The Committee on Nuclear Quality Assurance (NQA) is responsible for developing, managing, and/or coordinating quality assurance (QA) requirements and implementing guidance for the siting, design, procurement, construction, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear facilities and activities affecting nuclear safety. The NQA Committee produced ASME NQA-1 “Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility Applications” (and its predecessor standards such as the ANSI/ASME N45.2 series) for use by any organization in any country concerned with the quality of items and services affecting nuclear safety. NQA is supported by Subcommittees focused on specific elements or applications of NQA-1
The NQA-1 standard is promulgated principally through endorsement/adoption by ASME’s Boiler and Pressure Vessel (BPV) Code, Section III – NCA; governmental regulatory bodies; reference in national/international standards; and contracts between organizations. In the U.S.A., NQA-1 is recognized as an acceptable way to meet the regulatory requirements of 10 CFR 50 Appendix B, 10 CFR 830 and 40 CFR 194. NQA-1 has also been applied to other non-nuclear high hazard projects and industries as the best source for quality assurance requirements when the health and safety of the public are a concern.
NQA-1 will be the preeminent quality standard contributing to the safe and reliable use of nuclear energy. As such, NQA-1 will serve the global nuclear industry by providing quality assurance requirements that reflect current circumstances and needs of the user community. NQA-1 will address nuclear technology applications (e.g., electric power generation and waste management) and life cycle phases (research and development of new nuclear technologies, design, construction, operations, and decommissioning). NQA-1 will also support the other Nuclear Codes and Standards and foster compliance with regulatory requirements.
To develop, manage, and /or coordinate quality assurance and quality assurance related codes and standards applicable to nuclear activities and the siting, design, construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear facilities. Examples of nuclear facilities are facilities for power generation, spent fuel and high level waste storage, waste management, fuel reprocessing, nuclear material processing, fuel fabrication, nuclear material research and other related facilities in the U.S.A. and other countries. This scope includes the following specific functions and responsibilities:
• Develop, interpret and maintain a quality assurance standard(s) applicable to nuclear activities and facilities.
• Develop and maintain a glossary of terms used to define and describe quality assurance functions and coordinate their usage in other codes and standards.
• Manage or coordinate, as appropriate, the development of supplementary quality assurance standards necessary to implement the general program requirements by established standards writing bodies or through Subcommittees of this Committee.
• Coordinate with other ASME codes or standards committees, American National Standards committees, international organizations (e.g. ISO and IAEA) and committees of other organizations that are preparing and maintaining quality assurance (QA) related codes and standards for nuclear facilities by bringing individuals and groups together to discuss and evaluate common interests, objectives and understandings, and to provide an environment conducive to reaching mutual and consistent agreement on the QA standards effort.
• Coordinate the application and interpretations of QA requirements contained in the standards related to nuclear facilities.
• Provide an interface for QA standards and criteria with other nuclear activities falling within the scope of the Board on Nuclear Codes and Standards (BNCS).
• On a selected basis and as situations are identified, coordinate the efforts of standards writing groups outside of the nuclear industry that may be applied to nuclear activities and/or facilities.