alloys other than Zircaloy 4. The paragraphs on stainless steel and inconel materials have been structured according to the same plan as that used for zirconium alloys. The paragraphs covering absorbents and fuel pellets have been enhanced.
  • The code now includes requirements for the following inspection and fabrication processes: automatic sorting of pellet diameters, tube expanding, lost-wax casting, component marking, thermal treatment and surface treatment.

The following parts have been defined, as well as their qualification requirements: assemblies, skeleton assemblies, grids, fuel rods, bottom end fittings, rod cluster control assemblies and absorber rods.

The overall summary of the code in its 2015 version is detailed in Figure 12.

The work of the RCC-C Subcommittee in 2015 involved translating the 2015 master version from French into English. The entire document has been retranslated (354 pages) to incorporate the wealth of modifications between the 2005 and 2015 versions. The English version of the code has been available since the first quarter of 2016.

CONTENTS OF THE 2015 EDITION OF THE RCC-C CODE

CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

  • 1.1 PURPOSE OF THE RCC-C
  • 1.2 DEFINITIONS
  • 1.3 APPLICABLE STANDARDS
  • 1.4 EQUIPMENT SUBJECT TO THE RCC-C
  • 1.5 MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
  • 1.6 PROCESSING OF NONCONFORMANCES

CHAPTER 2 - DESCRIPTION OF THE EQUIPMENT SUBJECT TO THE RCC-C

  • 2.1 FUEL ASSEMBLY
  • 2.2 CORE COMPONENTS

CHAPTER 3 - DESIGN

  • SAFETY FUNCTIONS, OPERATING FUNCTIONS AND ENVIRONMENT OF FUEL ASSEMBLIES AND CORE COMPONENTS
  • DESIGN AND SAFETY PRINCIPLES

CHAPTER 4 - MANUFACTURING

  • 4.1 MATERIALS AND PART CHARACTERISTICS
  • 4.2 ASSEMBLY REQUIREMENTS
  • 4.3 MANUFACTURING AND INSPECTION PROCESSES
  • 4.4 INSPECTION METHODS
  • 4.5 CERTIFICATION OF NDT INSPECTORS
  • 4.6 CHARACTERISTICS TO BE INSPECTED FOR THE MATERIALS, PARTS AND ASSEMBLIES

CHAPTER 5 - SITUATIONS OUTSIDE THE NUCLEAR STEAM SUPPLY SYSTEM

  • 5.1 FRESH FUEL
  • 5.2 IRRADIATED FUEL

Next edition

The next edition (French and English) is scheduled for 2017.

Outlook

The RCC-C Subcommittee is continuing its work in 2017 to adapt the design requirements to the next French “Groupe Permanent” on fuel performance criteria (planned for 2017). The code will also be amended to reflect the changes in products and manufacturing processes required by suppliers.

RCC-F

RCC-F


RCC-F : Design and construction rules for PWR fire protection systems

Purpose and scope

The RCC-F code defines the rules for designing, building and installing the fire protection systems used to manage the nuclear hazards inherent in the outbreak of a fire inside the facility and thereby control the fundamental nuclear functions.

This code’s target readership is therefore:

  • suppliers of fire protection equipment,
  • engineering firms responsible for designing, building and installing fire protection systems,
  • laboratories carrying out qualification testing of fire protection equipment,
  • Nuclear Safety Authorities responsible for approving the safety demonstration.

The code defines fire protection systems within a finite scope of service buildings in a light water nuclear power plant.

To satisfy the code’s requirements, design studies can be performed.

The code provides fire protection recommendations in terms of:

  • the industrial risk (loss of assets and/or operation),
  • personnel safety,
  • the environment.

The code is divided into five main sections:

  • generalities,
  • design safety principles,
  • fire protection design bases,
  • construction provisions,
  • rules for installing the fire protection components and equipment.

The RCC-F code is available as an ETC-F version specifically for EPR projects (European pressurized reactor).

Use and background

In response to the needs of its Flamanville 3 EPR project in France, EDF published a reference document called ETC-F for the design of fire protection systems.

The EDF document was not published by AFCEN, but acted as a blueprint for a fire protection code that AFCEN produced in 2009 as part of the RCC-F Subcommittee, which led to:

  • Initially, the publication of the 2010 edition of the ETC-F code for EPR projects, followed by the 2013 edition, which gave less focus to the specifics of EPR projects but which still addresses the main EPR safety principles.
  • Subsequently, the publication of a generic fire protection code, called RCC-F, that is not specific to any given project and which promotes the code’s application on an international level.

The 2013 edition is compatible with British requirements and has been chosen for the EPR plants in Hinkley Point, UK.

Edition available as of January 1, 2017

The ETC-F 2013 edition is the most recent version

The 2013 edition of the ETC-F code incorporated two major changes:

  • partial removal of the code’s adherence to the specifics of EPR,
  • inclusion of British regulations, which prompted a significant overhaul to the body of the text, as well as the creation of a local appendix specifically addressing such regulations and designed to improve understanding thereof.

This exercise in anglicizing the code gave AFCEN hands-on experience in updating the code to reflect foreign regulations (in terms of the time, processes and skills required).

It also served as the ideal opportunity to integrate British best practices.

CONTENTS OF THE 2013 EDITION OF THE ETC-F CODE

VOLUME A - GENERALITIES

  • STRUCTURE OF ETC-F GENERAL POINTS
  • DOCUMENTATION (IN PROGRESS)
  • CHAPTER (PROVISION) QUALITY ASSURANCE

VOLUME B - DESIGN SAFETY PRINCIPLES

  • DESIGN NUCLEAR SAFETY PRINCIPLES

VOLUME C - FIRE PROTECTION DESIGN BASES

  • FIRE PROTECTION DESIGN BASES

VOLUME D - CONSTRUCTION PROVISIONS

  • CONSTRUCTION PROVISIONS

VOLUME E - INSTALLATION RULES FOR FIRE PROTECTION

  • RULES FOR INSTALLING THE FIRE PROTECTION
  • COMPONENTS AND EQUIPMENT

International activities

In 2016, the RCC-F Subcommittee held a meeting with the CSUG (Chinese Specialized Users Group):

  • The Chinese working group comprises 19 permanent members and was created during the first meeting in March 2015. A work meeting was held in Beijing in May 2016. Participants discussed the contents and interpretation of the code, as well as addressed the various technical questions raised by the CSUG.
  • Two new meetings with the CSUG have been lined up for 2017.

Outlook and preparation of the RCC-F 2017 edition

Outlook

AFCEN is aiming to develop the code in the following directions:

  • integrate feedback from projects currently under development or construction,
  • drive the code’s application on a European and international level by including international standards and regulations. According to requirements, this will prompt AFCEN to develop appendices and addenda specifically addressing how the code can be adapted to local regulations (refer to the exercise already carried out for the United Kingdom).

RCC-F 2017 edition

In 2016, efforts focused on preparing the next edition ahead of its publication in September 2017. Amendments have been made based on the 2013 edition.

AFCEN’s aim with the 2017 edition is to make the RCC-F code usable for any project, accounting for applicable safety rules.

The initial 2013 version of the ETC-F code featured two types of adherence:

  • EPR adherence (specific characteristics of EPRs, mainly semantics (PCC, F2, etc.)).
  • Safety adherence, which is also contained in all other EDF fire codes (RCC-I, fire directives, etc.) used on France’s other power plants.

The new edition of the code will be formatted and revised to identify the impact of safety principles on the content of the design, construction and installation rules defined within the code.

Current work is organized according to the following five subject areas

  1. Analysis of adherence to safety principles (sizing and stresses)

    The aim is to analyze adherence to safety principles, which involves identifying the safety criteria and principles in the code by examining any given principle (aggravating event, fire combined with thermal-hydraulic transients, combined stresses, fire outbreak following an earthquake, and so on) and how it is addressed by the code.

    The analysis of adherence to safety principles may be documented in a safety principle appendix featuring two objectives: to improve the code’s legibility to better understand the links with nuclear safety principles ; to provide elements to ensure that the code can be tailored to the safety principles chosen within a specific context

    The specific technical features of the EPR NM basic design will also be included.

  2. Improved traceability of requirements

    The purpose of this subject area is to satisfy users’ need to easily identify the source of the requirements that led to the rules defined within the code.

  3. Development of requirements on conventional islands

    The idea with this subject area is to inject greater flexibility into the rules for designing fire protection systems by adapting and therefore clarifying the rules applied to nuclear islands to reflect the risks relating to the conventional part of the plant (challenge of protecting the facility’s production assets).

  4. Clarification of human intervention

    The aim is to clarify human intervention within the code, even though such intervention is not evaluated in respect of demonstrating safety. However, human intervention can be used (evaluated) in the safety analyses. The specific prerequisites arising from international practice will need to be integrated.

  5. Update to Appendix A

    Appendix A incorporates the recent specific changes to French and English regulations.

RCC-MRx

RCC-MRx


RCC-MRx: Design and construction rules for mechanical components in high-temperature structures, experimental reactors and fusion reactors

Purpose and scope

The RCC-MRx code was developed for sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFR), research reactors (RR) and fusion reactors (FR-ITER).

It provides the rules for designing and building mechanical components involved in areas subject to significant creep and/or significant irradiation. In particular, it incorporates an extensive range of materials (aluminum and zirconium alloys in response to the need for transparency to neutrons), sizing rules for thin shells and box structures, and new modern welding processes: electron beam, laser beam, diffusion and brazing.

Background and use

Since 2009, the RCC-MRx code created by AFCEN’s RCC-MRx Subcommittee has been an inclusion of two documents:

  • The RCC-MR code, drafted by AFCEN’s RCC-MR Subcommittee together with the Tripartite Committee formed on March 16, 1978 by the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique, Electricité de France and Novatome, to establish the applicable rules for designing components working at high temperatures. AFCEN published four editions of RCC-MR in 1985, 1993, 2002 and 2007.
  • The RCC-MX code, drafted by the RCC-MX Approval Committee formed on March 31, 1998 by the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique, AREVA-TA and AREVA-NP for the specific needs of the RJH project (Jules Horowitz reactor). This code applies to the design and construction of experimental reactors, auxiliary systems and associated experimental devices. It can also be used for the design and construction of components and systems for existing facilities. CEA published two editions of RCC-MX in 2005 and 2008.

An unpublished preliminary version of RCC-MRx created in 2010 by AFCEN was chosen as the baseline for the CEN CWA European Workshop (entitled “CEN-WS-MRx, Design and Construction Code for mechanical equipment of innovative nuclear installations”), which was intended to familiarize European partners with the RCC-MRx 2010 code and propose modifications to satisfy the needs of their projects. The results of the workshop were incorporated into the 2012 edition of RCC-MRx published by AFCEN.

The RCC-MR code was used to design and build the prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) developed by IGCAR in India and the ITER Vacuum Vessel.

The RCC-Mx code is being used in the current construction of the RJH experimental reactor (Jules Horowitz reactor).

The RCC-MRx code is serving as a reference for the design of the ASTRID project (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration), for the design of the primary circuit in MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications) and the design of the target station of the ESS project (European Spallation Source).

CONTENTS OF THE 2015 EDITION OF THE RCC-MRx CODE

SECTION I General provisions

SECTION II Additional requirements and special provisions

SECTION III Rules for nuclear installation mechanical components

VOLUME I: Design and construction rules

  • Volume A (RA): General provisions and entrance keys
  • Volume B (RB): Class 1 components and supports
  • Volume C (RC): Class 2 components and supports
  • Volume D (RD): Class 3 components and supports
  • Volume K (RK): Examination, handling or drive mechanisms
  • Volume L (RL): Irradiation devices
  • Volume Z (Ai): Technical appendices

VOLUME II: Materials

VOLUME III: Examinations methods

VOLUME IV: Welding

VOLUME V: Manufacturing operations

VOLUME VI: Probationary phase rules

The 2015 edition is the most recent version

A new edition of the RCC-MRx code was released in 2015.

This edition reflects feedback on the use of the 2012 edition and/or its 2013 addendum, especially in current projects and mainly the Jules Horowitz reactor and the Astrid project. Examples include the inspection and welding procedures for aluminum, as well as the code’s improvements and new structure relating to components used at high temperatures (design rules, welded assemblies and material properties).

Initial feedback on the code’s application also helped analyze and integrate additional data on the Eurofer material used by the fusion community.

Furthermore, this edition pays special attention to ensuring consistency between RCC-MRx and the other reference documents that interact with the code, including RCC-M, European and international standards.

Outlook

In 2016, efforts centered on incorporating feedback from the use of the 2015 edition of the code and finalizing the two commissioned studies in progress. Throughout 2017, the focus will be on preparing the new edition of RCC-MRx, which is scheduled for publication mid-2018. This edition will include:

  • the findings of CWA 64,
  • a new organization for the chapters addressing fast fracture,
  • a new organization for the chapters addressing progressive deformation.
  • feedback from the RJH project,
  • advanced ultrasonic inspection methods as an alternative to radiographic examination.

2.8.5 Technological commissioned studies

The RCC-MRx Subcommittee launched two commissioned studies in 2014:

  • Improvement to the rules to take account of irradiation when levels become significant. This commissioned study is aimed at assessing the rules currently featured in the code with a view to their improvement. The first request for modification relating to an adjustment to the toughness values of 316L(N) was issued following the group’s work. A second request defining the fields to which the code applies in respect of irradiation will be included in the forthcoming 2018 edition. The commissioned study has achieved its objectives and has therefore been closed.
  • Terms for introducing a new material into RCC-MRx, in keeping with what had already been introduced into the code (concept of a material record). The aim of this commissioned study is to produce a methodological guide that will be released as an AFCEN technical publication. This guide is currently being finalized and explains, when introducing a non-coded material into RCC-MRx, the definition of the methods for obtaining the characteristics in Appendices A3 (expected / possible tests, meaning of the data). This guide is due to be released as a technical publication in 2017.