RR912 - Management of ageing: A framework for nuclear chemical facilities

Managing ageing plant effectively requires a paradigm shift in the way that asset condition is regarded, assessed and maintained. The conventional approach to asset management is often reactive. The focus is on carrying out work that must be done now, rather than work that will prevent future problems. The result is often unanticipated failures, long backlogs of maintenance work and no time to carry out the preventative maintenance which would alleviate many of the problems.

To effectively manage ageing and ensure that assets operate efficiently and safely requires a proactive approach with a thorough understanding of asset ageing mechanisms and condition and the ways in which assets interact. Competency and organisation of the people responsible for asset management and knowledge management are the keys to ensuring that this understanding of current and predicted asset condition is used when making asset management decisions.

Since ageing occurs to all items in a plant, asset managers should manage ageing of all assets, but with a special focus on safety and production critical assets with a high consequence of failure. Non-operating legacy plant also requires management until it is removed. This report provides a framework of the competencies and processes required to proactively manage ageing of nuclear chemical facilities within the context of asset and safety management.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-23