IAEA certifies security improvements in Vandellós nuclear power plant

An International inspection in 2009 issued 14 recommendations to improve security. Two years after, the International Atomic Energy Agency came back to certify that most of the issues had been addressed and the rest were in progress of being fully solved.

CNA / Albert Lladó

June 9, 2011 12:14 AM

Vandellós (ACN).- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the nuclear power plant Vandellós II in May.  The plant, between Tarragona and Delta de l’Ebre, was under inspection to check out the improvements suggested by the Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission back in September and October of 2009. The IAEA certified that the nuclear power plant has resolved 11 of the 14 points proposed two years ago, while the three remaining issues progress properly. IAEA members also highlighted the decreasing incident rate and the fulfillment of staff training plans regarding responsibility. These improvements are especially important after the Fukushima nuclear crisis and even more so after the IAEA recently criticised the Japanese government for underestimating the risks of a tsunami for the nuclear power plant.

The improvements have taken place in the Directorship and Organisation areas of the plant as well as regarding Staff Training, Maintenance, Radiological Protection, Chemistry and Operative Experience. Experts specially insisted on the initiative of imparting a High-level Formative Degree adapted for both the Ascó and Vandellós nuclear power plants’ needs. 41 professionals are currently studying the course which was promoted by the Ascó-Vandellós II Nuclear Association (ANAV) with the collaboration of the Catalan Ministry of Education.

The IAEA highlighted a new computer application for sorting out the inoperability of equipment from the control station, applied in both the Operation and Maintenance areas. Another highly-rated point was the implementation of a program that excludes foreign materials in different areas, a process which entails better planning and supervision.

The organisation also verified an improvement in Radiological Protection, by introducing a reinforcement plan in a monitored zone with improved accesses, and a simulation area for training the Radiological Protection staff. The IAEA considered that suggestions made concerning the Chemistry area have been solved, as well as the handling of chemical products the staff outside the area.

IAEA will publish its report about the OSART mission to the Vandellòs II nuclear power plant over the next few months.