An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has completed a review of the long term operational safety of Unit 3 at the Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Sweden.
The Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation (SALTO) review, which begain on 15 September, was requested by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), the Sweden's nuclear regulatory body.
In perspective, the original design lifetime of Unit 3 and Unit 4 will expire in 2021 and 2023 respectively. Unit 3 commenced operations in 1981. Vattenfall AB, the plant operator, is planning an operation extension of both units that will permit an operational lifetime of 60 years for each unit.. But part of the SALTO mission included a review of changes made in response to recommendations made during an initial IAEA SALTO inspection that took place in 2018.
“The team observed that the operator is preparing Unit 3 for safe long term operations (LTO) in a timely manner,” said team leader and IAEA Senior Nuclear Safety Officer Robert Krivanek. “Basing their efforts on recommendations made by the SALTO team in 2018, the plant has made significant improvements in the area of aging management and has shown continued commitment to preparing for safe LTO. The SALTO team also encouraged the plant management to complete improvements recommended in the 2018 review.
The team comprised of two experts from Belgium and two IAEA staff members. Recomendations included improving management focuse on the aging of civil structures and buildings. Improving plant processes to manage LTO activities and plant personnel awareness of aging management was recommended along with the completion of dation of time-sensitive ageing analyses focused on mechanical components.
The team noted that further work is necessary by the plant to ensure that aging management and LTO related data are consistent and complete. A long term staffing plan based on LTO expectations was also recommended.
The SALTO 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. A final report will be submitted to the plant management, SSM and the Swedish Government within three months.
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