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CNSC regulatory requirements on reliability of nuclear power plants

An abstract of a presentation at:
Society of Reliability Engineers – Ottawa Chapter
Ottawa, Ontario
March 27, 2013

Prepared by:
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


The need for reliable equipment performance at nuclear power generating stations has long been recognized by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). At the design stage, designing for reliability is a specific area within the physical design safety control area used by the CNSC to assess the licensees' compliance. This specific area lists the reliability requirements (Regulatory Document RD-337) such as: fail safe design, single failure criteria, diversity, redundancy, testability and maintainability, equipment qualification, dependencies and common cause failures. During operation, reliability is also one specific area within the fitness for service safety and control area. The Regulatory Standard RD/GD-98, Reliability Programs for Nuclear Power Plants, identifies the requirements for nuclear facilities to identify and list those systems associated with the initiation, detection, prevention or mitigation of any failure sequence which could lead to damage of fuel and/or associated release of radionuclide.

The purpose of the presentation is to provide an overview about the evolution of the requirements on the reliability (availability) in the Canadian regulatory framework and to elaborate on the current set of requirements.


Smain Yalaoui graduated in 1986 from the University of Algiers (Algeria) with a BASc in Thermodynamics. He completed his Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (probabilistic risk assessment) in 1990 at the Centre des Energies Nouvelles (Algiers) and Glasgow University (UK). He worked for the Centre de Developpement des Systemes Energetiques (Algeria) from 1990 to 2004 in the research reactor nuclear safety department. In 2008, he was hired by the CNSC as a Technical Specialist within the Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Reliability Division. Throughout his career, he has been performing probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) reviews of nuclear power plants, as well as reliability models of systems important to safety. In 2010, he was appointed the national coordinator for the International Common Cause Failure Database Exchange (ICDE) project with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He also played a key role in the development of the regulatory guidance RD/GD-98, Reliability Program for Nuclear Power Plants which was issued by the CNSC on June 25, 2011.

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