You are on page 1of 15

Design Engineering

A Bentley White Paper

Hilmar Retief product manager AssetWise

Striving to maintain the nuclear design basis: What to look for in an electronic design engineering solution The Situation
When owner-operators first opened the doors to their newly constructed nuclear plants years ago, many had no system for finding and retrieving their plants design basis information. As a result, they had to spend huge sums of money to reconstitute their respective plants design basis. Unfortunately, most of these efforts ended up in a dusty back room, never to be seen again. Of course, to be efficient and safe, plant configuration management must be maintained, and doing so effectively means the plant design basis must be an active part of the design change process. In the 1970s and 80s, architectural firms created literally millions of pages of hard copy documentation on the design bases of nuclear plants while under construction. These documents contained valuable information, including plant configurations, specifications, calculations, and drawings. In many cases owner-operators were not given free and unrestricted access to these sources, but rather had to specifically request and pay for the information. The information the owner-operators received often was in fragmented pieces, stored only on paper or in illegible proprietary formats. During and right after start-up, most plant owner-operators could contact the design engineers who worked on the plant to get information. Through this tribal knowledge, a second generation of engineers could find and use the design basis information. But as time passed, this knowledge typically degenerated, and nuclear plant owner-operators struggled to teach new engineers how to find and use the design basis information. One remedy many owner-operators used was to extract the pertinent information and create their own applications to make the applicable design basis information available. This ensured their plant configuration would be maintained and accessible for personnel to use in everyday plant operation. As a result, almost every plant had its own proprietary applications and repositories of information, spread across multiple software platforms. Finding and consolidating this information into a single focused dataset is complex and labor-intensive. Moreover, it is extremely error prone and completely depends on the consumer of the information to ensure that it is complete and accurate. From a plant perspective, these factors create many ongoing enterprise information management issues, including rework, project delays, and potential adverse findings from industry regulatory agencies. While the information management revolution is already in its second iteration, it isnt really at the top of most plant operators priority lists. An industry oversight organization has found multiple areas for improvement items, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has identified findings for various aspects relating to information accuracy and usage.

Design Engineering

Sometimes nuclear plant managers fail to see the forest for the trees. Day-to-day information management challenges seem overwhelming, and the obvious strategy of implementing a well-defined and managed enterprise information system is often neglected. The main challenge is the ability to comprehensively manage changing information throughout the facilitys lifecycle. The operational goal is to enable engineers to easily access accurate, up-to-date design basis information and make necessary document changes to maintain plant configuration. Superior enterprise information management results in seamless business processes that support plant personnel to effectively manage the facility. This white paper focuses specifically on the design engineering process and how a consolidated information management practice can increase efficiency, while reducing rework due to field change notices (FCNs) and regulatory findings. This information access challenge applies to various processes in the daily operation of a nuclear plant, including the origination (training and qualification), creation, approval, and closeout processes involved in design change packages (DCPs). DCPs define the scope of work and consolidate the engineering products necessary to effect changes in the physical plant, manage material equivalency, and apply administrative changes and corrections. (Continued on page 4.)

Regulatory Agency Standards for Design Engineering

10CFR 50 Appendix B Quality Assurance Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants and Fuel Reprocessing Plants 10CFR 50 Appendix B is the Code of Federal Regulations that establishes the Quality requirements for various aspects of the Commercial Nuclear Power Program. Within this regulation, Criterion III specifically addresses design control and includes the following measures: Applicable regulatory requirements and the design basis must be correctly translated into specifications, drawings, procedures, and instructions. Provisions must be included to assure that appropriate quality standards are specified and included in design documents and that deviations from these standards are controlled. A review and selection process must be put in place to identify suitable materials, including parts, equipment, and processes that are essential to the safety-related functions of the structures, systems, and components. Design interfaces must be identified and controlled, and coordinated among participating design organizations. This includes establishing procedures among participating design organizations for the review, approval, release, distribution, and revision of documents involving design interfaces.

Design Engineering

Design control must include a process to verify or check the adequacy of designs, either through design reviews, by the use of alternate or simplified calculational methods, or by the performance of a suitable testing program. This verification process may be completed by personnel from the same organization, but not by those who were involved in the development of the original design. Design control should be applied to items including: reactor physics, stress, thermal, hydraulic, and accident analyses; compatibility of materials; accessibility for inservice inspection, maintenance, and repair; and delineation of acceptance criteria for inspections and tests. Design changes, including field changes, must be subjected to design control measures equivalent to those applied to the original design. They must also be approved by the organization that performed the original design unless the applicant designates another responsible organization. ANSI N45.2.11 Developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) ANSI N45.2.11 is the primary industry standard most plants have adopted and committed to, and discusses all aspects of the design control process in general detail from developing the design inputs and functional requirements to the implementation and closeout of the change. It discusses the documentation requirements and the requirements of the business relationship between the plant and the many outside organizations involved in the design process.

Even in todays so-called information age where powerful information processing platforms exist, an electronic design change process is almost unheard of.

Design Engineering Regulations Establishing the Goals of an Electronic System

Before the issuance of industry regulations, there was very little specific guidance related to the management of engineering changes. Even in todays so-called information age where powerful information processing platforms exist, an electronic design change process is almost unheard of. While many plant operators claim they conduct electronic design change packages, the information and processing of these changes are fragmented, offering very little assistance to the design engineer responsible for preparing, reviewing, and coordinating the impact of the design change and performing the closeout process. In most cases, drawing management, calculation revisions, system, structure and component (SSC) changes, and the closeout process are contrasting business processes, managed in isolation and by functionally separate users. Though nuclear plant operators recognize this is a problem, they are continually hampered by information that resides in hard copies, images, or in completely segregated software applications.

Design Engineering

Nuclear Software Tools

Literally hundreds of software tools exist to solve parts of the access-to-information problem. They include 2D and 3D CAD or drawing management tools, document content management tools, and work management tools. While a few SSC change management tools are available, most focus on materials management processes or manufacturing facilities. Some of these tools have been customized for nuclear facilities, but with limited success. They try to address the fixed asset management problems and related design engineering issues. But tools for more complex engineering challenges are few and far between. Indeed, proper modification package and cable management solutions are limited to two or three commercially available tools and a flurry of home-grown applications. Only sheer willpower and extremely rigorous review and approval processes can avoid engineering mistakes. While integration possibilities exist, these applications are designed to work in isolation and any integration normally results in the duplication of information and/ or business processes. These information silos do little to alleviate the information management problems described above. Only sheer willpower and extremely rigorous review and approval processes can avoid engineering mistakes.

The Design Engineering Change Process

The design engineering change process is not all that different from change processes used in other industries. Essentially the process includes the following basic steps: Problem Identification and Resolution Process Problem identification Analysis Deploying corrective and performance improvement actions Change Request Change impact analysis and technical reviews Scoping the problem and determining resource needs Change Disposition Resource allocation Design development and planning coordination Review and approval Implementation Effectiveness reviews, closeout, and baseline Note that this fairly simplistic change process doesnt include more complex issues like the effect of change, concurrent engineering, ongoing plant maintenance, and the interaction between engineering design products, such as redline or markup drawings,

Design Engineering

calculation change notices, and the as-built products. For the purposes of this white paper, we will examine the simplified process, but the additional complexities found in real-world situations only enhance the need for effective solutions.

Developing the Design Change Package

The design change package can be logically divided into three elements: Change request Change disposition Electronic workflow of the modification package and applicable changes that are needed for the change disposition In brief, the design change package follows a prescribed path. The need to use the modification process at a nuclear plant is typically identified through actions needed in the plants corrective action process or by work request documents generated by the plant personnel or within the engineering department. These documents describe the nature of the problem, its priority and any other applicable user-defined information. The engineering department reviews these documents to confirm whether changes to the plant are required. In addition to these initiating documents, a change request summarizes the reason for the change. The information is then available electronically during troubleshooting and future design changes to aid in the research of problems in that area. Often, change requests define the scope of the proposed change. They are evaluated by the engineering change board for budgetary concerns and other factors before the change package is initiated. Other engineering products such as the written basis for the acceptance of the change, program review documents, and reference documents are then added after the engineering department approves the change request. It then becomes part of the change disposition. This compilation of information allows easier access to relevant information and is submitted to an established workflow for review, approval, coordination, and closeout. The information is then available electronically during troubleshooting and future design changes to aid in the research of problems in that area.

Change Request
The change request also has three key elements: The reasons for the change, mostly elevated through the corrective action process or requests for information, and directed to the engineering department; The scope of the change, which includes identifying the affected documents, systems, components, processes, and people; Change approval.

Design Engineering

A critically important, though typically manual, part of the change request process is identifying related components and documents that are indirectly affected by the change, but that could significantly impact the modification. For most plant operators and engineers this is an arduous and error-prone process of brute force research, comprised of a combination of keyword and other database search techniques. The search results often end up in another data silo, namely the modification summary form, which is reviewed, approved, and filed away in a document management system. The modification summary form is generally a paper-based form where engineers capture information about the affected documents and components, as well as any markups and change notices derived from it.

Manual vs. Electronic Design Change Process

Mu ultipl Data Bases Multiple

Domain Experts / Tacit Knowledge

Remote Knowledge Sources


With a manual process engineers must search through multiple silos of information, including hard copy files.


Paper Archives Resource Intensive Searches

Mu ultipl Data Bases Multiple

With a robust electronic design change process all relevant search information, including hard copy masters, are automatically identified and presented by the application.

Remote Knowledge Sources

Domain Experts / Tacit Knowledge Collaboration

Electronic Design Change Process Engineers

Paper Archives

Resource Intensive Searches

Design Engineering

An electronic design change process automates and streamlines these actions, where the affected and potentially affected components, documents, and processes are identified through established relationships and made available as a comprehensive change effects analysis with a click of a button. In this case the modification summary form is a report rendered from previously captured and related information, which could be stored away as a quality record. Lastly, the electronic change request represents the entire population of as-built documents, components, and equipment affected by the proposed modification. The change request is then reviewed and approved electronically. The process generates an electronic approval report, which contains all the information identified in the scope of the change, the reviewers, and their electronic signatures.

The change disposition (also known as the modification package) represents the collection of engineering products used by the field during the actual implementation of the modification.

Change Disposition
The change disposition (also known as the modification package) represents the collection of engineering products used by the field during the actual implementation of the modification. These engineering products include construction drawings, redlines, updated calculations, updated component configurations, new and updated cable routes, and much more. Again, at most plants the creation, compilation, and approval of this change disposition, or modification package, is a manual, mostly paper-based process. Even if the documents end up in electronic form for the purpose of storing the quality record, the process for creating them is primarily manual and the search tools available are limited. Clearly, an electronic design change process transforms this effort into a single, simple, and streamlined electronic process. Using an electronic process fully automates the creation of the change disposition, including the redlines (markups), updated components (prototypes), calculations, and change notices. Moreover, a fully automated process does not require engineers to print and manually mark up drawings (though this is still an option). The software tool maintains the relationship between the original drawing, the change package, and the markup document. The markup is always available to anyone with the appropriate security access to view it, and to collaborate and add value during the markup process. Upon creation and collection of the necessary engineering products, the change disposition is again sent for electronic review and approval with the same rigor and detail as for the package itself.

Implementing an Electronic Design Change Process

The single most important factor for implementing an electronic design engineering process is to resolve and avoid the information silo problem. Information silos are often referred to as rogue databases, created and maintained by individuals. They include innocent looking items like spreadsheets, Microsoft Access databases, and even private copies of controlled documents and procedures. These data sources are not controlled or verified, and are often the result of an inadequate

Design Engineering

centralized information management system. Organizations can end up spending millions to consolidate these data sources, but if information management is not addressed from an enterprise perspective, the problem will return. The effectiveness of an electronic design change process centers on the ability of the software solution to assist in predicting immediate and latent effects of a change to the configuration of the facility, making it critical that the software solution include robust configuration management capabilities. The change effects analysis produced by the software should include information about those documents, SSCs, processes, and people that are directly affected by the change, as well as those business entities that may be indirectly affected (see sidebar).

Change Impact Analysis: An Example

A change to a pipe might affect one or more drawings, the connected valve, as well as one or more calculations. In turn, a change to the calculation could affect other artifacts that dont have anything to do with the original pipe change. Additionally, ongoing field work could affect the timing of the change and the availability of the required resources necessary to implement the proposed change. By implementing a software system that automatically identifies these elements engineers can save thousands of man-hours in labor and significantly minimize the risk of error.

Change Package Scope

In most nuclear plants today, the scope of a design change process is chiefly documented in an engineering summary form. This form contains a description of the proposed change, rationale for why it should be executed, as well as a summary of the potential impact of the change. While the form could be electronic, say in the shape of a web form, the process of capturing the scope is separate from identifying and integrating the information assets and physical items that will be affected by the proposed change. To achieve a successful electronic design change process with configuration control, the identification of the scope of change must be integrated into the design change process. This will allow continuous, accurate reporting on the potential effects of the change, as well as populate the design change package build process and package closeout.

Engineering Products
Engineering products, also referred to as modification documents, are those documents and SSCs created as part of the design change process. For instance, drawings, which are the most familiar, would include markup or redline drawings and drawing change notices. Modification documents, especially markup drawings, are copies of the original as-built drawing made during the creation of the engineering change package. These markups are made by, or provided to, the design engineer and are used during

Design Engineering

construction or plant modifications. Other modification documents, like change notices, are documents that dont represent a complete copy of the original, but rather a fragment or a partial copy.

Change Package Implementation

Once engineering products, in the form of drawing redlines, updated calculations, installation instructions, etc., have been created, reviewed, and approved, the change package is ready for field implementation. This process varies from plant to plant, but for the most part it is a manual process whereby clerks and/or engineers will print the elements of the package and distribute the package to implementation coordinators. The normal practice is to print most or all of the documents on multiple occasions the so-called T-week cycle. The intent of this legacy process is to allow field implementers and work planners to review the documents before the modifications are made. This ensures that the revisions are still applicable and that no changes that affect the implementation of the change package were made. Again, this presents a fantastic opportunity for improvement. Ideally, the notification of revision changes and concurrent engineering changes should be completely automated and the planner notified of the individual changes where this overlap might occur. This results in a proactive resolution identifying which changes would take priority, as opposed to a reactive response to a fully printed package. Planners and field workers are then free to print, view, or otherwise use and collaborate on the change package documents. Another improvement available with current technology is the ability to electronically distribute the change package to the field. In this case, a well-designed electronic design change software tool will have the ability to push the approved package, including all engineering products, completed forms, and related information assets, to an entrenched collaboration tool such as SharePoint. Planners and field workers are then free to print, view, or otherwise use and collaborate on the change package documents. In the absence of such a tool, any electronic kiosk serves the same purpose, such as a web portal or customized web application designed to allow plant workers easy access to controlled information like drawings and procedures. Additionally, with an electronic design change process, the information is integrated and visible to other business processes throughout the plant. The project management aspects of the implementation would allow field workers to seamlessly navigate the project schedule, collaborate on ongoing or future work, and add value to the implementation process without needing to understand a plethora of different applications.

Change Package Closeout

The change package closeout is often the most challenging of the design change processes. Change notices (documents that reflect the modifications as planned configuration versus the current as-built configuration) are a necessity of the modification process. Until the modification is implemented it does not represent the true configuration of the plant. Correct operation of the plant requires accurate identification of the plant configuration. However, the failure to update these change notices in a timely fashion after implementation can lead to regulatory findings.

Design Engineering


Many plants can attest to having received regulatory findings ranging from lack of rigor in the design change process and inadequate drawing management disciplines, to exceeding the recommended change notice count on calculations, among other findings. These problems stem from multiple sources, but the cost and effort involved in the closeout process are the most significant. Most documents, especially drawings, have very specific requirements in terms of their turnaround time from field implementation to release. For example, drawings with a class of essential, class 1 or A class have a mandatory 24-hour turnaround time due to their importance to operations. These documents are most often handled according to guidelines and dont get plants in trouble. The remaining documents in the closeout process have less restrictive closeout routines and are prioritized primarily based on cost and resource availability factors. The remaining documents in the closeout process have less restrictive closeout routines and are prioritized primarily based on cost and resource availability factors. This is where problems typically arise. The configuration department makes judgment calls based on whether the incorporation of redlines or change notices into the source drawings are worth prioritizing based on the potentially significant expense and dedication of staff. In many cases, they leave the change notices attached as a separate annotation rather than incorporate them into the source document. Unfortunately, a drawing with too many attached change notices is prone to cause errors. This happens because when change notices are not identified, it is difficult to determine what the as-built configuration is when change notices conflict with each other, or if they are of poor quality, or no longer valid. In this scenario, the users interpretation of the information becomes extremely challenging, and there is a high risk of making decisions based on incorrect or incomplete information. In response, regulatory agencies enforce an arbitrary cap, such as limiting the allowed number of change notices per document to five. However, a more effective and efficient solution is to implement an electronic design change process based on industry best practices. An electronic design change process with robust software support will provide a method of minimizing the risk by maintaining a controlled process where anyone can find the applicable design basis information. Most significantly, a proper change request and change notice infrastructure would allow for an easier and less resource intensive closeout process. An electronic infrastructure allows the establishment of permanent relationships between change notices and the source documents. This way, the outstanding change notices are visible and reportable, ensuring drawing and document accuracy and integrity.

Quality Records and Records Management for Change Packages

All nuclear facilities are required to review, approve, and store engineering products (as well as their revisions) in an approved records management system. The system must comply with the NRCs RIS-2000 regulatory requirements for dual storage, record continuity, and format changes. An electronic design change process must comply with these requirements, linking both the change and the requirement within the system. This frees the user from having to search for the specs in order to ensure compliance.

Design Engineering


Ideally, the design change process solution will be able to leverage the information already present in the records management system. In this way, documents created outside the regular engineering process, like training records, qualifications, procedure updates, etc., can also be considered during the modification process as part of the previously mentioned effects analysis.

Bentleys eB Electronic Design Change Process

Bentleys eB Design Engineering application encapsulates the full complement of tools needed by design engineers to perform comprehensive electronic design changes. Moreover, this process is designed to fully blend with eB performance improvement, document control, and records management, as well as asset management modules. This combination provides a powerful platform for engineers to initiate, process, implement, and close out engineering change packages. The design change management capability in eB was developed in conjunction with design engineers who experienced the very issues identified in this white paper. As such, the solutions provided by this application specifically and precisely address these problem areas. Obviously, plants are all somewhat unique in their approach to design change, but ultimately the problem set and the regulatory requirements are the same for everyone. eB configurable workflow allows plant operators to use this robust tool to match their existing nonelectronic processes, and its ability to create relationship links among information assets in disparate information systems ensures thorough and accurate change effects analysis. Through expansive consulting and collaboration with some of the largest utilities in the country, Bentleys eB Design Engineering application has been developed as a truly industry-wide resolution to a complex problem.

The Complete eB Nuclear Application Suite



Licensing, Requirements L Design Engineering Management Cable/Raceway Management



Corrective Action, Human Performance, Operating Experience

Controlled Documents, Records Management

The applications in the eB Nuclear Application Suite are designed based on industry best practices and guidelines from industry regulatory and advisory agencies.



Design Engineering


Bentleys eB Design Change Process: A Summary

The elements of any design change are made up of the following elements: problem identification, scope determination, package creation, and review and approval. Below is a graphic depiction of a typical design change package.

eB Design Change Process

A. Problem Identification

Action / Service Request

Electronic Approval

eB Work Order

B. Change Request

D. Change Disposition

Change Request

Modification Package

C. Affected Information Assets Prototype created from Affected Item

E. Engineering Products



Affected Item

Prototype Item

Mark Up created from Affected Document

Affected Document

Mark Up Document


A) Problem Identification: In this case we show a request for resolution (also known as engineering request for information RFI). eB can either use its own internal corrective action and action tracking capability, or interface with an external system. B) Change Request: The change request is used to describe the nature of the problem, its priority, and any additional user-defined information applicable to this phase of the project. C) Affected Information Assets: These are the documents and components that are directly affected by the proposed change. They are related to the change request and will eventually describe the full scope of the change. D) Change Disposition (also known as modification package): The change disposition encapsulates all the engineering products that will be issued to the field. The change disposition can also be configured to have additional user-defined attributes, including the engineering impact, whether it is a safety-related package, etc. E) Engineering Products: These are related or encapsulated by the change disposition and may be independently tracked through eB in terms of review and approval. Some plant operators prefer to only review the package as a complete entity and approving the package implies that all the engineering products were also reviewed. F) The Workflow Element: The eB workflow capability is used to track the entire package through creation, review, approval, implementation, and closeout.

Design Engineering


What to make of it all

As most design engineers can attest, the design change process can be simple or very complex, depending on the nature and scope of the change. Moreover, complex engineering elements such as cable and raceway changes, calculations, set-points, and equivalencies can complicate the process even further. Bentleys eB Design Engineering design change application was created based on input and best practices of facilities that face these challenges every day. Bentleys eB vastly improves the integrity, visibility, and access to all relevant information at the time it is needed. In these trying economic times, organizations seek technologies that lower cost of operations, increase operational efficiency, and reduce the risk of regulatory noncompliance to gain competitive advantage. Bentleys eB vastly improves the integrity, visibility, and access to all relevant information at the time it is needed. Bentley Systems would like to thank the following contributors and reviewers: Scott Clardy, supervisor, configuration management, AmerenUE - Callaway Nuclear Plant Janice Hoerber, IT supervisor, development operations, AmerenUE - Callaway Nuclear Plant Brian Masters, supervisor - design engineering, Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation Nick Olivia, general supervisor engineering, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group Laurent Perkins, senior solutions architect, Enterprise Informatics Ben Scott, supervisor, configuration management, CENG Fleet Engineering, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group Tom Stotlar, supervising engineer, configuration control, AmerenUE - Callaway Nuclear Plant

Design Engineering


About AssetWise
Bentleys AssetWise platform combines multiple information modeling services to improve the lifecycle management and operational performance, safety, compliance, and governance of infrastructure assets while increasing the return on investment for owner-operators. AssetWise enables operations and maintenance to take full advantage of information modeling and thus realize the potential of intelligent infrastructure assets. The AssetWise platform encompasses eB Insight, featuring powerful asset lifecycle information management capabilities to manage change and to control information throughout the lifecycle of infrastructure, and Exor, providing for the management and operations of linear networks including roads, rails, and utilities. AssetWise applications include SUPERLOAD, facilitating intelligent permitting and routing of oversize-overweight vehicles, and Optram, a decision support system enabling proactive management of railway assets. For additional information about Bentleys AssetWise offerings, visit

About Bentley Systems, Incorporated

Bentley is the global leader dedicated to providing architects, engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. Bentleys mission is to empower its users to leverage information modeling through integrated projects for high-performing intelligent infrastructure. Its solutions encompass the MicroStation platform for infrastructure design and modeling, the ProjectWise platform for infrastructure project team collaboration and work sharing, and the AssetWise platform for infrastructure asset operations all supporting a broad portfolio of interoperable applications and complemented by worldwide professional services. Founded in 1984, Bentley has grown to nearly 3,000 colleagues in more than 45 countries and $500 million in annual revenues. Since 2001, the company has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions.

2011 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Bentley, the B Bentley logo, eB, and eB Superload are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

Design Engineering