Friday, 18 April 2014

OSART experts: Nuke plant Temelín is safe

23 November 2012

Temelin, south Bohemia, Nov 22 (CTK) - The Czech nuclear plant of Temelin is operated in line with the criteria of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and has no fundamental safety shortcomings, according to results of a recent OSART mission sent by the IAEA upon the Czech government's request.

OSART (Operational Safety Review Team) experts have proposed 11 recommendations for improving the operation of Temelin. In six areas, Temelin can serve as an example for other power plants, Pierre Gest, who led the mission, told journalists in Temelin Thursday.

"The mission has fulfilled our expectations, which are about passing experience in the nuclear industry. The recommendations do not mean that we do something wrong. They are meant to help do things better," Temelin director Milos Stepanovsky told CTK.

"We are completing a five-year project of improving the power plant (B15T) and preparing a new medium-term plan of further development. The conclusions of the mission are precious for us and we will reflect them in the plan," Stepanovsky said.

The recommendations for Temelin include focus on more effective reporting of smaller shortcomings and improvement in observing valid procedures to prevent human errors. The experts said that a high number of temporary adjustments to systems was in the Temelin plant, many of them without a concrete timetable.

"We at the power plant collect and evaluate many small events, analyse the data by areas and professions like fire protection, health safety and protection at work," Stepanovsky said, adding that one of the recommendations was that common symptoms should be looked for as they could be a foundation for feedback and improvement.

Zdenek Tipek of State Authority for Nuclear Safety (SUJB) said the mission had not found anything that would indicate that the nuclear power plant's operation was not safe.

On the other hand, other nuclear power plants could use the computer software raising the effectiveness of preparation for disconnecting the power plant's equipment during maintenance, as could be measures that the power plant is introducing for precise regulation of chemical parametres to reduce corrosion in the reactor's cooling system.

Temelin has been inspected by 12 experts from eight countries during three weeks. The inspectors focused on eight areas, namely organisation and management, operation, maintenance, technical support, feedback, chemistry, radiation protection and accident management.

The data acquired during the inspection were compared with the IAEA criteria and results from other plants.

Thursday, the OSART experts submitted the first preliminary results, including 11 recommendations and proposals for improvement and 6 examples of good practice, to the Temelin management.

According to the preliminary results, Temelin could, for example, introduce new practices in the management of work in the controlled zone.

The drafting of the final report should take about three months. The experts will then submit it to the Czech government, which had ordered the inspection.

Temelin will have a year and a half to put the recommendations into practice.

IAEA experts will arrive in Temelin in mid-2014 to check how the plant has dealt with the recommendations.

The international team comprised experts from Brazil, England, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine and South Africa. Fourteen Temelin experts were their partners.

The OSART mission was the 26th international inspection since Temelin's launch in the 1990s.

Last year, a 17-member mission of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) checked Temelin's operation.

The power plant's operator CEZ registered and evaluated 216 events in Temelin last year, 64 of which were classified as important.

According to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), the SUJB rated 17 events with zero (deviation) and one event with one (anomaly).

The first unit at Temelin produces electricity since 2000 and the second one since 2002.

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