IAEA Completes Safety Review at Czech Nuclear Power Plant
22 November 2012
22 November 2012| Temelin, Czech Republic -- An international team of nuclear safety experts, led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), today completed a review of safety practices at Temelin Nuclear Power Station in the Czech Republic. The team highlighted the Power Plant's good practices and also recommended improvements to some safety measures.
At the request of the Government of the Czech Republic, the IAEA assembled a team of nuclear installation safety experts to send an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) to the Power Plant, and the mission was conducted from 5 to 22 November 2012. The team was comprised of experts from Brazil, Hungary, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
An OSART mission is designed as a review of programmes and activities essential to operational safety. It is not a regulatory inspection, nor is it a design review or a substitute for an exhaustive assessment of the Plant's overall safety status.
The team at Temelin conducted an in-depth review of the functions essential to the safe operation of the Power Plant, which are under the responsibility of the site's management. The review covered the areas of management, organization and administration; operations; maintenance; technical support; operating experience; radiation protection; chemistry; and severe accident management. The conclusions of the review are based on the IAEA's Safety Standards and proven good international practices.
The OSART team has identified good plant practices, which will be shared with the rest of the nuclear industry for consideration of potential application elsewhere. Examples include the following:
- The Power Plant has adopted effective computer software to improve the efficiency of the plant to prepare and isolate equipment for maintenance;
- The Power Plant undertakes measures to control precisely the chemical parameters that limit corrosion in the reactor's coolant system, which in turn reduce radiation exposure to the workforce; and
- The Temelin Power Plant has a Technical Support Centre Manual to establish the decision-making process necessary to support the Control Room Crew in implementing Emergency Operating Procedures.
The team identified a number of proposals for improvements in operational safety at Temelin Nuclear Power Station. Examples include the following:
- Management and Plant staff should improve their practices to enable more efficient reporting of minor deficiencies;
- Power Plant operators should improve their adherence to existing human error prevention procedures; and
- The Power Plant has underway too many temporary modifications to the plant systems, many of which have no specific schedule for completion and could have adverse implications for safety.
Temelin management expressed a determination to address all the areas identified for improvement and requested the IAEA to schedule a follow-up mission in approximately 18 months.
The team delivered a draft of its recommendations, suggestions and good practices to the plant management in the form of "Technical Notes" for factual comments. These notes will be reviewed at IAEA headquarters, including any comments from Temelin Nuclear Power Station and the Czech Republic regulatory body SUJB. The final report will be submitted to the Government of the Czech Republic within three months.
This was the 172th mission of the OSART programme, which began in 1982.
General information about OSART missions can be found on the IAEA Website.
The IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan defines a programme of work to strengthen the nuclear safety framework worldwide in the light of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The plan was unanimously endorsed by IAEA Member States during the Agency's 55th General Conference in September 2011. The Action Plan recommended: "Each Member State with nuclear power plants to voluntarily host at least one IAEA Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission during the coming three years, with the initial focus on older nuclear power plants. Thereafter, OSART missions to be voluntarily hosted on a regular basis."