3 Oct (NucNet): The single-unit Borssele nuclear plant in the Netherlands is “well within” the top 25 percent safest water-cooled and water-moderated reactors in the EU, US and Canada, and meets conditions allowing it to continue commercial operation, a report for the national government has said.
The report, by the Borssele Benchmark Committee, said evaluations were carried out of both the design and operation of the plant.
The report, the first by the committee, said the success of the design review was the result of prudent original design, but even more of continuous safety improvement programmes which have taken place since 1986 as the result of periodic safety reviews.
The results of an evaluation of safety in operations indicated that overall the plant is well within the group of 25 percent best performing plants, but that owner EPZ should improve its ageing management processes.
The report said that to assure plant safety three fundamental safety functions need to be assured under all circumstances: reactivity control, heat removal and the confinement of radioactivity.
The task of the Borssele Benchmark Committee is to determine whether the plant continues to be among the 25 percent safest water-cooled and water-moderated power reactors in the European Union, the US and Canada.
This condition is part of an agreement not to close down the plant in 2013 – as was politically intended – but to allow it, in principle, to continue operation until 31 December 2033.
Borssele, a 482-megawatt unit, began commercial operation in October 1973. It is the Netherlands’ only commercially operational nuclear unit.
In January 2012, EPZ said it remained convinced of the need for new nuclear in the Netherlands, despite taking a decision to delay plans for a new plant at the existing Borssele site by two to three years.
The report is online:
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