Test & Measurement

IAEA concludes long term operational safety review

2nd November 2021
James Anstee

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts completed a review of long term operational safety of Unit 1 and 2 at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Sweden.

The SALTO (Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation) follow-up review mission was requested by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), Sweden’s nuclear regulatory body.

Unit 1 and 2 at Forsmark NPP went into commercial operation in 1980 and 1981 and entered long term operation (LTO) in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Vattenfall AB, the operator, has decided to run each unit for a total operational lifetime of 60 years. Although Swedish NPP licenses are not time limited, regulatory consent to operate is subject to a periodic safety review being conducted and submitted to SSM every 10 years.

The four day mission reviewed Forsmark’s response to recommendations and suggestions made during an initial IAEA Pre-SALTO mission in 2019.

“The team observed that the operator is preparing the units for safe LTO in a timely manner,” said team leader Martin Marchena, IAEA Nuclear Safety Officer . “Basing their efforts on recommendations made by the Pre-SALTO team in 2019, the plant has made significant improvements in ageing management and has shown continued commitment to preparing for safe LTO. We encourage the plant management to address the remaining findings from the 2019 Pre-SALTO mission and implement all activities for safe LTO.”

The five person team — comprising four experts from Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland, and one IAEA staff member — said the plant had:

  • Updated the safety analysis report to support LTO;
  • Completed the analysis of surveillance data of the reactor pressure vessel;
  • Completed the development of a proactive obsolescence management programme;
  • Completed and implemented staffing policy, objectives and associated strategies for human resources in support of LTO.

The team noted that further work is necessary by the plant to ensure that ageing management aspects are fully incorporated into the design and configuration management processes.

The plant management expressed a determination to address the areas identified for improvement and to continue cooperation with the IAEA.

"The review has assured us that we are on the right track for safe and reliable operation in the long term perspective", said Johan Börjesson, deputy managing director at Forsmark NPP.  "The results of the mission will help us to further develop and improve our abilities that will ensure safe and long operation at Forsmark. I would also like to thank IAEA for their knowledge and efforts in order to help us improve."  

The 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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