IAEA, FORATOM Discuss Management Systems for Nuclear Facilities
(Photo: D. Simittchieva/IAEA)
26 November 2013 | A sustainable and successful management system for a nuclear facility ensures that nuclear safety matters are not dealt with in isolation. It integrates safety, health, security, quality assurance and environmental issues, as defined in the IAEA Safety Standards.
Some 125 senior managers and experts on management systems met at the IAEA on 20−22 November 2013 to discuss how to adapt their systems to ensure a safe management of nuclear facilities in a changing environment. Representing 32 IAEA Member States, they attended the 12th IAEA-FORATOM Workshop on Management Systems: Journey to Excellence in a Changing Environment.
“Excellence means also openness and a learning attitude. There is no better way to learn than being independently assessed by peers from other countries and exchanging experiences,” said Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security.
“The nuclear sector is facing a changing environment,” said Juan Carlos Lentijo, Director of the Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology at the Department of Nuclear Energy. “Many operational nuclear power plants have introduced or are planning to introduce life cycle extension programmes and flexible operational regimes. They may also have to face organizational changes due to corporate fusions or liberal market demands.”
As an international forum for the exchange of experiences, practical examples and case studies, the workshop focused on three key issues, relevant to the sustainability of an effective management system: (1) Practical Solutions for the Integration of Elements in the Management System and Evaluation of its Performance; (2) How to Improve a Management System in a Changing Environment, and (3) Lessons Learned from an Emergency Situation.
“Management systems for nuclear facilities should not be static,” said Guy Parker, Senior Manager for Institutional Affairs of FORATOM. ”They need to be continuously adapted to the changing internal and external environment.“
Some changes have a major impact on how nuclear facilities should be safely managed. This may refer to regulatory oversight, security processes, integrating knowledge management or the development of a healthy safety culture in the management system.
Other changes may raise even bigger challenges, such as adapting the management system when an operating company decides to construct a new nuclear power plant. “Performing a decommissioning project in parallel with continued operation of other facilities on the site is also a major challenge,” explained Jan Van Looke, Chair of the Management Systems Task Force of FORATOM.
This was the twelfth in a series of workshops, jointly organized by the Agency and FORATOM since 1998, to raise awareness, increase understanding and promote the application of IAEA Safety Standards (GS-R-3, GS-G-3.1 and GS-G-3.5) for nuclear installations and activities. The 13th workshop is scheduled for June 2015.
The European Atomic Forum, FORATOM, is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe. Representing 17 National Nuclear Associations, with almost 800 members from the European nuclear industry, FORATOM is a very important partner for the IAEA in the promotion and implementation of its Safety Standards and its Nuclear Energy Series documents. The longstanding cooperation between the IAEA and FORATOM was intensified by a Practical Arrangement signed in March 2012.
Workshop web site: www.mstf2013.org