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Peer Review of Operational Safety Performance Experience (PROSPER)

PROSPER is a peer review service to promote at individual nuclear power plants the process and practice of learning from operating experience. It is part of the IAEA’s services for Member States to enhance the safety of their nuclear power plants throughout their operational life cycle.

The safety of a nuclear power plant ultimately depends on effective management and sound policies, procedures and practices, as well as on comprehensive instructions, adequate resources and the capability and reliability of the commissioning and operating personnel. A positive attitude and conscientiousness on the part of management and staff and openness to learn from internal and external experience is extremely important in enhancing safety.

PROSPER missions, which were established in 2000, consider all these aspects. Available to all countries with nuclear power plants under commission or in operation, they assess the effectiveness of a nuclear power plant’s or utility’s operational experience feedback process. The review considers compliance with the intent of the safety standards established by the IAEA.

Although these standards establish an essential basis for safety, the incorporation of more detailed requirements in accordance with national practice or international best practices may also be necessary. Additionally, some special aspects might need to be assessed by experts on a case by case basis.

PROSPER missions are performance oriented in that they accept different approaches to operational experience processes that represent good practices and may contribute to ensuring a good safety record on the part of the operating organization. Recommendations are made on items of direct relevance to safety, whereas suggestions made might enhance plant safety only indirectly but would certainly improve performance. Whenever this is relevant, commendable good practices identified at given plants are communicated to other plants so that these plants may incorporate them into their own practices.

Operational performance information assessed by PROSPER missions comprises:

  • external operating experience;
  • internal event reports, including internal low-level and near miss event reports; and
  • other relevant operating performance information, such as performance indicators and non-compliance reports on quality assurance.

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