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Performance Objectives and Criteria for the Annual Plant Condition Inspection (APCI) in Nuclear Power Plants

Technical paper to be presented at:
26th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (SMiRT 25) – 17th International Post Conference Seminar on “Fire Safety in Nuclear Power Plants and Installations”, 24-25 October 2022.

Prepared by:
Abderrazzaq Bounagui
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


Fire safety is important throughout the lifetime of a plant, from design to construction, commissioning, plant operation, and decommissioning. In Canada, the requirements for fire protection for a nuclear power plant are established in CSA N293 [1]. The Annual Plant Condition Inspection (APCI) is one element of the fire protection program. CSA N293 requires an APCI to be conducted by an independent third party at least once a year. The APCI is a visual inspection intended to verify that the nuclear power plant is in general compliance with the operational requirements of Standard CSA N293 and the National Fire Code of Canada (NFCC) [2]. From a regulatory perspective, the APCI is also expected to be conclusive and to identify areas of weakness, areas containing precursors to unsafe fire conditions, as well as areas where best industry practices are implemented.

This paper presents the performance objectives and criteria for the key elements of the APCI. Given the wide range of reactor facilities, especially in advanced and small modular reactors (SMRs) and given that reactor facilities have risk profiles that vary significantly, depending on the particular characteristics of the plant, a risk-informed approach can be applied to demonstrate that APCI’s performance objectives are met.

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