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ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code

The ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) is an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standard that regulates the design and construction of boilers and pressure vessels. The document is written and maintained by volunteers chosen for their technical expertise . The American Society of Mechanical Engineers works as an Accreditation Body and entitles independent third parties such as verification, testing and certification agencies to inspect and ensure compliance to the BPVC.

The ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code contains 11 sections:

Section I Power Boilers

Section II Material Specifications

Section III Rules for Construction of Nuclear Power Plant Components

  • Division 1 Nuclear Power Plant Components

  • Division 2 Concrete Reactor Vessel and Containments

  • Division 3 Containment Systems and Transport Packaging for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste

Section IV Heating Boilers

Section V Nondestructive Examination

Section VI Recommended Rules for Care and Operation of Heating Boilers Section VII Recommended Rules for Care of Power Boilers

Section VIII Pressure Vessels

  • Division 1 Pressure Vessels

  • Division 2 Pressure Vessels (Alternative Rules)

  • Division 3 Alternative Rules for Construction of High-Pressure Vessels Section IX Welding and Brazing Qualifications

Section X Fiber-Reinforced Plastic Pressure Vessels

Section XI Rules for In-Service Inspection of Nuclear Power Plant Components Code Cases: Boilers and Pressure Vessels

Code Cases: Nuclear Components

Primarily, Sections, I, II, III, IV, V, VIII, IX, and XI specify rules and requirements for piping. Section II, V, and IX are supplementary sections of the code because they have no jurisdiction of their own unless invoked by reference in the code of record for construction, such as Section I or III.

Editions and Addenda

Code editions are published every three years and incorporate the additions and revisions made to the code during the preceding three years.

Colored-sheet addenda, which include additions and revisions to individual sec- tions of the code, are published annually. Before the 1986 edition of the code, addenda were published semiannually as summer and winter addenda.


ASME issues written replies to inquiries concerning interpretation of technical aspects of the code. The interpretations for each individual section are published separately as part of the update service to that section. They are issued semiannually up to the publication of the next edition of the code. Interpretations are not part of the code edition or the addenda.

Code Cases

The Boiler and Pressure Vessel Committee meets regularly to consider proposed additions and revisions to the code; to formulate cases to clarify the intent of the existing requirements; and/or to provide, when the need is urgent, rules for materials or construction not covered by existing code rules. The code cases are published in the appropriate code casebook: (1) Boiler and Pressure Vessel and (2) Nuclear Components. Supplements are published and issued to the code holders or buyers up to the publication of the next edition of the code.

Code case(s) can be reaffirmed or annulled by the ASME Council. Reaffirmed code case(s) can be used after approval by the council. However, the use of code case(s) is subject to acceptance by the regulatory and enforcement authorities having jurisdiction. A code case once used for construction may continue to be used even if it expires later or becomes annulled. An annulled code case may become a part of the addenda or edition of the code or just disappear after its annulment because there may not be any need for it. #Little_PEng

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