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IAEA Mission Says Hungary's Paks Nuclear Power Plant has strengthened safety, recommends continued improvement

2016/40
Paks, Hungary

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said Hungary's Paks Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) has improved operational safety by following recommendations and suggestions made in a 2014 IAEA review but noted that further work is needed.

The Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) today concluded a five-day follow-up mission to assess work the Paks NPP has conducted in response to the 2014 OSART mission.

OSART missions aim to improve operational safety by objectively assessing safety performance using the IAEA's Safety Standards and proposing recommendations and suggestions for improvement where appropriate. The follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme and are typically conducted within two years of the initial mission.

The Paks NPP operates four 500 MW pressurized water reactors in central Hungary.

"Paks Nuclear Power Plant has worked effectively to address recommendations and suggestions identified by the OSART mission in 2014, and we saw good progress in the plant's operational safety," said Team Leader Fuming Jiang, Senior Nuclear Safety Officer at the IAEA. 

"We also noted that more work is needed for some recommendations and suggestions to be fully implemented, and we encourage the plant to continue its work to ensure sustainable improvement."

The five-member team comprised experts from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the IAEA.

Several recommendations and suggestions from the 2014 review have been fully implemented with measures that include:

  • Improvements in the control and storage of maintenance equipment and material;
  • Enhanced identification and reporting of deficiencies of systems and components; and
  • Better management of chemicals and other substances.

The OSART team noted that progress had been made on several other 2014 recommendations and suggestions but that they still required further work. These findings include:

  • Reinforcements in safety conscious behaviour of staff;
  • Improvements in the operating experience programme; and
  • Improvements in contractor management.

The team has provided a draft of its report to Paks plant management. The plant management and the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority will have an opportunity to make factual comments on the draft, which will be reviewed by the IAEA. The final report will be submitted to the Hungarian Government within about three months.

Paks NPP management expressed determination to complete work on all recommendations and suggestions identified during the 2014 OSART mission.

Background

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. 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. 

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