An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said Russia’s Rosenergoatom demonstrated a commitment to nuclear safety, while also identifying areas for potential further improvement.
The Corporate Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) concluded an 18-day mission on 27 November to review corporate functions that affect operational safety at Rosenergoatom, a subsidiary of Russian state corporation Rosatom and the operator of 35 nuclear reactors across Russia. The mission was carried out at the request of the Government of the Russian Federation.
Corporate OSART missions review a utility’s central functions that influence operational safety on all its nuclear power plant sites. This is done by objectively assessing safety performance using IAEA safety standards and proposing recommendations and suggestions for improvement where appropriate.
"The Corporate OSART team recognized that Rosenergoatom is a large, technically competent operator of nuclear power plants that is committed to safety. As well as reviewing activities at the organization’s headquarters in Moscow the team visited three nuclear power plants to see first-hand how corporate policies and programmes are implemented,” said team leader Peter Tarren, Head of the IAEA’s Operational Safety Section. “The team saw many areas where Rosenergoatom is operating well and also identified areas where the company could make further improvements.”
The review covered the areas of corporate management; independent nuclear safety oversight; human resources, organizational interactions and communications; maintenance; technical support; operating experience feedback; procurement; accident management and emergency preparedness and response.
The 10-member team comprised experts from Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa and the IAEA. In addition, there was one observer from Iran and one from the Moscow Office of the World Association of Nuclear Operators.
The team identified a number of good practices that will be shared with the nuclear industry globally, including:
ㆍA computer based information simulator to develop and train communications personnel and journalists to inform the public in the event of a severe accident at a nuclear power plant as well as other potential crisis situations.
ㆍPublication of a comprehensive procurement plan each year for the following calendar year, facilitating optimization of resources with a clear focus on nuclear safety related activities.
ㆍComprehensive use of social networks for crisis communications.
The team made several proposals aimed at improving the company’s performance with regard to operational safety, including:
ㆍImplementation of all aspects of the severe accident management programme to ensure prevention or mitigation of severe accidents.
ㆍImproving leadership approaches to challenging current conditions and reinforcing management expectations to prevent significant events and continuously improve safety.
ㆍImproving the operating experience feedback process to ensure early identification of adverse trends, gaps in performance and effective corrective actions to improve safety and prevent recurrence of events.
“The Corporate OSART is an excellent way for a company like ours to reflect and improve,” said Alexander Shutikov, First Deputy General Director for Nuclear Power Operation at Rosenergoatom. “We are committed to implementing the team’s proposals as part of our commitment to continuous improvement.”
The team provided a draft of its report to Rosenergoatom’s corporate management. Rosenergoatom and the Russian nuclear regulatory authority will have an opportunity to make factual comments on the draft, which will be reviewed by the IAEA. The final report will be submitted to the Government within about three months. Rosenergoatom has the intention to make the final report public.
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