French approach to plant safety reassessment: The benefits of visits to European nuclear fuel fabrication plants
A.-C. Lacoste1,J.P. Carreton2, J.M. Dormant2, A. Denys1, J. Jaraudias1, IAEA - Continuous Improvement of Nuclear Safety in a changing World, Beijing, 18-22th oct. 2004 (1) Direction générale de la sûreté nucléaire et de la radioprotection 6 place du Colonel Bourgoin 75572 PARIS Cedex 12 - FRANCE (2) Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire Direction de la sûreté des Usines, des laboratoires, des transports et des déchets BP 17 92266 Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex
With a ten year periodicity the French nuclear safety authority (DGSNR) and its technical support (IRSN) reassess the safety of the plants under survey. A special part is devoted to internal experience feedback and the events that occurred during the past working period are carefully analysed. ln the case of the French FBFC uranium fuel fabrication plant, it was decided for the first time to add international feedback to the usual reassessment work. A program bas been set up on the basis of peer to peer level bi-lateral meetings organized with the European safety authorities having similar plant under their responsibility. A special safety oriented standard questionnaire was previously sent to each and returned. Each bilateral contact consists of a two-day visit, which began with discussions about particular topics in the regulation area and methods for an efficient survey. ln order to illustrate this, the two authorities visited the nuclear site the second clay. ln this way, European safety authorities of five countries (Belgium, Germany, United-Kingdom, Spain and Sweden) have met and plants belonging to FRAMATOME-ANP, WESTINGHOUSE and ENUSA groups visited. AlI the contacted authorities participated and when, this program was completed, it was possible for DGSNR and IRSN to get a more accurate measure of particular reassessment work. The main results of these actions were to "standardize" the consultancy's judgement, and taking advantage of encountered good safety practices and good safety designs it was possible to reinforce specific requests during the reassessment work. Moreover, it was an opportunity for the operators to participate in deepening infonnation exchanges about safety topics.