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US NRC 1.180 testing

USNRC (US Nuclear Regulatory Commission), Regulatory Guide 1.180 EMC/EMI Testing

The Regulatory Guide issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission outlines a program for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) specific to safety-related Instrumentation and Control (I&C) systems within nuclear power plants.

This guide provides certain design and installation practices, testing procedures, and documentation standards to mitigate electromagnetic effects on critical safety systems and components.

This page pertains to the USNRC document, which continues to enhance guidelines on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing in nuclear power plants. For a deeper understanding of other nuclear equipment EMI testing standards, detailed information is available at the provided links:

Summary of USNRC RG 1.180 Nuclear Power Plant Equipment Testing

The testing process for safety-related Instrumentation and Control (I&C) systems in nuclear power plants is critical to ensuring that these systems can withstand and operate effectively amid various electromagnetic disturbances, such as electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI), power surges, and electrostatic discharges.

These tests are designed to validate that the I&C systems maintain their critical safety functions even under challenging 

Additionally, the USNRC 1.180 guide covers the control of emissions from non-safety-related systems that could impact safety functions. It acts as a key resource for NRC staff during regulatory reviews. The Nuclear Power Equipment test provides established methods for demonstrating adherence to regulations concerning electromagnetic interference and radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI), power surges, and electrostatic discharge (ESD).

These tests not only validate the design and performance of the safety-related I&C systems but also underpin their compliance with the necessary regulations.

By rigorously testing for EMI/RFI emissions and susceptibility, surge withstand capability, and electrostatic discharge resilience, nuclear facilities can ensure that these critical systems are reliable and robust enough to maintain safety standards under various operational and environmental stresses.

This comprehensive testing is crucial for verifying system integrity and the safety of nuclear power operations.

Nuclear Equipment Susceptibility and Emissions Testing Procedures

EMI/RFI Emissions Testing

This test aims to measure the electromagnetic emissions produced by the I&C system to ensure that these emissions do not exceed levels that could interfere with other equipment or systems within the nuclear power plant.

The testing involves quantifying the amount of electromagnetic energy emitted by the system and verifying that it falls within the regulatory limits established to prevent interference with other electronic devices and systems.

EMI/RFI Susceptibility Testing

The objective of susceptibility testing is to assess the I&C system’s robustness against external electromagnetic fields that could potentially disrupt its operation.

During this test, the I&C system is exposed to controlled electromagnetic fields at varying intensities to determine its ability to continue operating correctly without performance degradation or failure, thereby ensuring its resilience to electromagnetic disturbances.

Surge Withstand Capability (SWC) Testing:

This test evaluates the I&C system’s capability to endure sudden electrical surges or transients from external factors such as lightning strikes or internal factors like power switching operations.

The system is subjected to simulated surge events mimicking real-world conditions to verify that it can withstand such spikes without sustaining damage or operational malfunction, ensuring its durability and reliability.

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Testing

To determine the system’s ability to resist failures due to electrostatic discharges, which can occur when there is a sudden, rapid transfer of static electricity between objects.

The test involves simulating electrostatic discharge events to check whether the I&C system can handle such abrupt electrical discharges without impairing its functional integrity.

Expert USNRC Regulatory Guide 1.180 EMC Testing

In addition to USNRC 1.180 EMC/EMI testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including environmental and package testing such as temperature, accelerated aging, and ingress protection. Keystone has a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling.

Complete our request a quote form to get a jump start on the conversation. Have a question about USNRC Nuclear Power Plant emission testing? Contact us or call (724) 657-9940 and we will determine the best course of action.

Common Nuclear Power Plant EMI Testing Standards

IEEE Standards

  • IEEE Std. 603-1991: Criteria for Safety Systems for Nuclear Power Generating Stations
  • IEEE Std. 279-1971: Criteria for Protection Systems for Nuclear Power Generating Stations
  • IEEE Std. 1050-2004: Guide for Instrumentation and Control Equipment Grounding in Generating Stations
  • IEEE Std. C62.41.1-2002: Guide on the Surge Environment in Low-Voltage (1000 V and Less) AC Power Circuits
  • IEEE Std. C62.41.2-2002: Recommended Practice on Characterization of Surges in Low-Voltage (1000 V or Less) AC Power Circuits
  • IEEE Std. C62.45-2002: Recommended Practice on Surge Testing for Equipment Connected to Low-Voltage (1000 V or Less) AC Power Circuits


IEC Standards