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IAEA Review Team: France’s EDF Improves Operational Safety, More Time Needed for Further Enhancements

2016/45
Paris France

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said France’s Électricité de France S.A. (EDF) has improved operational safety by addressing all  suggestions made in a 2014 IAEA review but noted that some further work is needed.

The Corporate Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) today concluded a four-day follow-up mission to assess work that EDF has conducted in response to the  mission two years ago.

Corporate OSART missions review a utility’s central functions that affect operational safety on all its nuclear power plant sites.  This is done by objectively assessing safety performance using the IAEA's Safety Standards and proposing recommendations and suggestions for improvement where appropriate.

Follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme and are typically conducted within two years of the initial mission.

EDF operates 58 nuclear reactors across France.

"EDF has undertaken significant work to address the issues identified by the OSART mission in 2014, and we saw good progress  to  maintain high levels of operational safety at its nuclear fleet," said Team Leader Peter Tarren, Head of the IAEA’s Operational Safety Section. 

"Though all suggestions we made in 2014 have been addressed, we also noted that more time and work is needed for some suggestions to be fully implemented. We encourage EDF to continue its work to ensure sustainable improvement."

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

Several suggestions from the 2014 review have been fully implemented with measures including:

  • Enhancing evaluations to provide assurance that management processes are rigorously followed at all levels.
  • Improving the availability of public information on emergency preparedness
  • Widening the scope of the periodic safety review process to cover a broader range of safety factors.

The OSART team noted that satisfactory progress had been made on  other suggestions from the 2014 mission but that they still required further time and work, including:

  • EDF should complete work to enhance training.
  • The preparation of modifications should be improved to meet quality and programme milestones.
  • The analysis of events and associated action plans should be enhanced.

The team has provided a draft of its report to EDF corporate management. EDF and the French nuclear regulatory 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 French Government within about three months.

EDF management expressed determination to complete work on the remaining suggestions identified during the 2014 Corporate 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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