IAEA notes improved operational safety at EDF

11 November 2016

French nuclear power plant operator EDF has improved operational safety over the past two years, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, it noted that more time is needed for further enhancements to be made.

The IAEA completed a corporate Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission to review the corporate performance of the French utility in December 2014. The team noted several good practices at EDF and proposed suggestions to strengthen some safety measures.

IAEA's OSART review process usually involves in-depth reviews of operational safety performance at nuclear power plants. However, the purpose of a corporate OSART mission is to review the centralized functions of the corporate organization of a utility with multiple nuclear plant sites that affect all the operational safety aspects of these facilities.

The OSART review of EDF covered aspects related to corporate management, independent oversight, human resources, communication, maintenance, technical support, operating experience, chemistry, emergency planning and preparedness, and severe accident management. These were compared with recommendations made in the IAEA's Safety Standards.

A follow-up four-day OSART mission to assess work that EDF has conducted in response to the previous mission concluded yesterday.

Peter Tarren, head of the IAEA's operational safety section and leader of the mission, said: "EDF has undertaken significant work to address the issues identified by the OSART mission in 2014, and we saw good progress to maintain high levels of operational safety at its nuclear fleet."

The four-member OSART team said, since the 2014 review, EDF had introduced several measures to meet suggestions made by the original mission team. These include: ensuring management processes are rigorously followed at all levels; improving the availability of public information on emergency preparedness; and, widening the scope of the periodic safety review process to cover a broader range of safety factors.

However, Tarren added, "Though all suggestions we made in 2014 have been addressed, we also noted that more time and work is needed for some suggestions to be fully implemented. We encourage EDF to continue its work to ensure sustainable improvement."

The team said EDF required further time and work to enhance training. It also said EDF's preparation of modifications should be improved to meet quality and program milestones. In addition, the utility should enhance its analysis of events and associated action plans.

The OSART team has provided a draft of its report to EDF management and will submit its final report to the French government within about three months.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News