IAEA completes corporate review of EDF

12 December 2014

A team of international experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has completed a review of the corporate performance of French utility EDF. The team noted several good practices at EDF and proposed suggestions to strengthen some safety measures.

The IAEA said that the Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) - which included experts from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Slovak Republic, Russia and the USA - completed its review on 9 December. The team was assembled by the IAEA at the request of the French government.

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 plants sites that affect all the operational safety aspects of its nuclear power plants. While OSART missions to specific plant sites have been carried out since 1982, this is only the second corporate OSART mission. The first was carried out in October 2013 to review the corporate performance of Czech utility CEZ.

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.

The IAEA praised EDF for a number of good practices, including the training of new recruits, and strong relationships with stakeholders and experts through the company's outreach activities. The team also noted that EDF provides an array of emergency response resources and that there is strong independent oversight across the utility.

The OSART team also made a number of suggestions where operational safety can be improved at EDF. These include that EDF should improve its planning and documentation of modifications scheduled during a plant outage. It also suggested that EDF implement a new method to analyse safety events for its entire nuclear fleet and strengthening the ownership of this new practice.

A final report on the team's findings will be submitted to EDF, the French nuclear regulator and the French government within three months. The IAEA said, "EDF's management expressed a determination to address all the areas identified for improvement and requested the IAEA to schedule a follow-up mission in approximately 18 months."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News