NWT PWR/Q-Chem Program

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 and secondary system parameters shown below. Three 250 ml bottles of each species 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. An extra aliquot of each sample is included in the original shipping containers for return to NWT if concerns arise relative to the effects of shipment. 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 lab@nwtcorp.com. Please call or e-mail for pricing details.

Report Form

PWR/Q-Chem Set 137 Report Form
Alternatively, you can fax or mail or e-mail your results.


PWR/Q-Chem Sample Description

Primary Coolant
Species Range
Boron 5 to 1745 ppm
Lithium 0.1 to 5 ppm
Fluoride 1 to 300 ppb
Chloride 1 to 300 ppb
Sulfate 1 to 300 ppb
Silica 10 to 1500 ppb
Sodium 10 to 1500 ppb
Magnesium 10 to 200 ppb
Calcium 10 to 200 ppb
Ammonia 50 to 1500 ppb
Aluminuma 10 to 500 ppb
Zincb 1 to 50 ppb
Total Suspended Solidsc 0.05 to 50 ppm

Secondary Cycle
Species Range
Fluoride 1 to 200 ppb
Chloride 1 to 200 ppb
Sulfate 5 to 100 ppb
Silica 5 to 500 ppb
Sodium 10 to 100 ppb
Ammonia 50 to 5000 ppb
Coppera (Soluble) 2 to 100 ppb
Irona (Soluble) 5 to 100 ppb
TOCc 50 to 500 ppb
Conductivityc 1 to 20 µS/cm
pHc 6.0 to 10
  1. Acidified with 0.15% nitric acid.
  2. Zinc is included as an optional analyte when Sodium or Aluminum is the selected analyte.
  3. Not in current analyte rotation.