Guidance Notes for the Design, Construction, Operation and Abandonment of Pressure Vessels and Pressure Piping

Appendix I to the Guidance Notes for the National Energy Board Processing Plant Regulations

3 July 2003

Table of Contents


Interpretation

1. These definitions apply within the Guidance Notes for the Design, Construction, Operation and Abandonment of Pressure Vessels and Pressure Piping.
"Act" means the National Energy Board Act. (Loi)
"Board" means the National Energy Board. (Office)
"Canadian Registration Number" means a number allotted to the design and specifications of the boiler or pressure vessel by the provincial or territorial regulatory authority when they are accepted and registered. (numéro d'enregistrement canadien)
"Code" means CSA Standard B51-latest edition entitled "Boiler, Pressure Vessel, and Pressure Piping", as may be amended from time to time. (Code)
"inspector" means a person recognized by any province or territory, according to the provincial or territorial laws, or by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, as qualified to inspect pressure vessels and pressure piping. (inspecteur)
"maximum allowable working pressure" means the maximum working pressure that is specified by the manufacturer for a pressure vessel or pressure piping in the design and specifications accepted and registered by the provincial or territorial regulatory authority and that is set out in the report referred to in paragraph 26(2)(d). (pression de fonctionnement maximale autorisée)
"maximum temperature" means the maximum temperature that is specified for a pressure vessel or pressure piping by the manufacturer in the design and specifications accepted and registered by the provincial or territorial regulatory authority and that is set out in the report referred to in paragraph 26(2)(d). (température maximale)
"NDT technician" means a person who performs non-destructive testing and who has been certified in accordance with CAN/CGSB-48.9712 "Non-destructive Testing - Qualification and Certification of Personnel" or with ASNT-SNT-1A "Personnel Qualification and Certification in Nondestructive Testing" to carry out such testing. (technicien END)
"pressure relief device" is a relief valve, safety valve, or safety relief valve, and includes non re-closing devices including rupture disks, the capacity of which shall meet the requirements of the ASME Safety Code. (dispositifs de sûreté)
"qualified person" means, in respect to a specific duty, a person who is recognized by the company, because of his or her knowledge, training and experience to be qualified to perform that duty safely and properly. (personne qualifiée)
"Regulations" mean the National Energy Board Processing Plant Regulations, SOR/2003-39. (Règlement)

Part 1
General

2. These Guidance Notes apply to pressure vessels and pressure piping under the jurisdiction of the Board falling within the scope of the Regulations.

3. A company should register the design and specifications of pressure vessels and pressure piping with the registration authority in the province or territory in which they are located.

4. Pressure vessels and pressure piping should meet the requirements of the Code, within six months after the Code has been published, except as otherwise stated in the Regulations.

5. An inspector should inspect pressure vessels and pressure piping according to the Regulations and these Guidance Notes.

6. (1) Every pressure vessel should have at least one pressure relief device or other equivalent fitting set to activate at or below the maximum allowable working pressure of the pressure vessel.

(2) When two or more pressure vessels are connected by unrestricted connecting pipe and are used at a common operating pressure, they should be fitted with at least one pressure relief device to maintain pressure at or below the maximum allowable working pressure of the pressure vessel that has the lowest maximum allowable working pressure.


Part 2
Operation and Inspection

7. Pressure vessels and pressure piping should be operated, maintained and repaired by a qualified person.

8. (1) The fabrication, alteration and repair of pressure vessels and pressure piping should be carried out in accordance with the Code.

(2) Fabrication, if conducted in a province or territory, and repair welding of pressure vessels and pressure piping should be carried out in accordance with the welding procedures registered by the provincial or territorial regulatory authority.

(3) Fabrication, if conducted in a province or territory, and repair welding of pressure vessels and pressure piping should be conducted by a welder certified by the provincial or territorial regulatory authority to perform pressure welding.

9. (1) No person should alter, interfere with or render inoperative any pressure relief device attached to a pressure vessel except as allowed by subsection 9(2).

(2) A qualified person may interfere with any pressure relief device for the purpose of adjustment or testing in accordance with the company's quality assurance program.

10. An inspector should inspect a pressure vessel and pressure piping prior to initial use and prior to continued use after any alterations or repairs to pressure-retaining parts have been made. An inspector should make a report of each such inspection in accordance with section 26.

11. An inspector should inspect every pressure vessel or pressure piping in accordance with sections 13, 14, 17, 24, or subsection 16(1) and make a report of each inspection in accordance with section 26.

12. A person who operates, repairs or maintains a pressure vessel or pressure piping or any part of it should not inspect the pressure vessel or pressure piping for the purposes of sections 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 24, or subsection 16(1).

13. Pressure vessels, other than buried pressure vessels, that have an assessed corrosion rate exceeding 0.1 mm of metal loss per year should be inspected either

a) (i) externally, at least once every year; and

(ii) internally,

(A) at least once every two years; or

(B) at least once every three years if ultrasonic thickness measurements are performed annually by an NDT technician on representative locations of the pressure vessel;

or

(b) as determined by the program referred to in subsection 16(1).

14. Pressure vessels, other than buried pressure vessels, that have an assessed corrosion rate not exceeding 0.1 mm of metal loss per year should be inspected either

(a) (i) externally, at least once every year;

(ii) internally;

(A) at least once every four years; or

(B) at least once every six years if ultrasonic thickness measurements are performed annually by an NDT technician on representative locations of the pressure vessel;

or

(b) as determined by the program referred to in subsection 16(1).

15. If the assessed corrosion rate of a pressure vessel is zero, internal inspection would not be necessary. However, complete external inspections, including nondestructive thickness measurements performed by an NDT technician, should be made on the pressure vessel at least once every two years or as determined by the program referred to in subsection 16(1) and the following conditions should be met:

(a) the non-corrosive nature of the service conditions, including the effect of trace components, has been established by at least five continuous years of comparable service experience with the fluid being handled;

(b) the periodic external inspection indicates that the condition of the pressure vessel does not warrant any further investigation;

(c) the operating temperature and pressure of the pressure vessel does not exceed the lower limit for the creep rupture range of the vessel metal; and

(d) the pressure vessel is protected against inadvertent contamination, and there is no evidence of contamination.

16. (1) Sections 13, 14, 15, 20, 23, or subsections 24(b) would not apply where the company chooses to develop a risk based inspection management program for pressure vessels and pressure piping which provides reasonable alternatives to the guidelines in those sections. Pressure vessels and pressure piping should be inspected as provided by the risk based inspection management program.

(2) A risk based inspection management program for pressure vessels and pressure piping developed under subsection 16(1) pursuant to subsection 9(1) of the Regulations shall be submitted to the Board prior to its implementation.

17. Every pressure vessel should be inspected by an inspector more frequently than is provided for in sections 13, 14, and 15, or subsections 16(1) and 24(b), if it is necessary to determine that the pressure vessel is safe for its intended use.

18. For the purpose of sections 13, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 23, or subsections 16(1) and 24(b), the corrosion rate should be assessed from any actual metal loss observed since the most recently conducted inspection.

19. If a pressure vessel that contains materials hazardous to human health or the environment is to be internally inspected, it should be emptied prior to the inspection and the inspector should be using the appropriate personal protective equipment.

20. Wall thickness of pressure piping, other than buried pressure piping, that carries corrosive fluids, should be measured ultrasonically by an NDT technician on representative locations at least once every year or as determined by the program referred to in subsection 16(1).


Part 3
Buried Pressure Vessels

21. The installation of a buried pressure vessel should meet the requirements set out in Appendix A of the Code.

22. Notice of the proposed backfilling should be given to the Board before backfilling is done over a pressure vessel.

23. Test plates, ultrasonic thickness measurements, or other equivalent techniques should be used to provide an indication of external corrosion of a buried pressure vessel. The frequency of inspection should be at least once every three years or as determined by the program referred to in subsection 16(1).

24. Every buried pressure vessel should be:

(a) inspected externally before backfilling; and

(b) uncovered and inspected internally and externally at least once every 15 years; or

(c) as determined by the program referred to in subsection 16(1).


Part 4 - Reports

25. The company should keep and maintain reports of pressure vessels and pressure piping to which these Guidance Notes apply.

26.(1) A report of each inspection carried out under sections 10 or 11 should be completed by the inspector who carried out the inspection.

(2) Every report referred to in subsection 26(1) should include:

(a) the name of the inspector and the inspector's affiliation;

(b) date of the inspection;

(c) the identification and location of the pressure vessel or pressure piping that was inspected;

(d) the maximum allowable working pressure and the maximum temperature at which the pressure vessels or pressure piping may be operated;

(e) a statement as to whether the pressure vessel or pressure piping meets the requirements of the Regulations and these Guidance Notes;

(f) a statement as to whether the pressure vessel or pressure piping are safe for the intended use;

(g) a list of any defects or deficiencies the inspector has observed in the condition or operating and maintenance practices of the pressure vessel or pressure piping; and

(h) any other observation that the inspector considers relevant to the occupational and public safety and protection of the environment.

27. The company should keep readily available every report of inspection for ten years or the last two inspection periods, whichever is longer.


Part 5 - Abandonment

28. An application made by a company under section 74 of the National Energy Board Act for leave to abandon a pressure vessel or pressure piping should include the rationale for the abandonment and the measures to be employed in the abandonment.

29. The measures for abandonment should include a statement:

(a) whether the pressure vessel or pressure piping will be de-registered;

(b) whether the Canadian Registration Number will be removed from the pressure vessel; and

(c) that all toxic substances will be removed from the pressure vessel or pressure piping.

30. The method of disposal of the pressure vessel or pressure piping should be addressed in the application for abandonment.

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