QN 1 — NUCLEAR COATING SUPPLEMENT

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This supplemental procedure describes a method for evaluating the primary qualifications of industrial coating contractors that perform work in nuclear power plant and shop facilities that coat parts or components for installation in primary containment or other safety-related areas of light-water nuclear power plants. It defines a minimum standard for qualification.

The QN 1 procedure encompasses the field application of protective coatings for corrosion control and decontaminability of concrete, non-ferrous metal, and steel surfaces in service level I and III areas of nuclear power plant facilities. It also covers the shop application of coatings for parts and components to be installed in service level I and III areas.

The requirements of this procedure are intended to supplement the requirements of QP 1 (field application of steel surfaces), QP 3 (shop painting in a fixed facility), and QP 8 (field application of concrete surfaces).  Contractors seeking qualification to QN 1 (Nuclear Coatings Supplement) must first be qualified in good standing to the appropriate core qualification (i.e., QP 1, QP 3, or QP 8), depending upon the type of coating work performed.

Download the QN 1 standard here.

Program Requirements

To be certified by SSPC to QN 1, contractors must demonstrate competence in several key areas:

  • Audits
  • Control of purchased materials, items, and services
  • Document and data control
  • Handling, storage, shipping, and preservation
  • Inspection
  • Job quality monitoring
  • Measuring and test equipment
  • Nonconformances and Corrective Actions
  • Organization and Personnel
  • Procurement
  • Quality assurance program
  • Quality assurance records
  • Technical capabilities
  • Technical procedures
  • Training
    NOTE: Safety, health, and general environmental compliance requirements for fieldwork are evaluated in
    QP 1 or QP 8 are not evaluated separately in this supplement. These items are not
    evaluated as part of QP 3 for fabrication or paint shops and will be evaluated for facilities coating
    components or structures for installation in safety-related areas.

The evaluation process:
Similar to the other QP programs, the program guidelines are first evaluated through the required submittals that describe the contractor’s procedures, practices, and programs. Then an SSPC auditor performs an impartial, initial audit of the active job site to verify the use of the submitted practices and programs.

    1. Submittal or written application package
    2. Review of the application package
    3. Initial auditing of the contractor or shop facility
    4. Exit interview
    5. Evaluation of application and determination of the status
    6. Method of appeal
    7. Reconfirmation of qualification
    8. Revocation
    9. Qualification period
    10. Qualifying agency files

SSPC suggests that the contractor perform a self-evaluation using the checklist to be sure all areas are addressed prior to an audit. More detailed on-site audit criteria can be found in both the QN 1 application and the Internal Audit Checklist.


For more information please contact Brent Miller | Certification Specialist at 877.281.7772 x2209 or certification@sspc.org.