hrl:’s Risk-Based Approach to Safety Assessment

hrl: Technology has undertaken risk-based inspection (RBI) at power stations throughout South East Asia and Australia to understand critical components with life-limiting issues and recommendation of extension of inspection interval where required in accordance with the local statutory regulations.

In many instances, the RBI leads to identification of emerging issues and an opportunity to develop a targeted asset management programme to identify required works and options for improvement, as well as develop budgetary estimates and programmes for such activity.

With a limited inspection budget, it is often necessary to optimise inspection schedules and resources through a risk-based approach, and the processes are used to better define the plant inspection and non-destructive testing (NDT) requirements to feed into the maintenance programme over the life of the station or to prepare for replacements where directed by the process.

Most importantly, the assessments are undertaken to ensure the safe use of at-risk components to continue operation economically and reliably until a scheduled outage.

As power stations are approaching their end of design life, power station asset managers are responsible for the continued safe operation of plants while maximising plant availability with minimum cost. hrl:’s independent risk-based inspections are equipped to identify the life-limiting component in a power plant for current and future operation

The opportunities are:

  • Minimise asset downtime due to forced outages
  • Maximise plant availability for revenue generation

Risk-based inspection can be used to:

  • Identify plant areas of concern for future inspection work
  • Identify components requiring replacement or repair for budget requirements
  • Determine effect on plant due to changed operating conditions such as cycling or two-shifting
  • Provision of a second opinion to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) directives for replacement
  • Assessment of return to service of damaged plant while replacement parts are manufactured
  • Assessment of defects found during inspections and known design issues with existing components

RBI provides the following benefits:

  • Provides detailed plant information
  • Facilitates informed decisions to be made about the plant
  • Identifies high-risk plant
  • Assists inspection programs
  • Justification for increasing inspection interval periods
  • Determines plant damage for current and future use
  • Assists defect tolerance assessments when defects or cracking is found
  • Provides a fully independent plant review
  • Assists plant risk assessments
  • Meeting insurance requirement

hrl:’s assessments are performed using current industry methods based on AS Standards, ASME, R5/R6, API 579 and British Standards.

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