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An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has completed a review of long term operational safety at the Doel Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Units 1 and 2 in Belgium operated by Engie Electrabel.

The SALTO (Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation) follow-up review mission was requested by the Belgian Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC). Doel’s Units 1 and 2 went into operation in 1975. FANC approved a 10-year extension of the units’ operating license in December 2015, provided that a set of safety conditions is fulfilled every year.

During the 25-28 June mission, the SALTO team reviewed Doel’s response to recommendations and suggestions made during an initial SALTO mission in 2017.

The team—comprising seven experts from Canada, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the IAEA—said that plant management had:

  • Improved organizational arrangements to support ageing management for the period of long term operation (LTO);
  • Updated the Safety Analysis Report with ageing management and LTO assessment results; and
  • Enhanced competence and knowledge management for plant personnel involved in ageing management.

The team noted that further work is necessary to ensure that all required structures and components are included in the scope of ageing management during the LTO period and to complete implementation of the ageing management programmes for civil structures and components.

Plant management expressed a determination to continue to address the remaining issues and to continue safe LTO of the NPP.

The team provided a draft report to the plant management and the FANC at the end of the mission. The plant management and FANC will have an opportunity to make factual comments on the draft. A final report will be submitted to the plant management, FANC and the Belgian Government within three months.

Background

General information about SALTO missions can be found on the IAEA Website. A SALTO peer review is a comprehensive safety review addressing strategy and key elements for the safe long-term operation of nuclear power plants. They complement OSART missions, which are designed as a review of programmes and activities essential to operational safety. Neither SALTO nor OSART reviews are regulatory inspections, nor are they design reviews or substitutes for an exhaustive assessment of a plant’s overall safety status.

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