Valinox Nucléaire, the Montbard-based specialist for nuclear steam generator tubes and nuclear environment products within the Vallourec Powergen Division, is the world's first supplier to hold NSQ-100 certification. The conformity of Valinox with the new "Nuclear Safety and Quality Management System" was officially attested on June 5 by the renowned Bureau Veritas, following intense auditing of all relevant production, testing and management processes. NSQ-100 is considered to be the strictest standard of its kind worldwide.
Valinox is the first company in the world to be certified to NSQ-100. The new "Nuclear Safety and Quality Management System", initiated in 2011 by the Nuclear Quality Standard Association, was created to upgrade the overall safety level of the nuclear supply chain in view of a globalized project market characterized by fierce competition, intense cost pressure and a mix of experienced and new players.
New needs - new standards
The new standard supports a controlled reinstallation of the nuclear supply chain in the framework of a global nuclear renaissance to compensate for the loss of expertise in the traditional supply chain, which is due to a lack of new construction in recent years. NSQ-100 aims at a substantial increase in safety and quality in view of a diversified and complex supply chain due to globalization effects, incorporating also new supply chain players without previous nuclear experience and countries without a highly developed nuclear culture. Customer expectations regarding quality of products, services and lead time are also fully taken into account, as the standard integrates the latest advances in technology, manufacturing, testing, process management, logistics and regulations.
Continuous safety awareness
In addition to compliance with nuclear quality technical standards, this certification recognizes also the deep involvement of the Valinox Nucleaire people in the nuclear safety of the products. The Valinox Nucleaire people and organisation provide a strong commitment to support customers in a worldwide safety culture.
A holistic approach
With its new NSQ-100 standard, NQSA claims to meet the new demands of a globalized nuclear supply chain by auditing and certifying the compliance of nuclear power plant constructions in each relevant technological detail and along the entire supply chain. In the case of Valinox Nucléaire, for example, the scope of certification covers a whole variety of operations, including melting, cold and hot processes and the heat treatment, destructive and non-destructive testing of seamless tubes, billets, sheets and plates in ferrous alloys and non-ferrous metals. The process of certification must be renewed every three years.
(from left to right) Jackie Couderc (Plant Manager Valinox Nucléaire), Jacques Matillon (Managing Director Bureau Veritas Certification France), Christophe Reullon (Quality Manager Valinox Nucléaire), Stéphane Jeanneteau (Executive VP Valinox Nucléaire), Marie-Agnès Gérard (Development and Pen line Manager Valinox Nucléaire), Thierry Zumbihl (President NQSA), Didier Bienfait (Vice-President NQSA) and Pascal Sutz (Manager Nuclear Activities Bureau Veritas)