ASN’s Nuclear Pressure Equipment Department (ASN/DEP) receives ISO 17 020 accreditation
This accreditation is the result of a proactive approach by ASN and follows a recommendation by an IAEA experts group during the course of an ASN audit mission3 carried out in late 2006. IAEA had noticed that the regulations covering nuclear pressure equipment entailed the use of notified bodies4 and accredited in compliance with standard ISO 17 020 and therefore recommended that ASN, some of whose duties were equivalent to those of a notified body, demonstrates that it had the qualifications and expertise necessary for these inspection bodies and that it met the criteria of the international standards in this field.
In response to this recommendation, ASN decided to have the department responsible for the oversight of nuclear pressure equipment (DEP), based in Dijon, formally accredited by the French accreditation committee (COFRAC) in compliance with international standard ISO 17 020.
For the candidate inspection body, this standard sets out a certain number of requirements more specifically relating to the rigour of its organisation, the competence of its staff and the independence of the positions it takes, three of ASN’s core values.
In order to obtain this accreditation, the DEP had to carry out a detailed analysis of its quality system and make a certain number of changes to its organisation, to ensure more clearly defined working methods and more harmonised inspection processes.
From now, ASN/DEP will regularly submit its organisation to the COFRAC assessors for their observations.
1. A type A inspection body meets the criteria of the standard for the provision of “third party” services. It must be independent of the parties involved.
2. Accreditation n°3-1018 available on the COFRAC website
3. Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS). Audit performed by IAEA on the ASN departments in 2006. Consult the relevant page on asn.fr (in french).
4. As part of the new overall European approach, a product legally manufactured or marketed in one member state can circulate freely throughout the Community if its conformity with essential safety requirements has been assessed by a “notified body”, in other words one that has been designated by a member State on the basis of official criteria applied Europe-wide.