Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation (SALTO)

The SALTO peer review is a comprehensive safety review directly addressing strategy and key elements for the safe long-term operation of nuclear power plants. The evaluation of programmes and performance is made on the basis of the IAEA’s Safety Standards and other guidance documents.

More and more Member States give high priority to the long-term operation of their existing nuclear power plants. A number of factors need to be considered to decide on the long-term operation of these installations. While many of these decisions concern economic viability, all are grounded in the premise of maintaining plant safety.

A Member State can request from the IAEA to provide a SALTO peer review service. Benefits of a SALTO peer review service are:

  • Review of compliance with the IAEA Safety Standards;
  • Recommendations for improvement to reach compliance;
  • Opportunity for plant staff to discuss their practices with experienced experts;
  • Strengthening of public confidence in the plant; and
  • Support with the licensing renewal procedure (or extension of operational permission procedure).

The SALTO peer review service typically consists of the following elements:

  • A workshop or seminar on the IAEA Safety Standards and the SALTO review method;
  • A pre-SALTO mission (more than one of these can be performed for a plant, if so required);
  • The SALTO mission; and
  • A follow-up SALTO mission.

The SALTO peer review service can be carried out at any time during the lifetime of a nuclear power plant. However, the most suitable time lies within the last 10 years of the originally foreseen life time of the plant.

The peer review service addresses the following areas:

  • Organization and functions, current licensing basis, configuration or modification management;
  • Scoping and screening, as well as plant programmes relevant to the long-term operation;
  • Ageing management review, review of ageing management programmes and revalidation of time-limited ageing analyses for mechanical components;
  • Ageing management review, review of ageing management programmes and revalidation of time-limited ageing analyses for electrical and instrumentation and control (I&C) components;
  • Ageing management review, review of ageing management programmes and revalidation of time-limited ageing analyses for civil structures; and
  • Human resources, competence and knowledge management for long-term operation (this is optional).

Pre-SALTO and SALTO missions normally run for eight to nine days. A typical SALTO review mission team includes external experts (usually senior experts from peer organizations) – these constitute the majority of the team – one or two IAEA staff members as team leaders, and observers from peer organizations.

During the mission, the experts will conduct interviews and site walk-downs, develop working notes for their area of review, discuss issues, recommendations and suggestions with the counterpart, and draft their part of the mission report. On completion of the review, the team members, under guidance and instruction of the team leader, will prepare the respective parts of the SALTO mission report, based on the working notes. The draft SALTO mission report is provided to the host organization at the exit meeting for review and comment.

The IAEA restricts initial distribution of the final SALTO mission report for up to 90 days to the Member State that requested the mission. After this time, SALTO reports are derestricted unless the Member State sends a written request to the IAEA requesting that the report remain restricted.

Executive summaries of all SALTO missions are available in the IAEA mission calendar.