ČEZ needs to improve management approach, OSART shows

26 May 2015

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of nuclear safety experts has completed an assessment of how ČEZ has followed up on safety recommendations issued during an earlier review. ČEZ is the Czech Republic's largest electricity company and the operator of the country's two nuclear power plants, Temelín and Dukovany.

The IAEA Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) found that six of the nine issues noted in an earlier review, conducted in October 2013, had been fully addressed. Although noting satisfactory progress on the other three issues, the team recommended further action on them, the IAEA said on 22 May.

Actions taken to fully address issues identified in 2013 included extending independent oversight of all corporate functions that could affect nuclear safety; improving the system for communicating and sharing good practices; and improving the organizational succession plan for key positions.

The team recommended further work on a more consistent management approach at all levels of the organisation should be ensured; temporary changes to power plant equipment should be managed in a unified manner with ambitious targets; and all design requirements for plant systems should be controlled in a unified manner.

The team, which comprised experts from Finland, Russia and the UK, provided a draft of its report to ČEZ management. ČEZ and the Czech Republic Safety Authority will have an opportunity to make factual comments on the draft, which will be reviewed by the IAEA. The final report will be submitted to the Czech government within three months.

ČEZ was the first company to undergo a corporate OSART review, an addition to the IAEA OSART program that focuses on the centralized functions of the corporate organization that affect all the operational safety aspects of a utility's nuclear power plants. The review was conducted at the invitation of the Czech government.

An OSART mission is designed as a review of programs and activities essential to operational safety. It is not a regulatory inspection, nor is it a design review or a substitute for an exhaustive assessment of the plant's overall safety status. OSART missions aim to improve operational safety by objectively assessing safety performance using the IAEA's Safety Standards and proposing recommendations for improvement where appropriate. Most OSART missions are conducted at nuclear power plants. Follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART program and are typically conducted within two years of the initial mission.

The share of nuclear power in the Czech Republic's electricity generation mix is expected to rise from about 35% currently to between 46% and 58% by 2040. The target is part of the pro-nuclear elements of a long-term energy strategy - ASEK, according to its Czech acronym - which the country's trade and industry ministry published on 21 May.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News