Nuclear Power Plant
St ruc tura l Integr i t y Tes t
Most of the nuclear power plants currently operating in the United States were constructed during a fifteen-year period beginning in the late 1960s.
As part of the process of licensing a plant, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, now known as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, required a structural
integrity test (SIT) to demonstrate that the containment vessel could safely withstand the substantial internal design pressures. During this time frame,
WJE conducted more than a dozen SITs on containment vessels under construction across the United States. One of the first such tests was performed
at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Peekskill, New York.
The project is an early example of WJE’s testing and instrumentation work for the nuclear power industry, a service that became a mainstay of
WJE through the 1980s. This type of testing assignment helped build the firm’s instrumentation resources and established its internal quality
assurance/quality control program, portions of which remain in place today.
Notes of Interest
• After the crew of WJE engineers and technicians had
worked long days for several weeks setting up the
instrumentation, the actual testing was scheduled to
occur over the Christmas holiday in 1970. Since the actual
tests and acquisition of data were fairly routine, Jack
Janney volunteered to fly out to New York and relieve some
of the engineers and technicians, so that they could spend
at least part of their Christmas vacation with their families.
• In addition to structural integrity testing, WJE was typically
retained to perform an Integrated Leak Rate Test (ILRT) on
many of the containment vessels.
• In 1979, WJE performed an SIT and an ILRT at the Nuclear
Power Plant in Almaraz, Spain.
WJE 50 Years