Regulator releases report on Flamanville-3 pre-operational safety

August 14, 2020, 7:27AMNuclear News

The Flamanville nuclear plant. Photo: EDF

The French nuclear safety authority, Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), has released an International Atomic Energy Agency report on a pre-operational safety review team (pre-OSART) mission conducted in 2019 at the Flamanville nuclear plant to review the safety status of its Unit 3 EPR reactor, currently under construction.

According to the report, the pre-OSART mission at Flamanville-3 reviewed the following areas: leadership and management for safety, training and qualification, operations, maintenance, technical support, operating experience feedback, radiation protection, chemistry, emergency preparedness and response, accident management, human-technology-organization interaction, and commissioning. The review was performed by a team from Canada, Finland, Germany, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United States, along with IAEA staff members and observers from Russia and South Korea.

The results: The team identified 21 issues, resulting in 6 recommendations and 15 suggestions. Eight good practices were also identified. Several areas of good performance were noted, including “effective implementation of a holistic human factors approach throughout the life cycle of the plant,” according to the report.

Among the team’s proposals for improving operational safety were the following:

■ The plant should fully implement its Foreign Material Exclusion program throughout all departments and areas to attain a high standard level of implementation.

■ The plant should consider implementing procedures and practices to ensure that the potential impact of unsecured items on safety-related equipment in seismically qualified areas is minimized.

■ The plant should improve the arrangements and practices targeting the integrity of fire barriers and prompt fire suppression to ensure that fire risk is always minimized.

Flamanville-3 management has committed to addressing the issues identified and has invited a follow-up visit in about 18 months to review progress, the report said.

The 97-page document can be found here.

Background: Construction of Flamanville-3, a 1,600-MWe EPR supplied by Framatome, began in December 2007. The pouring of concrete for the reactor’s basemat commenced in December 2017, with hot functional testing completed in February 2020. In March, the French government published a decree postponing the deadline for fuel loading to April 2024.

Related Articles

It’s amazing all the things nuclear can do

January 3, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear NewsSteven Arndt

It has always amazed me how broad and diverse the nuclear science and technology field is. It is one of the things that drew me to the nuclear business in the first place. The American Nuclear...

Bids in for new unit at Dukovany

December 7, 2022, 7:01AMNuclear News

A Westinghouse-Bechtel team, France’s EDF, and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power have all submitted their initial bids for securing the contract to build a fifth reactor at the Czech...

The male business of nuclear diplomacy

November 30, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear CafeMaria Rentetzi

An unusual event during the recent General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency distracted the delegations of member states and the press from the Russian war in Ukraine and...

Nuclear: Building enthusiasm at COP27

November 22, 2022, 12:05PMNuclear News

Nuclear energy is no longer on the fringes of the international climate conversation. At COP27, the United Nations climate change conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 to...

Impressions from the IAEA General Conference

November 16, 2022, 9:30AMANS NewsCraig Piercy

There are worse places to be than Vienna, Austria, in the early fall. The place has an old-world vibe for sure. The U-Bahn doesn’t have turnstiles; it runs on the honor system. People take...

Exporting American nuclear excellence

November 15, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear NewsSteven Arndt

As I write, I am reflecting on my time at the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference, held in Vienna during the last week of September. At the GC, I was able to meet with a...