Standardization in a nuclear facility
Introducing Marie-Caroline Ehrhard, of France
Marie-Caroline Ehrhard is an Instrumentation and Control engineer, at EDF Generation and Engineering, in France. Specialized in energy, electronics and information technology, Marie-Caroline also has a Masters in Environmental Systems Engineering. She is responsible for the I&C (Instrumentation and Control) system of the FA3 (Flamanville 3) EPR™ (Evolutionary Power Reactor) compliance with IEC SC (Subcommittee) 45A: Instrumentation and control of nuclear facilities standards for both hardware and software.
Her responsibilities also include EPR FA3 I&C systems and architecture licensing with IRSN (the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety) and ASN (the French Nuclear Safety Authority), again for both hardware and software.
International Standards are a pre-requisite
“I use standards every day. When I started this job I was very quickly introduced to the world of standardization. In fact one of my very first assignments was to read and learn two IEC standards – this was a pre-requisite for everything else,” explains Ehrhard.
“As a nuclear instrumentation and control engineer, my job is to present an acceptable safety demonstration to national safety authorities. IEC International Standards, more specifically SC 45A standards, are widely regarded as an international consensus of applicable requirements and state-of-the-art techniques. Consequently, the safety demonstration provided to both French and British nuclear safety authorities depends upon a demonstration of compliance to IEC SC 45A standards.”
Ehrhard is involved in the development of International Standards through reading and analyzing them during their review by National Committees. She also participates in the preparation of comments and technical input during the review stage.
Highlights from the General Meeting and the Young Professionals workshop
On the subject of the General Meeting in Oslo and the IEC Young Professionals workshop, Ehrhard said, “At the IEC General Meeting what I enjoyed most was the fact that everyone came from a different country. The cultural differences were enormous – it was an unexpected aspect which I really enjoyed. I also appreciated the attention that people paid to us, such as taking the time to explain everything and letting us sit in on important IEC meetings. Coming into contact with people with a lot more experience than I have was also helpful.”
Since Oslo, Ehrhard is working with other IEC Young Professionals on a project which covers providing pre-workshop and post-workshop support for future IEC Young Professionals. “This helps create a sense of community amongst us. It provides people you can turn to if you have questions about the IEC and its work,” she said.
A message to future participants
To potential participants of the IEC Young Professionals programme, Ehrhard said, “I would just like to highlight for future participants and their bosses that the question should not be: How much does it cost to be involved in standardization? The question should be: How much does it cost not to be involved and therefore to have no say on what standards prescribe, especially in areas where compliance to IEC Standards is mandatory?”