IAEA-led Operational Safety Team Reviews Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant, Czech Republic
23 June 2011
23 June 2011| Dukovany, Czech Republic -- An international team of nuclear installation safety experts, led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has commended the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in the Czech Republic for its safety practices and has also made a series of recommendations to reinforce them.
The IAEA assembled an international team of experts at the request of the Government of the Czech Republic to conduct an Operational Safety Review (OSART) of Dukovany NPP. Under the leadership of the IAEA's Division of Nuclear Installation Safety in Vienna, the OSART team performed an in-depth operational safety review of the plant from 6 to 23 June 2011. The team was made up of experts from Armenia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, the UK and the USA.
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 Dukovany conducted an in-depth review of the aspects essential to the safe operation of the NPP, which is largely under the control of the site management. The conclusions of the review are based on the IAEA's Safety Standards and proven good international practices.
The review covered the areas of Management, Organization and Administration; Training and Qualification; Operations; Maintenance; Technical Support; Operating Experience; Radiation Protection; Chemistry; and Emergency Planning and Preparedness.
The OSART team has identified good plant practices, which will be shared with the rest of the nuclear industry for consideration of their application. Examples include:
- The plant uses an integrated approach to recruit, select, psychologically assess and train new employees. This approach has resulted in consistently high success rates for licensed operator examinations and the identification of potential candidates for various plant departments;
- The performance indicator for the Collective Effective Dose of Dukovany NPP has shown exceptionally good results in comparison with other Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) and Water-Water Energetic Reactors (VVERs). During the past three years, the value was less than 0.15 manSv per Unit; and .
- A comprehensive station blackout simulator scenario has been developed and implemented for several years at the plant. The scenario involves multiple off-site agencies and has a high degree of realism. It is used to practise and improve response times for power restoration activities and familiarize off-site personnel with nuclear safety principles.
The team has also made recommendations and suggestions related to areas where the operational safety of the Dukovany NPP could be improved. Examples include:
- Improving the effectiveness of using its root cause analysis method to prevent the repetition of events;
- Clarifying and reinforcing expectations regarding the use of error prevention tools and enhancing their application; and
- Ensuring adequate protection of emergency workers and evacuees following a possible radioactive release.
The plant's management expressed a determination to address all the areas identified for improvement and requested that the IAEA schedule a follow-up mission in approximately 18 months.
The team handed over a draft of their recommendations, suggestions and good practices to the plant management in the form of "Technical Notes" for factual comments. The technical notes will be reviewed at the IAEA headquarters, including any comments from Dukovany NPP and the Czech regulatory body, the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SUJB). The final report will be submitted to the Government of the Czech Republic within three months.
This was the 162nd mission of the OSART programme, which began in 1982.
Video and photos are available from the OSART Mission.
General information about OSART missions can be found on the IAEA Website.