An international team of nuclear safety experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today completed an assessment of long-term operational safety at the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant in the Czech Republic.
The Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation (SALTO) review team was assembled at the request of the Czech Nuclear Power Company (CEZ). The in-depth review, which began on 18 November, focused on aspects essential to the safe long-term operation of the plant’s four reactors.
The SALTO team reviewed the plant’s organization and programmes related to its long term operation, including human resources and knowledge management. The conclusions of SALTO reviews are based on the IAEA Safety Standards.
The team identified a number of good practices and good performances at the plant that will be shared with the nuclear industry globally including:
- A comprehensive Reactor Pressure Vessel surveillance programme;
- Active and passive radiation dosimeters installed by the plant in many locations in the containment area; and
- An effective maintenance strategy based on an engineering process focusing on the reliability of the technical system, implemented by the plant.
The team identified several areas where it made proposals for improvements to operational safety including:
- Rather than limiting the plant’s approach for the long-term operation to the 10-year licensing period, it should focus on the full time span;
- Management review and management programmes for ageing civil structures need to be completed; and
- Coordination between key functions and partners for the long-term operation must ensure that relevant documents, data and knowledge are being systematically reviewed, archived and shared.
The Dukovany plant management are committed to implementing the recommendations and requested that the IAEA schedule a follow-up mission in approximately 18 months.
The team handed a draft review report to the plant management. This draft report, including any comments from the plant and the Czech Nuclear Regulatory Authority (SUJB), will be reviewed at IAEA headquarters. A final report will be submitted to the plant, to the SUJB and the Czech government within three months.
The review team comprised experts from Canada, Finland, Hungary, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the IAEA.
General information about SALTO missions can be found on the IAEA Website.
A SALTO peer review is a comprehensive safety review addressing strategy and key elements for the safe long term operation of nuclear power plants. They complement OSART missions, which are designed as a review of programmes and activities essential to operational safety. Both SALTO and OSART reviews are not regulatory inspections, nor are they design reviews or substitutes for an exhaustive assessment of a 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 are to be voluntarily hosted on a regular basis.”