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Press Release 2012/27

IAEA Leads Operational Safety Mission to Rajasthan Atomic Power Station 3 and 4

14 November 2012 | An international team of nuclear safety experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today completed a review of safety practices at Units 3 and 4 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station in Rawatbhata. The team noted a series of good practices and made recommendations and suggestions to reinforce safety practices.

The IAEA assembled the Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) at the request of the Government of India. Led by the IAEA's Division of Nuclear Installation Safety, the team performed an in-depth operational safety review from 29 October to 14 November 2012. The team was comprised of experts from Canada, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the IAEA.

The team conducted an in-depth review of the aspects essential to the safe operation of the Power Plant. The conclusions of the review are based on the IAEA's Safety Standards and good international practices. The review covered the areas of Management, Organization and Administration; Training; Operations; Maintenance; Technical Support; Operating Experience; Radiation Protection; Chemistry; Emergency Planning and Preparedness; and Severe Accident Management.

The OSART team identified a number of good practices of the plant. These will be shared in due course by the IAEA with the global nuclear industry for consideration. Examples include the following:

  • The Power Plant's safety culture cultivates a constructive work environment and a sense of accountability among the Power Plant personnel, and gives its staff the opportunity to expand skills and training;
  • The Power Plant's Public Awareness Programme provides educational opportunities to the local community about nuclear and radiation safety;
  • The Power Plant has a Management of Training and Authorization system for effective management of training activities; and
  • The Power Plant uses testing facilities and mockups to improve the quality of maintenance work and to reduce radiation doses.

The OSART team also made a number of recommendations and suggestions related to areas where operations of Units 3 and 4 of the Rajasthan Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) could be further reinforced. Examples include the following:

  • The Plant should enhance actions to maintain electrical cable conditions at a high standard;
  • The fire doors inspection and maintenance programme should be enhanced to identify and correct fire door function;
  • Certain aspects of the Plant's surveillance testing programme should be further enhanced; and
  • The Plant should enhance root-cause analyses to systematically identify all learning opportunities.

The Rajasthan NPP management expressed their determination to address all the areas identified for improvement and requested that the IAEA schedule a follow-up mission in approximately 15 months.

The team provided the Plant's management with a draft of its recommendations, suggestions and good practices in the form of "Technical Notes" for factual comments. The technical notes will be reviewed at the IAEA headquarters including any comments on factual matters from Rajasthan NPP and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India. The final report will be submitted to the Government of India within the next three months.

This was the 171th mission of the OSART programme, which began in 1982. The Rajasthan mission was the first OSART mission to India. The Plant's management and staff were very open during review and discussion with the OSART team.

General information about OSART missions can be found on the IAEA Website: OSART Missions.

Additional Resources:

» IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security
» IAEA OSART Programme