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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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Treatment of generic anomalies affecting the safety of French NPP. An example : non compliance of K-qualified electrical connections

P. Clairay, T. Provost,

EUSOSAFE Forum, Berlin, November 8-9, 2004,

Rapport DSR 38

Summary

It is the French utility’s (EDF) national organisation which governs the process for resolving anomalies which could potentially affect the nuclear power plant (NPP) population. Its purpose is to apply strict management to maintain and restore compliance of all its nuclear power plants to the existing safety standards.

The process can be broken into four stages :

- emergence (detection of a probable generic deviation),

- characterization of the anomaly (its extent, root causes and potential consequences on safety),

- strategy, which purposes are, depending on safety issues, to determine the right lasting technical solution, identify deadlines needed to implement it to all the power plant units in the anomaly area and if necessary, define any temporary remedial measures,

- in-the-field completion of the strategy, for which the nuclear plant site operators are responsible.

The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and the Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) are notified at several stages of the process. Exchanges between EDF’s experts and the IRSN, intervening directly on behalf of the ASN for technical assessment, begin at an early stage of the process, typically from the anomaly characterisation stage. These exchanges proceed on the basis of documents produced by EDF. They naturally form an integral part of the above-mentioned process and, through a continuous, transparent and detailed technical and scientific dialogue, impart the IRSN’s concerns to the French utility and enhance the assessments of the IRSN intended for the ASN.

The generic compliance deviation of the K1-qualified electrical connections has been chosen to illustrate the process in this paper. This non-compliance is shortly to be notified to the Incident Reporting System.

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