Russia's nuclear power plant operator Rosenergoatom has strengthened operational safety by addressing the findings of a review which took place in 2018, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has concluded. The team also encouraged the company to continue its efforts in improving its safety performance.
Rosenergoatom - a subsidiary of ROSATOM - currently owns and operates all 38 nuclear reactors across Russia. The company hosted its first corporate Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission in November 2018. Corporate OSART missions are conducted at utilities that own or operate nuclear power plants. They review the utility's centralised functions that affect the operational safety of its plants. The missions objectively assess safety performance using IAEA safety standards and propose recommendations and suggestions for improvement where appropriate. Follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme and are typically conducted within two years of the initial mission.
An OSART team concluded the five-day follow-up corporate OSART mission on 29 October. The three-member team comprised one expert from Slovakia and two IAEA officials. The review was carried out at the request of the Russian government.
The team observed that several findings from the 2018 review were fully addressed including: Rosenergoatom has improved its independent oversight function by assessing leadership and safety culture to drive safety performance; the company has enhanced monitoring of its maintenance performance indicators to improve its effectiveness in preventing the failure of systems, structures or components; and Rosenergoatom has improved its operating experience feedback process, such as reporting and identifying trends in the development of low-level and minor events to prevent severe events.
The team noted that while significant progress has been made, more time and further efforts are required to fully address two findings from the 2018 review: that managers should continue to implement planned corrective actions with the aim to eliminate severe injuries and fatalities to ensure that improvements are sustainable; and that the company should continue to monitor and review the implementation of its Severe Accident Management Guidelines improvement programme until all planned corrective actions are completed. "Rosenergoatom has made significant efforts in addressing the findings of the 2018 OSART mission," said team leader Fuming Jiang, head of the IAEA's operational safety section. "The follow-up team observed measurable improvements in the review areas. The corporation has effectively used centralised functions to implement multiple initiatives and actions to address the identified issues and improve safety at its power plants."
"The corporate OSART mission was very helpful for us. We have gone through all areas for improvement listed in the initial report, and succeeded in achieving important progress," said Rosenergoatom First Deputy Director General Alexander Shutikov. "We are not going to stop at the achieved results and will strive to further improve our safety performance."
The team submitted its draft report to Rosenergoatom, which will then respond to the IAEA. The final report will be sent to the Russian government within three months.