IAEA sees improved operational safety at Golfech

21 May 2019

EDF, the operator of the Golfech nuclear power plant in France, has strengthened operational safety by addressing the findings of an initial International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) review in 2016, a follow-up mission has concluded. However, the mission made recommendations to EDF to reinforce some safety measures.

Golfech (Image: EDF)

An Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) on 17 May completed a five-day follow-up mission to the plant, which comprises two operating 1300 MWe pressurised water reactors. The five-member team consisted of experts from Brazil and Russia, as well as three IAEA officials.

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 follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme.

The team noted that the Golfech plant had modified the monitoring and cleaning of cooling water systems in response to a suggestion from the 2016 review and that significant progress had been made on several other recommendations and suggestions.

"We observed that the plant has shown a strong commitment and made noticeable progress since the initial OSART mission three years ago," said team leader Yury Martynenko, a senior nuclear safety officer at the IAEA. "The OSART team encourages the plant to complete all the remaining improvement actions as planned and to build on this momentum to improve its safety performance further."

The team said further work was needed to fully implement some action plans drawn up by the plant after the 2016 mission. These include that plant management should better track corrective actions to support more effective resolutions of issues on site and that the plant should continue to improve the quality of maintenance work. In addition, plant personnel should systematically use human-performance tools to prevent errors and the plant should more efficiently manage design modifications.

"As a learning organisation, we welcome the opportunity to align with industry best practices and continually challenge ourselves to keep moving the bar higher," said Golfech plant director Nicolas Brouzeng. "The results of this follow-up mission will help us continue our record of safe operations and ensure we deliver on our commitment to secure France's clean power future."

The OSART team provided a draft of its report to Golfech plant management and will submit the final report to the French government within three months. The government plans to make the report public.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News