Abstract Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) under commercial operation are under continuous demand to meet higher levels of performance and safety by NPP owners, regulatory authorities and the public in general. Maintenance plays an important role in achieving such a goal, therefore, many programs are being conducted in order to improve their effectiveness. A common link between these programs is the necessity to evaluate how maintenance affects NPP performance and safety. This paper presents the foundation of a methodology for a maintenance evaluation program based on maintenance indicators and how it is applied to monitoring the effectiveness of the maintenance at the Cofrentes NPP. The methodology is general and might be applied in other fields of industrial engineering, particularly in those activities which devote many resources to maintain plant equipment, and also in those with less but very critical maintenance.