An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation (Salto) team has completed a review of long-term operational safety of unit 1 at the Angra NPP in Brazil. The follow-up mission, requested by plant operator Eletrobras, reviewed the Angra NPP’s follow-up actions in response to recommendations and suggestions made during an IAEA Pre-Salto mission in 2018.
The review focused on aspects essential to the safe Long Term Operation (LTO) of Angra 1, which began commercial operation in 1985. Eletronuclear, which has two reactors in operation and one under construction, is preparing a licence renewal application to extend the operating lifetime of unit 1 from 40 to 60 years. The Salto team comprised four experts – from Argentina, Slovenia, and two from Sweden – and two IAEA staff members.
“Based on its efforts to address recommendations made by the SALTO team in 2018, the plant has made significant improvements in the area of ageing management,” said team leader and IAEA Nuclear Safety Officer Martin Marchena. “The Salto team encourages plant management to address the remaining findings from the 2018 mission and implement all activities for safe LTO.”
The team concluded that the plant had:
- Developed and implemented a formal policy and improved organisational arrangements for LTO.
- Completed the identification and revalidation of the Time Limited Ageing Analyses (TLAAs) used to calculate material fatigue or corrosion over time.
- Completed the development and started the implementation of a large number of Ageing Management Programmes.
- The team noted that further work is necessary to ensure that:
- A comprehensive programme to confirm resistance of electrical components to harsh conditions, called equipment qualification, is fully implemented.
- Long term workforce planning for the period of LTO is developed and implemented.
Plant management expressed a determination to address the areas identified for improvement and to invite a full scope Salto mission in 2023.
“We have worked together with the IAEA for the past four years carrying out several workshops and technical support missions, also sending our engineers to actively participate in review missions, working groups and technical meetings,” said João Carlos, Angra NPP Site Director. “We appreciate the IAEA’s support of our plant in managing ageing and preparation for safe LTO, and we will continue to improve our processes to further comply with IAEA safety standards.”
The team provided a draft report to the plant management and to Brazil’s regulatory authority at the end of the mission. They will have an opportunity to make factual comments on the draft. A final report will be submitted to the plant management, the Regulatory Authority and the Brazilian Government within three months.