Between 11 and 19 February, a pre-Salto (safety aspects of long-term operation) mission reviewed preparedness, organisation and programmes related to LTO at the site, focusing on Cernavoda-1, which is the older of two units in commercial operation.
The team of experts from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the IAEA identified good practices to be shared with the nuclear industry globally and said staff at Cernavodă was professional, open, and receptive to suggestions for improvement.
The IAEA praised Cernavodă for making effective use of international experience shared in the Candu Owners Group for safety improvements, successfully applying a long-term corrective action programme, and using a dynamic learning approach for work not performed on a regular basis.
However, according to the Salto team, Cernavodă staff should still improve its LTO strategy by covering all necessary activities to prepare for safe LTO. The plant should also develop and implement a methodology to set the scope for structures and components as part of an adequate ageing management review.
The pre-Salto mission was requested by Cernavodă’s owner and operator Nuclearelectrica SA, which plans to extend the operating life of Unit 1 to up to 60 years.
There are two 650-MW Candu 6 reactor units at Cernavodă. Unit 1 began commercial operation in December 1996. The identical Cernavodă-2 began commercial operation in November 2007. Between them the two units provide about 17% of Romania’s electricity generation.