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Press Release 2014/16

IAEA Team Reviews Safety Progress at Bulgarian Nuclear Power Plant

27 June 2014 | Kozloduy, Bulgaria -- An international team of nuclear installation safety experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today completed an assessment of how the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Bulgaria has followed up on an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission undertaken in 2012.

Follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme and are typically conducted within two years of the initial OSART mission. At the request of the Government of Bulgaria, the IAEA assembled a team of experts to conduct the follow-up OSART mission at Kozloduy NPP from 23 to 27 June 2014.

The initial OSART mission in November-December 2012 made a number of recommendations and suggestions for consideration by the Kozloduy NPP operators, who developed corrective action plans. The follow-up mission team found that the Kozloduy plant had achieved the level of "resolved" or "satisfactory progress" in all of the recommendations and suggestions made by the 2012 OSART.

Areas in which the issues have been resolved include:

  • Developing written procedures for dose assessment from neutrons and performing neutron dose assessment for all relevant staff ;
  • Reinforcing contamination control practices and improving measures to prevent the spread of contamination; and
  • Establishing mobile off-site information centres for conducting press conferences jointly with off-site authorities, in case of general emergency.

Issues which have achieved satisfactory progress toward resolution, but need further work, include:

  • Finalising severe accident management guidelines for situations that involve open reactor conditions or spent fuel pools; and
  • Further improving analyses of the cause of events connected to human performance.

These issues will need a longer time to resolve, and the plant has scheduled actions to address them.

The team handed over a draft of its findings to Kozloduy NPP management officials in the form of Technical Notes for factual comments. These Technical Notes and comments from Kozloduy NPP and the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Authority will be reviewed by the IAEA. The final report will be submitted to the Government of Bulgaria within three months.

The team was made up of experts from the UK and the IAEA.

The review was based on the IAEA's Safety Standards and covered the areas of Operations; Maintenance; Technical Support; Operating Experience; Radiation Protection; and Emergency Planning and Preparedness.

Background

The IAEA conducts approximately six OSART and six OSART follow-up missions each year.

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

An OSART mission is designed as a review of programmes and activities essential to operational safety of NPPs. 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 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."