IAEA finds improved operating safety at Loviisa

19 February 2020

Fortum, the operator of the Loviisa nuclear power plant in Finland, has strengthened operational safety in many areas, an expert team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded. The team evaluated the plant's progress in addressing the findings of an IAEA review in 2018.

The two-unit Loviisa plant (Image: Fortum)

Operational Safety Review Team (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 IAEA in March 2018 carried out an OSART mission to the Loviisa plant, which comprises two operating 531 MWe pressurised water reactors that entered commercial operation in 1977 and 1980, respectively. That mission concluded Fortum had demonstrated a strong commitment to safety but made recommendations for reinforcing some safety measures. Follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme and are typically conducted within two years of the initial mission.

A five-member OSART team - comprising experts from Canada and Romania, as well as three IAEA officials - concluded a five-day follow-up mission to Loviisa on 14 February.

The team noted that several recommendations from the 2018 review have been fully addressed, including that the plant has increased the use of human performance tools to prevent work errors and has strengthened its regular reviews and updates of the severe accident management programme. In addition, Loviisa has improved its arrangements for emergency preparedness and increased practical training for staff in this area.

While significant progress has been made, the team said, further efforts are still required before some of the 2018 recommendations can be considered fully resolved. These include that the plant should further improve the evaluation and analysis of staff performance during the implementation of activities on site, as well as to continue to enhance the control and storage of lifting equipment and maintenance tools. The team recommended the plant also continue to improve its maintenance work practices.

"We were pleased to see the positive results of efforts and actions taken by the plant to address all the findings from the 2018 mission," said team leader Fuming Jiang, a senior nuclear safety officer at the IAEA. "The OSART team encourages the plant management to complete the remaining actions as planned and to build on this momentum to further improve its safety performance." Loviisa plant manager Satu Katajala welcomed the team's findings. "This gives us energy and confidence to continue to strive to further enhance our performance," she said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News