UN nuclear watchdog team suggests safety improvements for French power plant

Spent nuclear fuel

6 October 2010 – After visiting a nuclear power plant in eastern France, an international team led by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has made recommendations on how to reinforce its safety practices.

At the request of the French Government, the IAEA set up the team comprising experts from nine countries to carry out an Operational Safety Review (OSART) of the Saint-Alban Nuclear Power Plant.

The experts’ mission covered areas including management, training, maintenance, radiation protection and emergency planning and preparedness.

The team acknowledged the plant’s good practices, including its safety guidelines for outages and the use of remote video surveillance of fuel inspection and handling activities.

Areas which could be improved, it said, are improving the effective control of contamination and limiting access to the main control room to only necessary personnel.

The managers of Saint-Alban expressed their determination to address the areas identified for improvement, requesting the IAEA to carry out a follow-up mission in 18 months.

This was the 158th mission carried out by the OSART scheme, which began in 1982.

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