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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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23/03/2016

IRSN publishes the English edition of its overall assessment of safety and radiation protection of the French nuclear power plant fleet in 2014


In 2014, none of the significant events reported affected reactor safety. The number of significant radiation protection events fell by 8% compared to 2013 and few of them had any impact on the plants' workers’ health, the public’s health or the environment.

 

Infographics : Radiation Protection at Nuclear Power Plants in France in 2013

Download infographics

 “IRSN's Position on Safety and Radiation Protection at Nuclear Power Plants in France in 2014” is the latest edition of the annual report presenting IRSN’s point on view on safety and radiation protection of the 58 French  nuclear power reactors currently operated by electric utility company EDF. This report is based on the Institute’s scientific and technical expertise of significant events, and its analysis of several events that it found to be the most noteworthy for the year.

 Read the flipbook version of the report “IRSN's Position on Safety and Radiation Protection at Nuclear Power Plants in France in 2014

Download “IRSN's Position on Safety and Radiation Protection at Nuclear Power Plants in France in 2014” (PDF, 5,6 Mo)

Download infographics


In 2014, none of the significant events reported affected reactor safety and few of them had any impact on the plants' workers’ health, the public’s health or the environment.


Safety:  improvement in the organization of maintenance activities and equipment changes

In 2014, the number of significant safety events reported by EDF dropped by 8% compared with 2013, confirming the decrease already observed in 2013 compared with 2012.

Early detection by EDF teams of anomalies may have contributed to the fact that none of the events reported in 2014 had a very significant impact on safety. In 2014, ASN did not class any of the events reported on Level 2 on the INES Scale. 

IRSN points out organisational improvements made by EDF regarding maintenance activities and equipment changes. Nevertheless, half the significant safety events reported by EDF were caused by maintenance errors. Noteworthy, the number of anomalies affecting safety-related equipment in reactors was generally lower in 2014 than in 2013.

In its report, IRSN also presents its analysis of some notable events occurred in the year 2014.


Number of significant events: what is the real significance of this indicator?



Variations in the number of significant events cannot be directly interpreted as a rise or fall in safety or radiation protection levels in facilities. Significant events point to issues that need to be analysed and understood in order to identify appropriate strategies for improving safety and radiation protection at facilities.



 

Radiation protection: disparities in the decrease of events number

In 2014, the number of significant radiation protection events fell by 8% compared to 2013, and was just below the number of similar events reported in 2012. Among the factors contributing to this decrease:


the number of events related to gamma radiography inspections for checking welds was halved, despite a nearly identical number of interventions;
 the number of non-compliances related to the access to or time spent in radiologically controlled areas is falling, although these non-compliances  still represent the largest number of reported events.

The most notable trend compared to previous years concern worker dosimetry, with 18 events reported in 2014 (against 11 events in 2013), including 17 events due to failure to wear a dosimeter. However, these figures should be compared to the important number of entries in radiologically controlled areas.

In 2014, the vast majority of events have not resulted in any significant consequences for the plant workers and the environment. No event was classified as Level 2 or higher on the INES scale (one Level 2 event in 2013) and three events were classified at Level 1 (two events in 2013).


Analysis of current and forthcoming developments

In this report, IRSN also presents the main conclusions of its assessment of significant changes and the upgrades planned or carried out by EDF in 2014 to improve reactors safety. It concerns for instance the instrumentation and control renovation on 1300 MW reactors, or the modifications to the Gravelines NPP (North of France) in response to the risks induced by the operation of the future LNG terminal in Dunkirk.

 Read the flipbook version of the report “IRSN's Position on Safety and Radiation Protection at Nuclear Power Plants in France in 2014

Download “IRSN's Position on Safety and Radiation Protection at Nuclear Power Plants in France in 2014” (PDF, 5,6 Mo)

Download infographics

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