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IAEA Mission Sees Safety Commitment by France’s Paluel Nuclear Power Plant, Encourages Continued Improvement

Paluel, France

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said the operator of France’s Paluel Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) demonstrated a commitment to safety. The team encouraged the operator to continue implementation of its operational safety improvement initiatives at the plant.

The Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) concluded an 18 day mission to Paluel NPP on 7 October. The plant, located around 40 km from the northern city of Dieppe, is operated by Électricité de France S.A. (EDF). It consists of four 1330 megawatts electric (MW(e)) pressurised water reactors, which were connected to the grid between 1984 and 1986. The mission was carried out at the request of the Government of France.

OSART missions aim to review operational safety by objectively assessing safety performance of NPPs against the IAEA safety standards. Experts propose recommendations for improvement, where appropriate, and identify good practices that can be shared with NPPs around the world.

“The OSART team witnessed a strong commitment to safety by management and staff of the plant,” said team leader Yury Martynenko, IAEA Senior Nuclear Safety Officer. “After the review of safety operations at the plant over the course of the mission, the team made several recommendations to the plant management aimed at further enhancing operational safety.”

The 14 member team comprised experts from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the United States of America, as well as five IAEA officials. The team interviewed personnel, reviewed safety related documentation, and observed plant conditions to identify good practices and recommendations.

“The OSART mission was a useful exercise and the recommendations will help ensure a continuous improvement of the plant’s operational safety,” said Jean-Marie Boursier, Plant Manager of Paluel NPP.

The team identified good practices to be shared with the nuclear industry globally, including:

  • The plant management’s establishment of a collaborative employee strategy to improve plant safety and performance.
  • The development of a corrosion action plan to ensure equipment reliability as a part of a long term operation programme.
  • The establishment of so-called silent monitoring of emergency calls enabling medical staff to listen-in and be alerted to a possible medical emergency.

The mission made recommendations to improve operational safety, including:

  • The plant management should ensure that plant employees comply with plant operational requirements and standards for industrial safety and human performance at all times.
  • The plant work control process should support the timely completion and effectiveness of preventive maintenance to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the plant.
  • The plant’s operating experience programme should ensure that safety related events are adequately categorized, analyzed and followed up with effective corrective actions to prevent any recurrence.

The team provided a draft report of the mission to the plant management, which will have the opportunity to make factual comments. These comments will be reviewed by the IAEA and the final report will be submitted to the Government of France within three months.


More 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.

The IAEA Safety Standards provide a robust framework of fundamental principles, requirements, and guidance to ensure safety. They reflect an international consensus and serve as a global reference for protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

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