International review team plans follow-up at Seabrook nuclear plant

An international team of nuclear safety experts will conduct a follow-up safety review at the Seabrook nuclear power plant from June 3 to 7. The focus of this review will be on the responses to the recommendations developed following an earlier, more comprehensive review of operational safety practices at the Seabrook, N.H., facility.

There will be four members on the follow-up team, including a team leader and deputy team leader from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an evaluator from France and an evaluator from Brazil.

The voluntary peer review, which is coordinated by the IAEA, is known as an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) visit. The initial OSART assessment was conducted at the plant from June 7 to 23, 2011, by a 14-member team. Members of the team came from countries that included France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, China, Spain, Brazil, Russia and the Czech Republic.

While the NRC does not conduct the assessment, it does closely follow it and the outcomes, both for their safety significance and process improvements. No new safety-significant issues were identified during the 2011 review. NRC staff reviewed the OSART draft and final reports. They agreed with the team’s findings and did not identify any issues requiring additional NRC review. The final OSART report is available in the NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) under accession number ML12081A105. ADAMS is available at: http://adams.nrc.gov/wba/ .

The OSART program was established by IAEA in 1982. It is designed to assist member states in enhancing the operational safety of nuclear power plants and fostering continuous improvement through the dissemination of information on best practices. The Seabrook OSART was the seventh such review of a U.S. nuclear power plant since the program’s launch.