An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) team of experts have completed a five day mission to France’s Civaux NPP. The mission, carried out at the request of Fench government, concluded that the plant had strengthened operational safety by addressing the findings of an IAEA review which took place in 2019.

The plant, operated by Électricité de France (EDF), comprises two 1450MWe units with pressurised water reactors. The units were connected to the grid between 1997 and 1999. France’s 56 nuclear power reactors supply more than 70% percent of France’s electricity.

“Over the past three years, the plant staff made significant efforts to improve operational safety at Civaux NPP by responding to the recommendations and suggestions by the OSART team during the OSART mission in 2019,” said team leader Yury Martynenko, IAEA Senior Nuclear Safety Officer. “This is an indication of a commitment by EDF and the Civaux NPP’s management and personnel to continuously improving their nuclear safety performance.”

The five-member team comprised two experts from the United Arab Emirates, as well as three IAEA officials. The team observed that several findings from the mission in 2019 were fully addressed and resolved, including by implementing improvements in the following areas:

  • The effectiveness and timeliness of corrective actions related to the implementation and use of operating experience;
  • The extension of the scope of the practical training, exercises and drills for the personnel involved in the implementation of the severe accident management guidelines;
  • The vigilance of all personnel to potential fire hazards to ensure compliance with existing prevention measures.

The team noted that further enhancements are required to fully address some other findings from the mission in 2019, including in the following areas:

  • The processes and practices to manage temporary modifications limited in time and in number;
  • The foreign material exclusion programme to eliminate the risk of foreign objects entering plant equipment and systems;
  • The upgrade of full scope simulator modelling to ensure control room operators are provided with a realistic training.

The team provided a draft report of the mission to the plant management. They will have the opportunity to make factual comments on the draft. These comments will be reviewed by the IAEA and the final report will be submitted to the Government of France within three months.