NQA1 Quality Systems

Over many decades, the Department of Energy has made significant investments in developing, building, and maintaining a large-scale testing capability at Sandia. These capabilities are used to provide qualification evidence for complex systems and materials used in packaging, storage, and transportation of radioactive materials.

The testing elements of Sandia’s nuclear energy packaging, storage, and transportation research and development programs adhere to the ASME Nuclear Quality Assurance-1 (NQA-1) Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility Applications, thereby satisfying the Title 10 CFR Part 71 Subpart H Quality Assurance requirements. The NQA-1 standard is an industry consensus standard that provides requirements and guidelines for the establishment and execution of quality assurance programs during siting, design, construction, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear facilities. It reflects industry experience and current understanding of the quality assurance requirements necessary to achieve safe, reliable, and efficient use of nuclear energy, and management of radioactive materials. 

As a practitioner of the NQA-1 standard, Sandia couples testing with rigorous documentation following a 10CFR71 quality assurance test plan. Test results are collected along with written and photographic evidence of pre-test inspections, test configuration, test set-up, test execution, post-test teardown, and post-test inspection. Additionally, all material certifications, NIST-traceable equipment certifications and pre-/post-test calibration data are gathered to ensure future test repeatability. Key steps of the testing procedure are witnessed and validated by a third-party auditor to ensure each step is followed per the approved requirements.

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To contact a member of the Nuclear Energy team at Sandia, please email ne@sandia.gov