An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts completed a review of long term operational safety at the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Unit 1 in China on 10 May.
The SALTO (Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation) follow-up review mission was requested by the plant’s operator, Nuclear Power Operations Management Co (CNNO), a unit of China National Nuclear Power Co. The Qinshan NPP Unit 1 went into operation in 1991 and CNNO has submitted a request to China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) to renew the plant’s operating license for a period of 20 years after its current license expires in 2021.
The SALTO team, which began its work on 7 May, reviewed CNNO’s response to recommendations and suggestions made during an initial SALTO mission in 2017.
The team—comprising five experts from Argentina, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States and the IAEA – said the plant had:
- improved coordination among current plant operational programmes and ageing management programmes;
- implemented ageing management programmes for electrical, instrumentation and control components; and
- improved competence and knowledge management processes.
The team noted that further work is necessary to complete a periodic safety review and implement an environmental qualification programme.
Plant management expressed determination to continue to address the remaining issues and prepare the NPP for safe Long Term Operation.
The team provided a draft report to the plant management and the NNSA at the end of the mission. The plant management and NNSA will have an opportunity to make factual comments on the draft. A final report will be submitted to the plant management, NNSA and the Chinese Government within three months.
General information about SALTO missions can be found on the IAEA Website. A SALTO peer review is a comprehensive safety review addressing strategy and key elements for the safe long-term operation of nuclear power plants. They complement OSART missions, which are designed as a review of programmes and activities essential to operational safety. Neither SALTO nor OSART reviews are regulatory inspections, nor are they design reviews or substitutes for an exhaustive assessment of a plant’s overall safety status.