IAEA concludes long term operational safety review at Forsmark

8 November 2021

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation (Salto) team of experts has completed a review of long term operational safety of unit 1 and 2 at the Forsmark nuclear power plant in Sweden. The Salto follow-up review mission was requested by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM).

Units 1 and 2 at Forsmark, both boiling water reactors, began commercial operation in 1980 and 1981 and entered long term operation in 2020 and 2021. Operator Vattenfall AB has decided to run each unit for a total operational lifetime of 60 years. Although Swedish nuclear power plant licences are not time limited, regulatory consent to operate is subject to a periodic safety review being conducted and submitted to SSM every ten years.

The five-person Salto team comprised four experts from Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland, and one IAEA staff member The four-day mission reviewed Forsmark’s response to recommendations and suggestions made during an initial IAEA Pre-Salto mission in 2019. It was completed on 2 November 2021. 

“The team observed that the operator is preparing the units for safe LTO in a timely manner,” said team leader Martin Marchena, IAEA Nuclear Safety Officer. “Basing their efforts on recommendations made by the Pre-Salto team in 2019, the plant has made significant improvements in ageing management and has shown continued commitment to preparing for safe LTO. We encourage the plant management to address the remaining findings from the 2019 Pre-Salto mission and implement all activities for safe LTO.”

The team said the plant had:

  • Updated the safety analysis report to support LTO;
  • Completed the analysis of surveillance data of the reactor pressure vessel;
  • Completed the development of a proactive obsolescence management programme;
  • Completed and implemented staffing policy, objectives and associated strategies for human resources in support of LTO.

However it noted that further work is necessary by the plant to ensure that ageing management aspects are fully incorporated into the design and configuration management processes. The plant management expressed a determination to address the areas identified for improvement and to continue cooperation with the IAEA.

"The review has assured us that we are on the right track for safe and reliable operation in the long term perspective", said Johan Börjesson, deputy managing director at Forsmark NPP.  "The results of the mission will help us to further develop and improve our abilities that will ensure safe and long operation at Forsmark."  

The team provided a draft report to the plant management and to SSM at the end of the mission. The plant management and SSM will have an opportunity to make factual comments on the draft, and a final report will be submitted to the plant management, SSM and the Swedish Government within three months.

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