The report calls for the harmonization of different codes and standards used in connection with nuclear plant construction and repair operations in order to reduce inconsistencies in procedures and welder qualifications. Other recommendations include: expansion of certification options for U.S. welding engineers and for welding supervisors and coordinators who do not have a welding background; increasing the allowed use of phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) of welding work at nuclear power plants in relevant codes; and increasing reliance on fitness-for-service assessments for repair needs in order to reduce the risk of additional damage associated with unneeded repairs.
A joint initiative of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the NESCC seeks to identify the standards needed for the design, operation, development, licensing, and deployment of nuclear power plants and other nuclear technologies. The NESCC's Welding Task Group, which began meeting in November 2011, has maintained an open membership that includes representatives of standards developing organizations (SDOs), government agencies, and industry groups, among others. Tom Siewert of NIST serves as the task group's chair.