FME Terms and Definitions

Posted by Tina Manning on

FME Terms and Definitions

To better understand Foreign Material Exclusion it is essential to understand the FME terms and definitions.

Breach – To alter the integrity of a system or component to the point at which foreign material can enter.

Clean Enclosure - A temporary structure erected around a work area to reduce the possibility of foreign material entering a system or component. Examples include glove bags, tents, cages, or temporary buildings.

Closeout Inspection - FME area (FMEA) inspection performed upon completion of the work to verify all foreign material has been removed from the inside of the system/component prior to closing system breach.

Complex Tool - Any tool or piece of equipment that has mechanical fasteners (nuts, bolts. Lock wire, etc.) that may fail during the course of use in a High Risk FMEA.

Drop Log - A list of foreign material known to have entered an FMEA during the course of a job that was not immediately retrievable.

Fail Safe Material - Any non-breakable item which is too large to fit through the opening into the system, component, or equipment. A Fail Safe Item must float if it is to be used over an open body of water. An item cannot be made "Fail Safe" by attaching a lanyard between the item and a person or structure. A Fail Safe Item is fail safe by its inherent design.

Foreign Material (FM) - Any material that is not part of the system or component as designed. Examples are dirt, debris, broken or missing parts, oil, slag, tools, rags, unapproved chemicals, machine tailings, lapping compounds, polishing wires, tie wires, solvents, grinding particles, paint chips, leak-sealing compounds, personal protective equipment, and any other items that could adversely affect the intended operation, components, or chemistry of the system.

FM Exclusion (FME) – The processes and practices for preventing the introduction of FM into a system, equipment, or component.

FME Boundary – A physical boundary around a work area with a barrier and signage that consists of rope, curtains, tents, temporary walls, wire fencing, tape, markers, or other similar materials. This boundary identifies the area as an FME zone. Radiation Protection Rope shall not be used as an FME boundary.

FM Buffer Zone – An area established immediately adjacent to a FMEA. This area is maintained free from material having a potential of being tracked, blown and/or falling into the FMEA. This area is controlled to prevent foreign material from entering the FMEA. The size of the buffer zone and the method of demarcation will be described in the FME Project Plan. Debris in the buffer zone is not an FME violation but must be cleaned/removed immediately upon identification.

FM Exclusion Area (FMEA) - A work area requiring specific controls to prevent the introduction of foreign material into systems or components during the performance of maintenance, modification, test, or inspection activities. The following two types of FMEAs are identified as:
1. High Risk FMEA: A zone/area established when a loss of FME integrity could result in personnel injury, nuclear fuel failure, reduced safety system or station availability, an outage extension, or significant cost for recovery. It is also established when a final visual inspection of internal cleanliness before system closure is not possible because of configuration, ALARA concerns, or other circumstances. Additionally, high-risk FME controls should be applied based on risk to systems and components for which the introduction of FM could be irreversible. A FME Project Plan (Enclosure E) may be required for this area based on an evaluation of the risk consequence matrix.
2. Standard Risk FMEA: Area established for breaches that do not meet the requirements of a High Risk FMEA but need some form of FME boundaries and controls. A final visual inspection before closure of the system/component is possible.

FME Incident - An incident where foreign material intrusion occurs and the foreign material cannot be immediately retrieved.

FME Monitor (FMEM) – A trained individual responsible for controlling the ingress and egress of tools and materials in an FMEA. The monitor might be either dedicated or working other assignments in parallel, depending on the scope of the task. Workers trained as FMEMs may perform independent work in an FMEA that requires material accountability and for which a dedicated FMEM is not necessary.

FME Project Plan – A plan used to address FME issues for specific projects. Project plans contain details about prevention concepts, training, task requirements, inspections, and FME controls required for an area or project.

FME Supply Stations – Cabinets located in the plant, outbuildings, and machine shop that contain FME Devices.

FME Device – A temporary device such as a cap, plug, or dam used to prevent the intrusion of foreign material into a system or component.

FM Control Log - A list (typically chronological) used to account for all material, tools and/or personnel entering and exiting an FMEA.

FME Worker - A person that has completed FME Worker Training and has the potential to introduce FM into a plant system while performing assigned tasks.

Housekeeping - Activities related to the cleanliness of the plant. Good housekeeping practices are a prerequisite for good FME control.

Immediately Retrievable – Foreign material that can be recovered easily and promptly after inadvertent entry into a system/equipment/component. If special resources (personnel, tools, or material) or a retrieval plan is required, the FM is not immediately retrievable. Safety, dose, and further damage to the system or the pushing of the FM further into the system should be considered.

In-Process – Components (pipe, tubing, fittings, valves, etc.) that have been withdrawn from the warehouse or pulled from a lay down area and are "in-process" to be installed in a plant system. During this "in-process" stage, the components shall have FME covers in place.
1. Examples of In-Process Activities: Weld end prep of pipe/fitting, tubing prep for compression fitting, bending of conduit.

Lanyards – Strap-like devices used to secure tools or materials that must be used in or suspended over open systems. Lanyards should be made of nylon, corrosion-resistant steel wire, or other suitable material. In all cases, lanyards must be strong enough to resist the breaking force which would result when the attached item is dropped.

Legacy Foreign Material – Foreign material found in plant systems or components that were introduced prior to plant startup or maintenance activities that were performed prior to implementation of FME Industry Standards such as SOER 95-01. These items should be tracked and trended in the appropriate FME performance metrics and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Line of Sight – A flow path, typically in piping, which FM can flow directly into the Reactor Vessel without passing through a filter or strainer.

Pipe Dam – A temporary retrievable blocking device installed inside piping systems to limit the spread of foreign material. A temporary pipe dam should meet the following requirements:
1. Fire resistant/fire retardant
2. Will not result in damage to the system or component
3. Will not cause any chemical reaction
4. Easily detectable and retrievable

Recovery Team – A selected group of individuals that are equipped to locate, capture, and retrieve foreign material in accordance with the plan specified in the CARD that identifies the introduction of foreign material in a system and/or component.

Refuel Floor Buffer Zone – A 3-foot area on the Refuel Floor surrounding the Spent Fuel Pool, Dryer Separator Pit, and the Reactor Cavity. The area is painted yellow on the floor and is marked with black lettering "FME BUFFER ZONE." This area designates an area of HEIGHTENED FME AWARENESS. Personnel shall avoid entering the buffer zone unless required to complete work activities. This buffer zone will not preclude Security, Operations, or Reactor Services personnel from performing their normal or emergency tasks.
1. The FME Buffer Zone may be traversed to facilitate completion of work activities. The Refuel Floor Coordinator may authorize short term storage of equipment in the buffer zone to facilitate completion of work activities. Long term storage of items in this area must be approved by the Reactor Services Supervisor.

Temporary Cover – A method for sealing and protecting an open system or component from the introduction of foreign material when the system or component is unattended. A temporary cover should meet the pipe dam requirements above.

Unrecovered FM – any FM not recovered (removed) from a system or component.

FME Material Control Log (Form MMA17002) – FMEM or worker uses this form to document material taken into and removed from the FMEA. When used, this form is to be vaulted with the work package. If not attached to a work package (i.e., refuel floor), retain this form locally in fire proof storage for a period of five years.

FME Drop Log (Form MMA17003) – FMEM or area coordinator uses this form to document material which is dropped during the course of a work activity inside a FMEA. This log is typically used for a large FMEA (i.e.: Drywell or condenser) where multiple work activities are ongoing and retrieval of dropped items is feasible during walk-down inspections and following the completion of all maintenance activities. If used, vault with work order.

Tool Inspection Checklist (Form MMA17004) – Form used to document inspection of complex tools or equipment prior to entering an FMEA. This form is predominantly used on the Refuel Floor for inspection of tools prior to entering the water of the Spent Fuel Pool, Cavity or Dryer Separator Pit. Comparable vendor inspection documentation may be substituted for MMA17004.

Wire Wheel/Wire Brush Issue Form (Form MMA17005) – Form used to track the issue and return of all wire brushes/wire wheels to and from the Tool Crib. No wire brushes or wire wheels will be stored or utilized on site without the use of this form.

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