Bruce B implements OSART recommendations
The five-day follow-up mission saw a team of four experts from Sweden, the USA and the IAEA visit Bruce Power's plant to review progress made since the three-week OSART mission conducted in late 2015. Such follow-up missions are a standard part of the OSART program, typically taking place within two years of the original mission.
The original mission's full report, released by Bruce Power in May 2016, identified ten good practices and 25 good performances at the plant, and made 12 suggestions and five recommendations.
The follow-up team noted strong leadership and a commitment to safety on the part of plant management and staff, as well as a transparent approach with employees and the public. Several of the 2015 mission's recommendations and suggestions have been fully implemented, it found. These include: measures relating to periodic safety reviews; enhancement of emergency procedures; improved materials and equipment controls; and strict documentation modification control.
The team found some areas for enhancement remain, including the assessment of plant aging management programs, operational experience evaluation, and maintenance activities.
IAEA OSART program manager Vesselina Ranguelova, who led the follow-up team, said the plant was "clearly committed to safety and operational excellence" and was implementing comprehensive programs to deliver safe and effective long-term operation.
"The IAEA recommendations and suggestions for safety improvements, as defined by the OSART mission in 2015, were duly taken into account and, once fully implemented, will contribute to strengthening plant operational safety," she said.
The OSART program assists IAEA member states in strengthening the safety of their nuclear power plants during commissioning and operation, comparing actual practices with IAEA safety standards. A team of international experts conducts in-depth reviews of operational safety performance, reviewing factors affecting the management of safety and the performance of personnel, and identifying gaps between plant operations and the requirements outlined in the IAEA Safety Standards. Good practices identified by the program are disseminated to the wider nuclear community by the IAEA.
OSART missions are held at the request of the IAEA member state involved. The inspection of the four Candu units making up Bruce B was requested by Canada's nuclear regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), in 2014. Both Bruce Power and the CNSC will have an opportunity to comment on the follow-up team's draft report before the final version is submitted to the Canadian government. This is expected to take place in about three months.
The Bruce power plant comprises eight Candus at two generating stations - units 1-4 at Bruce A and units 5-8 at Bruce B - which between them have a generating capacity of up to 6400 MWe. The plant is a key part of the province of Ontario's long-term energy plan, and is undergoing a major refurbishment program that will give six of its eight units an additional 30-35 years of operating life. Units 1 and 2 at Bruce A have already been refurbished.