Improving safety is a key objective of most industries and boosting the quality of the products and services that contribute to safety is necessary to achieve it. The nuclear sector is set to benefit with a new ISO standard that does just that.
While major accidents in the nuclear sector are rare, the consequences are unimaginable, making the nuclear industry a highly regulated business. This includes the safety and quality requirements of those in the supply chain that supply products and services important to the sector’s safety.
A freshly published standard applies the principles of one of the world’s most renowned quality standards, ISO 9001, to the nuclear sector, combining best practice in quality with the specific requirements of the nuclear industry.
ISO 19443, Quality management systems – Specific requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2015 by organizations in the supply chain of the nuclear energy sector supplying products and services important to nuclear safety (ITNS), will help to increase the safety culture in the sector and harmonize supplier assessments such as auditing.
Bertrand-Marie Nahon, Convenor of the working group1) that developed the standard, which is part of technical committee ISO/TC 85, Nuclear energy, nuclear technologies, and radiological protection2), said ISO 19443 will not only improve the understanding of quality requirements by suppliers but encourage all major nuclear industry players to work in the same direction.
“It is a win-win standard because it gives buyers the assurance of a standardized level of quality while securing safety and quality for those in the supply chain,” he said.
“In addition, it is aligned with the many regulatory and industrial local and international requirements and allows organizations to better manage risks related to the construction of a nuclear power plant and, ultimately, improve their performance.”
ISO 19443 was developed by 24 international experts, working closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is an official ISO partner.
2) The secretariat of ISO/TC 85 is held by AFNOR, ISO’s member for France.