Forsmark nuclear plantAn International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation (Salto) team has completed a review of long term operational safety at units 1 and 2 of the Forsmark nuclear plant in Sweden.

The team focused on aspects essential to the safe Long Term Operation (LTO) of the two units, which began commercial operation in 1980 and 1981. Operator Vattenfall is planning to extend operation of the units for a total operational lifetime of 60 years each.

Swedish reactor operating licences are not time limited, but consent to operate is subject to a Periodic Safety Review (PSR) submitted to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) every ten years.

The Salto review team comprised 12 experts from Japan, Finland, France, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain, the UK and three IAEA staff members. It said the plant had made progress in ageing management activities and preparation for safe LTO since a Pre-Salto mission in 2016. It identified good practices and performances, including:

•    Participation in cooperation among Northern European NPPs on sharing spare parts procurement;
•    Maintaining the condition and availability of spare parts through optimum storage solutions; and
•    Planning initiatives that promote it as an attractive employer.

The team also provided recommendations including the need to:
•    Implement a comprehensive organisational strategy to ensure LTO activities are carried out;
•    Ensure an adequate process for setting the scope of LTO; and
•    Implement a comprehensive equipment qualification programme for all components important to safety.

The plant management said it was committed to implementing the recommendations and asked the IAEA schedule a Salto follow-up mission to Forsmark in 2021. A final report will be submitted to the plant management, the regulatory authority and the Swedish Government within three months.

Photo: Forsmark nuclear plant