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Nils Morten Huseby, CEO IFE, was very pleased with the review by the International Expert Group. Here he receives the report from Mr Amgad Shokr, Head of the IAEA Expert Group. Photo: Mona Lunde Ramstad, IFE

IAEA Mission says Research Reactor Operator in Norway is Committed to Safety

A team of eight reactor experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has for one week undergone the safety of the JEEP II research reactor at Kjeller. The expert group concludes that IFE strongly emphasizes safety and security work in its operations.

IFE initiated the review in 2016 as part of the ongoing work on improving safety and security at the institute. The reason why IFE wants a thorough and independent review of safety culture is, among other things, the discovery of humidity in the spent fuel reactor at Kjeller and the incident at the Halden reactor last autumn. The review will also contribute to a thorough basis for processing the IFE license application for the Kjeller facilities. This will be decided by 2018 by national authorities.

The IAEA honors the openness and safety awareness that IFE and the staff at the JEEP II reactor have shown in the review of safety culture. The Expert Group believes IFE continuously demonstrates improvements in safety work, including in the work of the Internal Safety Committee, contingency plans and implementation of reactor safety maintenance programs. The IAEA also draws attention to IFE's work on a national nuclear waste management strategy, as well as plans for decommissioning that are in line with IAEA's safety standards.

 

Improvements

 

Work on safety culture is about continuous improvements. The IAEA Expert Group has conducted a thorough review of the reactor at Kjeller and its related safety work. The group has conducted interviews with personnel associated with JEEP II, reviewed documentation and physically inspected reactor.

Tuesday, October 10, the expert group handed over a report summarizing the inspection and recommended improvement areas (pdf).

 

In the summary report, the IAEA draws up some improvement areas:

 

  • Organizational measures: Clearer roles and responsibilities of the reactor staff. The IAEA recommends a radiation protection employee dedicated to the reactor, as well as the establishment of its own internal safety committee for the JEEP II reactor.
  • When reorganizing IFE, it is important to maintain high levels of safety and clear responsibility for operations in the reactor and ensure adequate human and financial resources to safeguard security and technical support.
  • Further develop integrated management systems that support continuous development and maintenance of strong safety culture.
  • Establish a formal training program for certain types of personnel at the reactor.
  • Strengthen radiation protection work by strengthening the practical work at the plant.
  • Conduct ongoing revision of the security documentation at the reactor to address upgrades that are currently under implementation.

 

Safety always first

 

IFE greatly benefits from the review from the IAEA. The recommendations for improvements give a good direction to the further safety work, and will be implemented.

"Safety always comes first for IFE, and we continuously work to improve safety culture," says Nils Morten Huseby, CEO. "We have received useful recommendations as we take into our safety work. IFE is continuing to develop and maintain a strong safety culture. We have therefore invited the IAEA to review the safety culture of the entire IFE in March 2018 through an ISCA (Independent Safety Culture Assessment), Huseby says.

IFE expert group
Tuesday October 10 the IAEA Expert Group handed over to IFE a report summarizing the inspection and recommended improvement areas.

 

About the Expert Group Review:

 

INSARR stands for the Integrated Safety Assessment of Research Reactors, and the reactors under review are assessed by IAEA safety standards. The INSARR group coming to Kjeller consists of reactor specialists from all over the world.

The INSARR team consists of eight people from different countries representing different professional expertise, as well as experience from this type of audit. The review of JEEP II is done on the basis of IAEA's safety standards and publications, in addition to the expertise represented by the team.

 

The summary report from the IAEA with information about the audit and recommended measures can be downloaded here (pdf).

 

Press release at the IAEA website October 10: 
IAEA Mission Says Research Reactor Operator in Norway is Committed to Safety


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