IAEA sees safety commitment at EDF's Bugey plant

19 October 2017

EDF's Bugey nuclear power plant in eastern France has demonstrated a commitment to safety, an expert team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded. However, the mission identified areas for further improvement.

Bugey plant - 460 (EDF)
The four-unit Bugey plant (Image: EDF)

An Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) today completed a 17-day mission to the plant, which comprises four 900 MWe pressurised water reactors. The 15-member team consisted of experts from Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Ukraine, the USA, as well as three IAEA experts.

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 review at Bugey covered areas of leadership and management for safety; training and qualification; operations; maintenance; technical support; operating experience; radiation protection; chemistry; emergency planning and preparedness; accident management; human, technology and organisation interactions; and long-term operation.

The OSART team said it identified a number of good practices at the Bugey plant that will be shared with the nuclear industry globally. These include the use of 3D digital technologies in an innovative way to enhance the training and performance of plant workers. The team also said Bugey uses an environmentally-friendly way of treating plant cooling water to remove scale and other impurities.

The mission also made a number of recommendations to improve operational safety at Bugey, including the plant strengthening its control over revision and application of plant operational documents. The plant should also evaluate the effectiveness of its operational experience program. The team also recommends the plant should improve preparation and conduct of its maintenance activities to optimise plant performance and further improve equipment reliability.

Team leader Vesselina Ranguelova, a senior nuclear safety officer at the IAEA, said: "The staff at the Bugey nuclear power plant apply a rigorous approach to ensure the plant is operated in a safe and reliable manner, and are currently implementing a comprehensive modernisation program. The OSART team's recommendations and suggestions will help further improve the plant's operational safety, and we also identified good practices that can help improve safety worldwide, if applied by other operators."

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

Bugey plant director Pierre Boyer said, "The input from this OSART mission is very valuable for the plant. We are committed to implementing the necessary actions to address our areas for improvement in an effective manner."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News