IAEA Operational Safety Team (OSART) Reviews Progress at Swedish Nuclear Power Plant
16 December 2011
16 December 2011| Ringhals, Sweden -- An international team of nuclear installation safety experts today completed an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assessment of how the Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Sweden followed up on an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission conducted there in 2010.
The IAEA assembled a team of experts at the request of the Government of Sweden to conduct the follow-up OSART mission of Ringhals NPP Units 3 and 4 from 12-16 December 2011. Follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme, conducted 18-24 months after the initial OSART mission.
The 2010 mission raised various issues for consideration by the Ringhals NPP operators. During the follow-up mission, the team assessed that the operators have made satisfactory progress in a number of areas, including radioactive contamination control measures which had to be made more robust.
The team handed over a draft of their findings to Ringhals NPP management officials in the form of "Technical Notes" for factual comments. These draft notes will be reviewed at IAEA headquarters after receiving comments from Ringhals NPP and the Swedish nuclear regulatory authority, SSM. The final report will be submitted to the Government of Sweden within three months.
The team was made up of experts from Belgium, the United Kingdom, the United States and the IAEA.
The review covered the areas of Management, Organisation and Administration; Training and Qualifications; Operations; Maintenance; Technical Support; Operating Experience; Radiation Protection; Chemistry; and Emergency Planning and Preparedness. The conclusions of the follow-up review are based on the IAEA's Safety Standards.
The IAEA conducts approximately six OSART follow-up missions each year. This was the 106th follow-up mission conducted to date.
About OSART Missions
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. Experts participating in the IAEA's June 2010 International Conference on Operational Safety of Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) reviewed the experience of the OSART programme and concluded:
- In OSART missions NPPs are assessed against IAEA Safety Standards, which reflect the current international consensus on what constitutes a high level of safety; and
- OSART recommendations and suggestions are of utmost importance for operational safety improvement of NPPs.