An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of nuclear safety experts today completed an assessment of operational safety at the Dampierre Nuclear Power Plant in France.
The Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) noted a series of good practices and made recommendations to reinforce some safety measures during the mission, which was held at the invitation of the French government.
OSART missions aim to improve operational safety by objectively assessing safety performance using the IAEA’s Safety Standards and proposing recommendations for improvement where appropriate.
The 17-day review, which began on 1 September, covered the areas of leadership and management for safety; training and qualification; operations; maintenance; technical support; operating experience; radiation protection; chemistry; emergency planning and preparedness, as well as accident management.
The OSART team identified a number of good practices that will be shared with the nuclear industry globally, including:
- The transfer of knowledge and know-how to newly hired staff through on-the-job training and mentoring,
- Employees’ innovative application of lessons from operating experiences at other nuclear power plants.
- A good partnership with the association of site contractors.
The team made a number of proposals to improve operational safety at the plant, including:
- Measures to detect and identify shortfalls in operational practices should be enhanced to enable timely corrective action,
- Maintenance practices for machinery used for lifting and rigging of loads on the plant site should be improved, and
- Analysis of plant operating experience should be enhanced to allow for better use of lessons learned.
The team comprised 11 experts from Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, as well as three IAEA officials.
The team provided a draft of their recommendations, suggestions and good practices to the plant’s management. The plant management and the French Safety 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 three months.
Dampierre NPP management expressed a determination to address all the areas identified for improvement and requested the IAEA to schedule a follow-up mission in approximately 18 months’ time.
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.
This was the 184 mission of the OSART programme, which began in 1982, and the 28th mission in France.