The International Atomic Energy Agency reached a compliance milestone this week, noting on its website that, for the 200th time a review team had been sent out to inspect a nuclear power plant to judges its safety and security.The 200th nuclear plant under review happens to be in Almaraz, Spain, where the IAEA has sent a team of 13 international experts and two team leaders from the agency. As per normal procedures, the team was invited to review the plant by the Spanish government. The review, the agency said, will take three weeks. The review involves “a comprehensive set of documents that reflect a global consensus on what is considered a high level of nuclear and radiation safety.”
The IAEA deploys a so-called Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) to conduct its reviews. After the review, recommendations are made to the power plant's operators on recommended safety improvements based on international standards.
In general, said the head of the OSART department, Peter Tarren, plants are better prepared for safety reviews than they have been in the past. As such, reviews have moved up to “the next level,” said Tarren. “Our aim is to enhance safety. It does not matter how good you get, you can always seek to be better.”
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