IAEA mission sees the French Paluel nuclear power plant’s safety obligation and encourages continuous improvements

IAEA mission sees the French Paluel nuclear power plant’s safety obligation and encourages continuous improvements



A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the operator of the French Paluel (NPP) nuclear power plant has committed itself to safety. The team encouraged the operator to continue implementing their initiatives to improve operational safety in the plant.

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A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the operator of the French Paluel (NPP) nuclear power plant has committed itself to safety. The team encouraged the operator to continue implementing their initiatives to improve operational safety in the plant.

The Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) completed an 18-day mission to the Paluel Nuclear Power Plant on October 7th. The plant is operated around 40 km from the northern city of Dieppe by Électricité de France SA (EDF). It consists of four 1330 megawatt electrical (MW (e)) pressurized water reactors that went online between 1984 and 1986. The mission was carried out on behalf of the French government.

OSART missions aim to check operational safety by objectively assessing the safety performance of nuclear power plants based on the IAEA safety standards. Experts suggest suggestions for improvement where appropriate and identify best practices that can be shared with nuclear power plants around the world.

“The OSART team saw a strong commitment from the plant’s management and staff to safety,” said team leader Yury Martynenko, Senior Nuclear Safety Officer at the IAEA. “After reviewing the safety measures in the plant during the mission, the team made several recommendations to the plant management to further improve operational safety.”

The 14-person team consisted of experts from Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and five IAEA officials. The team interviewed staff, reviewed safety-related documentation, and observed facility conditions to identify best practices and recommendations.

“The OSART mission was a useful exercise and the recommendations will help to continuously improve the operational safety of the plant,” said Jean-Marie Boursier, Plant Manager at NPP Paluel.

The team identified best practices to be shared with the nuclear industry worldwide, including:

  • Establishment of a collaborative employee strategy by the plant management to improve plant safety and performance.
  • Developing a corrosion action plan to ensure plant reliability as part of a long-term operating program.
  • The establishment of what is known as silent monitoring of emergency calls, which enables medical staff to overhear and to be made aware of a possible medical emergency.

The mission made recommendations to improve operational safety, including:

  • Plant management should ensure that plant employees comply with operational requirements and standards for occupational 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 facility’s operational experience program should ensure that safety-related events are appropriately categorized, analyzed and tracked with effective corrective measures to prevent recurrence.

The team submitted a draft mission report to plant management, which will have the opportunity to provide factual comments. These comments will be considered by the IAEA and the final report will be submitted to the French government within three months.

background

Further information on OSART missions can be found on the IAEA website. An OSART mission is designed as a review of programs and activities that are essential for operational safety. It is neither a government inspection nor a design review or a substitute for a comprehensive assessment of the overall safety status of the facility.

The IAEA security standards provide a robust framework of basic principles, requirements, and guidelines for ensuring security. 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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