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EBP Bulgaria

Extrabudgetary Programme for Safe Nuclear Energy in Bulgaria

A new IAEA Extrabudgetary Programme to enhance nuclear safety in Bulgaria was recently completed. Funding for the programme has been provided through a grant from Innovation Norway.

Background

Initiated in January 2010, the Safe Nuclear Energy-Regional Excellence Programme in Bulgaria was established to support Bulgaria’s nuclear Programme. Activities supporting the nuclear regulatory authority and operator were completed 30 April 2011.

The programme promoter, the Bulgarian Nuclear Safety Agency (BNRA), and its Norwegian partner, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), with the support and management of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, developed and successfully implemented a programme consisting of an integrated series of projects to further enhance nuclear safety in Bulgaria and thereby implement provisions of relevant international agreements and instruments, such as the Convention on Nuclear Safety, to which both the Bulgarian and the Norwegian government are strongly committed. The programme was developed in close cooperation with the operator Kozloduy nuclear power plant (KNPP), which is BNRA’s main Bulgarian programme partner.

The Bulgarian and Norwegian parties agreed collectively to ask the IAEA to undertake the implementation of the identified activities in order to include best practices and facilitate a balanced approach between improved safety at the installation itself and improved safety review with the regulator in Bulgaria. The IAEA has therefore been commissioned by all programme partners as the programme implementation agent, and has been directly involved in programme development and management.

Programme Objectives

The overall objective of the programme was to enhance nuclear safety in Bulgaria, and covered safety culture and emergency preparedness and response. The programme consisted of four projects that address the enhancement needs of the BNRA and of the KNPP safety related activities.

A parallel outcome of the programme, and one that will continue until September 2011, is to establish nuclear safety project frameworks and content which can be directly applicable to other IAEA Member States developing nuclear power capacity. In addition, IAEA documentation, such as Safety Report and TecDocs, are also being developed/enhanced which will be made available to other Member States. As a result, this programme has served as a pilot for future nuclear installation excellence programmes for IAEA Member States.

Project descriptions

BNRA1 - Assessment of the Licensee’s Safety Culture (SC) by BNRA

This project supported the regulator in enhancing its safety culture programmes for regulatory assessment of the safety culture of the licensees. The project provided the following results:

  • Methodology and tools for regulatory assessment of the safety culture of licensees
  • Training of CNCAN staff in assessment of safety culture
  • Implementation by means of a pilot assessment using the developed methodology and tools

BNRA2 - Emergency Preparedness and Response

The major purpose of the project was to improve national emergency arrangements and, in particular, the arrangements for cooperation with the neighbouring country, Romania, following the choice of the Belene site on the Danube which borders the two countries. Improvement of emergency preparedness was carried out by delivering training to involved institutions. The project provided the following results:

  • Development of a baseline report providing an assessment of current accident reporting arrangements
  • Assessment of the current accident reporting arrangements between KNPP and BNRA with comparison with international best practice
  • Development of method of emergency callout and coordination between BNRA and other government departments in both Bulgaria and Romania
  • Development of additional measures needed for improvement of Bulgarian emergency response arrangements at the national and international level
  • Resources relevant for the IAEA Response Assistance Network (RANET) were identified
  • A successful international emergency exercise jointly organised by Romania and Bulgaria with the participation of experts from IAEA and NRPA, and evaluation reports

KNPP1 - Enhancement of Safety Culture in the operating organisation

The main purpose of the project was to develop an enhanced safety culture at KNPP and to enhance system methodology and assessment tools for internal evaluation of safety culture. Activities included:

  • Development of Safety Culture Programme Guidance Document
  • Development of a Safety Culture Assessment Guide, including self-assessment methodologies and tools
  • Development of a Safety Culture Improvement Guide
  • Support of KNPP in the implementation of a safety culture programme through staff training

KNPP2 - Emergency Preparedness and Response

The project is aimed at improving the emergency preparedness and response arrangements in Bulgaria and, in particular, the arrangements for cooperation at national and international levels. The following activities were implemented:

  • Assessment of the adequacy of the current accident reporting arrangements
  • Identification of scenarios and vulnerable areas related to the safety and security of transportation of nuclear material in international waters
  • Development of proposed implementation framework for improvement of accident reporting arrangements within Bulgarian and with Romania including development of cooperation with Romania on risk scenarios related to spent fuel shipment on the Danube River
  • A successful international emergency exercise jointly organised by Romania and Bulgaria with the participation of experts from IAEA and NRPA, and evaluation reports

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| Last update: Tuesday, December 09, 2014.