Making Nuclear Power Plants Safer – Final Coordination Meeting of Regional Project Takes Place

Meeting participants during a discussion. (Photo: J. Krickl/IAEA)

National counterparts from Brazil, Mexico and Argentina gathered this week at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, to participate in the Final Coordination Meeting of regional project RLA9080, ‘Enhancing Nuclear Power Plant Life Management and Safety Culture Practices’.

During the meeting, the four counterparts, representing the three nuclear power plant (NPP) operators in Latin America and a technical support organization (CNEA), discussed the impact and reviewed the work plan of the ongoing project, supported by Secretariat staff. The coordination meeting also served as a platform to agree on and complete the design of a regional project proposed for the 2018–2019 technical cooperation programme cycle.

Both the current and future project focus on giving plant managers and decision makers the tools to ensure acceptable standards for the safe operation of NPPs at each stage of their life cycle, including ageing management and long-term operation according to the IAEA Safety Standards and international best practices. The design of the future project is intended to give continuity to related activities and to expand the impact in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Group photo of the meeting participants. (Photo: J. Krickl/IAEA)

Mr Luis Longoria, Director of the Division for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Department of Technical Cooperation, highlighted that, for the past couple of decades, there has been a change of emphasis in the world of nuclear power, from building new NPPs to taking measures to optimize the life cycle of operational plants. He noted that Latin America has not been an exception. The IAEA technical cooperation programme aims  to support the efforts of the the Latin American NPPs, regulatory authorities and technical support institutions to enhance plant life management for safe and reliable long term operation, as well as to establish a culture of safety and leadership among the staff of nuclear power plants.

The successful implementation of the regional project RLA9080 is a measurable and very practical step in reaching that goal.