The two main designs currently being applied worldwide for pressurized water reactors (PWR) are the EPR™ and the AP-1000®, respectively based on the Design and Construction Rules for Mechanical Components of PWR Nuclear Islands code (Règles de Conception et de Construction des Matériels Mécaniques des Ilots Nucléaires des réacteurs à eau sous pression, RCC-M), the French nuclear construction code, and on the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (referred to hereafter as ‘ASME’).

This paper presents an interpretive comparison between the RCC-M and ASME requirements for welding and non-destructive testing (NDT), limited to components within the ‘nuclear island’. Differences that might have an impact on manufacturing operations or on the long term integrity of the Class 1 welds are discussed. The results are presented in the form of text and tables. In addition, individual clauses are compared to establish if they can be considered equivalent and if not, which code provides the most stringent requirements.

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