Next month, ASME will introduce four new ASME Learning Workshops examining the nuclear safety issues that have arisen as a result of the Fukushima plant accident of 2011. These Post- Fukushima Nuclear Plant Safety and Equipment Qualification Workshops will take place in at the Hyatt Regency Miami from May 15-17, in conjunction with ASME Boiler Code Week. If you’re interested in the workshops but can’t get to Miami to take part in person, you have the option of registering to watch live webcasts of the sessions.

In the two years since the accident, the nuclear industry has developed substantial enhancements to safety. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is requiring existing plants to assess their potential vulnerability to external events, including earthquake events. An important part of this assessment is to identify components that might exceed the design basis as part of the individual plant examination of external events program. Another key part of nuclear power plant (NPP) safety is the use of qualified equipment.

The four new four-hour workshops, organized by ASME Training and Development, will discuss current issues addressing seismic evaluation and equipment qualification.

The first of the workshops, “Post-Fukushima Plant Seismic Assessment,” will take place on May 15 from 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Led by Ram Srinivasan of AREVA and a member of ASME Nuclear Quality Assurance, this session is designed to be a resource for utility and practicing engineers involved in addressing the recent NRC Letter to the Licensees requesting information related to Recommendations 2.1 (Seismic Hazards and Evaluation and GI 199) and 2.3 (Seismic Walkdowns) of the Post-Fukushima Near Term Task Force.

From 8:00 a.m.-noon on May 16, “Seismic Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) and Seismic Margin Assessment for External Hazards” will discuss the topics of seismic PRA and seismic margin assessment of nuclear power plants with lessons and insights drawn from recent applications. The workshop, which will focus on the background and technical requirements of the ASME PRA Standard for seismic events, will be presented by M.K. Ravindra, consultant to the NRC and a member of the ASME Committee on Nuclear Risk Management.

Later that day, Dave Stanze, chair of the ASME Nuclear Codes & Standards QME Committee, will lead the session “Qualification of NPP Active Components Important to Safety.” The workshop, to be held from 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., will explore topics related to the ASME QME-1 Standard addressing the qualification requirements for active mechanical equipment such as pumps, valves, snubbers —components in a nuclear power plant that manage the safe shutdown of the reactor and mitigate reactor accidents.

On May 17, “PRA Risk and Design Considerations for NPP Active Mechanical Equipment” will familiarize attendees with the testing requirements of ASME OM Code, Operation and Maintenance of NPPs/Appendix M, Design Guidance for NPP Systems and Component Testing. The ASME OM Code provides the testing requirements to ensure the operational readiness of pumps, valves, and snubbers, while Appendix M provides numerous design considerations for these components. The workshop, to be held from 8:00 a.m.-noon, will be presented by Wes Rowley, current member and former chair of ASME Board on Nuclear Codes and Standards.

In addition to the four Post- Fukushima Workshops, ASME will also offer eight other workshops during ASME Boiler Code Week. These workshops, to be held May 13-15, will focus on topics such as determining design conditions for piping systems; advanced alloys in the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code; structural materials for elevated and high temperature applications; the selection and application of Valves in compliance with ASME B16; creep, fatigue and creep-fatigue interactions for high-temperature structural materials; and design at elevated and high temperature.

The 12 Boiler Code Week workshops are the first in the history of the ASME Learning Workshops program enable attendees to participate virtually, via live webcasts, as well as attend in person. To find out more about the various workshops — and the live and virtual registration options — visit For information on viewing live webcasts of the workshops, contact Jennifer Delda, program manager, (212) 591-7108, e-mail