IAEA mission reports safety commitment by France’s Paluel NPP

11 October 2021

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) said the operator of France’s Paluel nuclear power plant demonstrated a commitment to safety. The team encouraged the operator to continue implementation of its operational safety improvement initiatives at the plant.

The OSART team concluded an 18 day mission to Paluel on 7 October. The plant, operated by Électricité de France, consists of four 1330MWe pressurised water reactors, which were connected to the grid between 1984 and 1986. The mission was carried out at the request of the French Government..

“The OSART team witnessed a strong commitment to safety by management and staff of the plant,” said team leader Yury Martynenko, IAEA Senior Nuclear Safety Officer. “After the review of safety operations at the plant over the course of the mission, the team made several recommendations to the plant management aimed at further enhancing operational safety.”

The team of 14 included experts from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Ukraine, the UK and the USA as well as five IAEA officials. They identified good practices to be shared with the nuclear industry globally, including:

  • The plant management’s establishment of a collaborative employee strategy to improve plant safety and performance.
  • The development of a corrosion action plan to ensure equipment reliability as a part of a long term operation programme.
  • The establishment of so-called silent monitoring of emergency calls enabling medical staff to listen-in and be alerted to a possible medical emergency.

The mission made recommendations to improve operational safety, including:

  • The plant management should ensure that plant employees comply with plant operational requirements and standards for industrial safety and human performance at all times.
  • The plant work control process should support the timely completion and effectiveness of preventive maintenance to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the plant.
  • The plant’s operating experience programme should ensure that safety related events are adequately categorised, analysed and followed up with effective corrective actions to prevent any recurrence.

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


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