International Generic Ageing Lessons Learned
Welcome to the IAEA Programme on International Generic Ageing Lessons Learned (IGALL) webpage. This extrabudgetary programme was established in September 2010, and is scheduled to be completed by 2013.
Commercial nuclear power plants have been in operation since 1956. When first commissioned, the projected design life of a plant is calculated in economic terms, based on returns on investment. This is generally in the region of 30 to 40 years. However, many plants can safely be run for decades longer than originally planned. This is advantageous both environmentally, generating power without the need to build a new plant to replace the old one at the end of its design life, as well as economically, as it is cheaper to maintain an existing plant than build a new one. Plant life management integrates economic and ageing planning to maintain performance and safety as plants age. It is important to exercise care when continuing plant operation beyond the original plant life, as instrumentation and control systems may be obsolete, and structural and mechanical components may have been worn down or otherwise degraded. Ageing Management Plans (AMPs) are used to monitor and counteract these changes.
Many IAEA Member States have already taken action to address ageing in their reactors. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a compilation of Generic Ageing Lessons Learned (GALL), a comprehensive volume of problem areas and relevant countermeasures, which has been used extensively both by regulators and by plant operators in the United States. In the related 2009 IAEA Technical Meeting, Member States recommended establishing an international platform for discussion between regulators and utilities regarding implementation of acceptable Ageing Management Plans. The requirements are:
- To develop a document which can serve as a practical guide for implementing, maintaining and improving AMPs, made up of best practices and knowledge worldwide on verified ageing management programmes for safety related systems, structures and components
- To establish a common basis for discussion between regulators and utilities with regard to implementation of acceptable ageing management programmes.
In response, the IAEA initiated the ‘International General Ageing Lessons Learned’ Programme (IGALL).
The aim of the International Generic Ageing Lessons Learned Programme is to develop a document to provide:
- A guide for ageing mechanisms and effects based on both research results and accumulated operational experience
- An international agreement on what an acceptable Ageing Management Programme involves for standard plant components, structures, material and environments.
The Programme aims to facilitate the exchange of experience accumulated in Member States on identification, establishment and implementation of Ageing Management Programmes. It will also provide a knowledge base for the design of new plants, design reviews of existing plants etc. The scope of the programme will include pressurized water reactors (PWRs), boiling water reactors (BWRs), water-cooled water-moderated energetic reactors (WWERs), Canada deuterium uranium reactors (CANDUs) and pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs).
The programme will be implemented in co-ordination with national and international partners on ageing management (European Commission, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency, etc).
Programme activities are guided by a Steering Group (SC) composed of senior Member State representatives, implemented by three Working Groups (WG), coordinated and reviewed by a Clearing Group (CG). The three Working Groups are focused on these areas:
- Working Group One - Mechanical components and materials
- Working Group Two - Electrical components and I&C
- Working Group Three - Structural components and structures
First - Second Quarter 2010:
- Scoping meeting/briefing for the PMs of the Member States
Second - Third Quarter 2010:
- Official programme commencement
- Organization set-up
- Steering Group begins activity
- Working Groups begin activities
2011 - 2012:
- Programme continues with regular Group meetings
Second Quarter 2013:
- Final IGALL report published
For further information please contact