Mr Matthias J. Heitsch (EC)
Operating Experience Feedback (OEF) is one of the ways of improving nuclear safety of operating nuclear power plants. Several participants at the conference on Improving Nuclear Safety through Operating Experience Feedback that was held in Germany in 2006 discussed the possibility and benefits of joined efforts at European level to enhance the effectiveness of OEF. As a result a regional initiative has been set up in 2008 in support of EU Member States’ nuclear safety regulatory authorities, but also EU technical support organizations, international organizations and the broader nuclear community, to enhance nuclear safety through improvement of the use of lessons learned from operational experience of nuclear power plants (NPPs). The experience of US NRC Operating Experience (OE) Clearinghouse showed that the establishment of a centralized OE Clearinghouse for a particular region in the world can yield significant benefits due to optimized use of resources and improved feedback of lessons learnt. Due to differing regulatory regimes in the EU member countries, significant diversity of the NPP designs and different languages used, the establishment of the European Clearinghouse was more complicated and challenging and needed strong support and commitment from the EU nuclear safety regulatory authorities. The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the EC has been chosen to play a central role in establishing and running of the European Clearinghouse for OEF. The choice allowed use of well-established JRC working mechanisms, means and technical expertise in the field to promote better cooperation and more effective use of the limited national resources and to strengthen the capabilities for OE analyses and dissemination of the lessons learned. The European Clearinghouse is organized as a Network operated by a Central Office located at the Institute for Energy and Transport that is part of JRC of the European Commission. It gathers 17 European Safety and 3 major European TSOs. The main objectives of the European Clearinghouse are: • Strengthening co-operation between European Safety Authorities, Technical Support Organizations (TSO) and the international OEF community to collect, evaluate and share NPP operational events data and apply lessons learnt in a consistent manner throughout member countries. • Establishment of European best-practice for assessment of operational events in NPPs. • Coordination of OEF activities and maintenance of effective communication between experts from European regulatory authorities involved in OEF analyses and their TSO. • Strengthening European resources in operational experience. • Support for the long-term EU research and policy needs on NPP Operating Experience Feedback. The main activities covered by the European Clearinghouse are: -Topical studies providing in-depth assessment of preselected subjects related to NPP operating experience -Contribution to improve the quality of event reports sent to the International Reporting System -Quarterly reports on Operating Experience -Development, maintenance and population of a database for storage of Operating Experience related information -Delivery of training in the field of Root Cause Analysis and event investigation. Six years of operation of the European Clearinghouse have shown the added value of the initiative and further areas are being developed such as statistical tools to identify topics on which the efforts should focus in the future.
|Country or International Organisation||European Commission, JRC-IET|
Mr Michel Bieth (JRC-IET)
Mr Benoit Zerger (JRC-IET) Mr Matthias J. Heitsch (EC)