NWT developed the PWR/Q-CHEM program in late 1984 in order to provide PWR nuclear sites with a technique to validate their analytical procedures and to assess their laboratory capabilities relative to those of other sites by analysis of blind samples. NWT developed BWR/Q-CHEM in mid-1987 to provide a similar service for BWRs. Both programs are supportive of the objectives outlined in ASTM International E691-14, “Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method”, ASTM International E1323-09, “Standard Guide for Evaluating Laboratory Measurement Practices and the Statistical analysis of the Resulting Data”, ASTM International E1763-06, “Standard Guide for Interpretation, Use of Results from Interlaboratory Testing of Chemical Analysis Methods” and “Guidelines for the Conduct of Chemistry at Nuclear Power Stations,” INPO 13-005, Rev. 0, October 2013.
Specifically, NWT provides chemical species standards in relevant PWR matrices on a quarterly basis to program participants. Blind standards are prepared from the key primary, secondary system and metal parameters shown below. Three 250 ml bottles of each sample are sent each quarter. Additional samples are available. Boron and lithium are included each quarter in the primary matrix portion of the primary coolant samples. After sample analysis, each site summarizes its results and analysis techniques on a provided form and returns it to NWT.
Results can be submitted to NWT using the report form. When the results have been received, a quarterly report is issued summarizing and discussing site results and the techniques employed for each analysis. Q-CHEM participants are identified by a letter in the report and the letter designation for each laboratory is disclosed in the report transmittal letters.
NWT also has developed custom programs for several sites. If the standard Q-Chem program does not fulfill all of your needs, we will work with you to establish a more responsive program. Please see the Custom Q-Chem Samples page.
Questions regarding the Q-Chem program should be directed to Mike Miller or Mary Hyde
at (408) 281-1100 or email@example.com. Please call or
e-mail for pricing details.
In 2019 NWT completed a review of the scope of the PWR/Q-Chem Program. Several changes were implemented effective with the 1st Quarter 2020 Set 142 Shipment.
The species under annual examination have been focused to be supportive of analysis of the key parameters for quality control of personnel proficiency for PWR’s listed in “CY NISP-201 Chemistry Quality Assurance Program”, Revision 0, February 2019. Sites must complete full enrollments in order to receive blind samples for use in testing all applicable key species listed in that document. Sites which do not participate fully by receiving shipments in all four quarters annually should be aware that they will not receive blind samples which cover every key parameter. Please see the tables below for information on the configuration of the PWR/Q-Chem program going forward.
|First Quarter||Second Quarter||Third Quarter||Fourth Quarter|
|Sample P.1||Sample P.1||Sample P.1||Sample P.1|
|Sample P.2||Sample M.1||Sample P.2||Sample M.1|
|Sample S.1||Sample S.1||Sample S.1||Sample S.1|
|Sample M.1||Sample S.2||Sample M.1||Sample S.2|
|Sample P.1||Sample P.2||Sample S.1||Sample S.2||Sample M.1|
|Boron||Boron||Table 2||Table 2||Table 3|
|Table 1||Table 1|
|Borona||5 to 1745 ppm|
|Lithiuma||0.1 to 3.5 ppm|
|Fluoride||1 to 300 ppb|
|Chloride||1 to 300 ppb|
|Sulfate||1 to 300 ppb|
|Silica||10 to 1500 ppb|
|Nickel (NOP)||1 to 50 ppb|
|Nickel (Shutdown)||0.5 to 5.0 ppm|
|Zinc||1 to 50 ppb|
|Chloride||1 to 200 ppb|
|Sulfate||5 to 100 ppb|
|Silica||5 to 500 ppb|
|Sodium||1 to 100 ppb|
2 to 100 ppb
5 to 100 ppb
|<0.1% Nitric Acid|
|Iron (Soluble)||0.010 to 1 mg/filter||Ion Exchange Membraneb||
0.020 to 2 mg/filter
0.040 to 2 mg/filter