An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts today completed a review of long term operational safety at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Units 1 and 2 in Sweden.
The SALTO (Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation) review mission was requested by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM).
The SALTO team, whose review began on 11 June, focused on aspects essential to the safe Long Term Operation (LTO) of Units 1 and 2 at Forsmark, which respectively went into commercial operation in 1980 and 1981. Vattenfall AB, the operator, is planning to extend operation of the units for a total operational lifetime of 60 years each. Although Swedish NPP operating licenses are not time limited, consent to operate is subject to a Periodic Safety Review (PSR) submitted to SSM every 10 years.
The SALTO team reviewed preparedness, organization and programmes related to LTO. SALTO reviews are based on IAEA safety standards. The team found staff to be professional, open and receptive to suggestions for improvement.
“We observed that the plant has made progress in ageing management activities and preparation for safe LTO since a Pre-SALTO mission in 2016. Ageing management and LTO activities already meet many IAEA safety standard recommendations,” said team leader Robert Krivanek, a Senior Nuclear Safety Officer at the IAEA. “The SALTO team encourages the plant management to address findings made by the SALTO team and facilitate implementation of all remaining activities for safe LTO.”
The team—comprising 12 experts from Japan, Finland, France, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom and three IAEA staff members—identified good practices and good performances that will be shared with the nuclear industry globally, including:
•The plant takes part in cooperation among Northern European NPPs on sharing spare parts procurement.
•The plant maintains the condition and availability of spare parts through optimum storage solutions.
•The plant’s staff planning initiatives promote it as an attractive employer.
The team also provided recommendations for further enhancing preparations for LTO safety, including that the plant operator should:
•Implement a comprehensive organizational strategy to ensure LTO activities are carried out.
•Ensure an adequate process for setting the scope of LTO.
•Implement a comprehensive equipment qualification programme for all components important to safety.
“We appreciate IAEA support of our plant in ageing management and preparation for safe LTO,” said Bjorn Linde, CEO of Forsmark NPP. “The results of this mission will help us to improve our activities for safe LTO and align them with IAEA safety standards.”
The plant management said it was committed to implementing the recommendations and requested that the IAEA schedule a SALTO follow-up mission to Forsmark NPP in 2021.
The team provided a draft report to the plant management at the end of the mission. The plant management and the SSM 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 Swedish Government within three months.