Establishing the Safety Infrastructure
Safety Package Module 9:
Safety in Design, Safety Assessment and Research for Safety and Regulatory Purposes
This module provides support for implementation of the actions related to:
- The resources required for safety assessment
- The scope and contents of the safety assessment and review process by the operating organization and the regulatory body
- Safety considerations in design of nuclear power plants and in the bid specification and evaluation
- Long term planning for safety research and competence building.
Related SSG-16 Actions: 117 – 121; 170 – 184; 99 – 104
In Phase 1, the government should familiarize itself with the IAEA safety standards and with other States’ practices, as appropriate, to gain an understanding of the resources needed for capabilities for safety assessment. The government should learn the objectives for nuclear safety, and how they are taken into account in nuclear power plants of various designs.
The government should also consider the availability of the technical infrastructure and the potential impacts of this on the design requirements for the safety of the plant. The government should consider in which areas in-depth knowledge is necessary for assessing and analysing safety-related aspects of a nuclear power plant project, and should identify research centres that can establish research programmes in safety related areas of knowledge.
In Phase 2, all the relevant organizations should obtain an in-depth understanding of the safety principles and safety requirements applicable in the design of a nuclear power plant, and should develop the expertise to prepare for the conduct or review of safety assessments. The operating organization should become knowledgeable regarding the nuclear power technologies available, investigate their safety features, and include in the bid specification all the safety and regulatory aspects that should be considered in the design. The regulatory body should prepare and enact national safety regulations on design that are necessary for bid specification. The government and the operating organization as applicable should start to implement plans for improving the national technical infrastructure, as necessary, to fill in previously identified gaps in the capabilities necessary for ensuring safety. Research centres should begin conducting research relating to safety in areas in which in-depth knowledge is essential to support safe long term operation of nuclear power plants.
In Phase 3, the operating organization should not only conduct an adequate safety review of the designs proposed by the vendors in the submitted bids, but also establish proper interaction with the selected vendor for the transfer of knowledge of the safety design to the operating organization, so that it can establish a ‘design entity’ that will maintain the knowledge of the safety design over the lifetime of the plant. The operating organization should develop safety documents, including the safety analysis report, that demonstrate that all relevant safety requirements have been met. These safety documents should be provided to the regulatory body as the safety documents required in the licensing process. Research centres and other relevant organizations should focus their research on the features and safety aspects of the nuclear power plant that will be constructed, including features and aspects specific to the actual plant site.
There are numerous safety guides that support safety assessment. These, along with the requirements documents listed above are organized thematically within the Global Safety Assessment Network (GSAN)
Education and Training
During phases 1 and 2 the Safety Assessment Education and Training (SAET) programme provides training to requesting Member States on preparing informed decision-makers in fundamentals of safety assessment. This training consists of:
- Workshop 1: Fundamentals of Safety Assessment for decision makers
- Training programme 1: Fundamentals of Safety Assessment
- Training programme 2: Engineering aspects important to safety
- Training programme 3: Deterministic safety analysis
- Training programme 4: Probabilistic safety analysis
- Training programme 5: Crosscutting Topics
This competency building programme, based on the SAET Syllabus, enables various stakeholders to perform tasks such as bid and safety report preparation and review. An important goal during these phases is to structure a sustainable Education and Training (ET) framework through the development of a skilled core team, including elements such as train the trainer and knowledge management.
The SAET programme can be developed by the MS in cooperation with the Safety Assessment Section either by identifying the specific training programmes required or as the result of a DSARS Safety Assessment Advisory Programme (SAAP) (see Advisory Services), which aims at identifying the E&T needs within the MS regarding safety assessment topics. A tailored education and training programme is subsequently developed and implemented in preparation for the conduct or the review of safety assessments.
During Phase 3, requesting Member States can be provided with continuous in-depth training tailored to the organization’s responsibilities (TSOs, regulator, owner-operator). This training includes theoretical, practical, and on-site training as well as on-the-job mentoring in preparation for licensing, construction and commissioning. Topics include:
- Design basis analysis
- Extended design conditions analysis
- Level 1 PSA
- Level 2 PSA
- Level 3 PSA
- Design Safety Review
- Regulatory Review
- Periodic Safety Review
- Integrated Risk Informed Decision Making (IRIDM)
Additional information can be found on the Global Safety Assessment Network (GSAN) in the Education and Training section.
The Design and Safety Assessment Review Service (DSARS) is formed of the following modules:
The DSARS provides:
- A detailed review of a full SAR or selected chapters
- Advice in support of licensing regarding the NPP design documentation and it’s completeness, robustness and comprehensiveness
- Feedback regarding areas that make a strong safety case as well as areas that may require strengthening.
In phase 1, Member States may request a DSARS/SAAP Advisory Mission. The mission provides:
- Advice on competency and capacity needs for establishing an NPP programme based on the SAET Syllabus
- Familiarization with safety assessment self-evaluation methodology and tools
- Development of an action plan for competency and capacity building
During phase 2, Member States may request a DSARS/DSR for pre-licensing evaluation of the Preliminary Safety Analysis Report. This is conducted with senior safety analysis experts in preparation for a full scope SAR evaluation. The DSR provides:
- Assistance in the early evaluation of safety documentation for the proposed reactor design against IAEA safety standards
- Advice on the conduct of the safety assessment
- Recommendations on further improvement
During phase 3, Member States may request a DSARS/SAAP Phase 2, to assist in a second national self-evaluation and analysis of design and safety assessment competencies and capacity achieved. During this mission, recommendations are made on continuous improvement and training in design and safety assessment for regulatory oversight, technical support, and plant operation, including topics such as knowledge management and train the trainer. The DSARS/SAAP Phase 2 provides:
- Assistance in a second national safety assessment self-evaluation
- Analysis of design and safety assessment competencies and capacity achieved
- Review of the sustainability of the Education and Training programme
- Recommendations for subsequent DSARS modules
In addition, during phase 3, Member States may request a DSARS/DSR to assist in the review of the Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR). During this mission, the FSAR is evaluated against the requirements of the IAEA Safety Standards GSR Part 4 and SSR-2/1.
Knowledge Networks and Tools
- Global Safety Assessment Network (GSAN):
In order to improve cooperation with Member States the Safety Assessment Section (SAS) within the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety (NSNI) has established the Global Nuclear Safety Assessment Network (GSAN) to facilitate focused collaboration on safety assessment capacity building in support of global nuclear safety harmonization, especially in the expanding and developing nuclear programmes worldwide.
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