FNCA 2011 Workshop on Safety Management System for Nuclear Facilities Project
November 21 - 25, 2011
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening and Welcome
The workshop was opened by Dr Mohd Ashhar Hj Khalid, Deputy General Director Technical Services Programme, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, who welcomed the participants and thanked ANSTO for their involvement in the FNCA SMS project. He then gave a presentation on the history of nuclear activities in Malaysia and the vision and mission of the Malaysian Nuclear Agency. An upgrading of the PUSPATI TRIGA Mark II Research Reactor (RTP) is under study and Malaysia sees that nuclear activities will become increasingly important.
Mr Basil Ellis, Project Leader for the lead country Australia, replied on behalf of ANSTO. He thanked Dr Ashhar and the host country staff for making the workshop and peer review possible and thanked them for the preparation and administration. Mr Ellis welcomed the participants, noting that unfortunately Mr Narin Klaysuban from Thailand was unable to attend due to the flooding. He then explained that this was the second peer review for the SMS project and would include feedback to the group on the first review in Indonesia.
Workshop Introduction and the SMS Project Context
Representatives from participating countries introduced themselves to the workshop. The list of participants is given in Appendix 1. Mr Ellis very briefly described the activities of the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) to the participants. The FNCA is a Japan led cooperation framework for peaceful use of nuclear technology in Asia. Within this framework, the Safety Management Systems for Nuclear Facilities project (SMS project) began in 2009 and is planned to run until 2013. It is led by Australia and follows the previous successful Nuclear Safety Culture (NSC) project which developed the self assessment -peer review approach.
The SMS project objectives are to identify key aspects of safety management systems for nuclear facilities, to develop self assessment and peer review methodologies for safety management, and by mutual agreement, to undertake peer reviews at designated institutes in project countries. The inaugural SMS project workshop was held in Sydney in February 2010. Another workshop and the first peer review were held in Serpong, Indonesia in October 2010. Mr Ellis noted that the experience gained in that peer review of the Indonesian RSG-GAS reactor will be valuable in this current review of the Malaysian RTP.
Mr Ellis then outlined the activities of the workshop. The agenda had changed slightly from the previously circulated revision. The final version, reflecting what happened, is given in Appendix 2.
Context for Nuclear Activities in Malaysia
There were two presentations on the nuclear activities and regulatory background in Malaysia to give the participants context information for the peer review.
Dr Ashhar described the history of nuclear development and the activities of Nuclear Malaysia. The Agency was established in 1972 and has undergone significant development since then. The Agency functions are to conduct research and training, provide services, promote nuclear application and commercialisation, and to generally coordinate the management of nuclear affairs. The main facility is the PUSPATI TRIGA Reactor (RTP) and there are also other facilities including irradiation facilities, radioisotope production facilities and nuclear medicine laboratories. There are plans and a study is being undertaken to upgrade the RTP reactor and to develop nuclear engineering education in collaboration with a local university.
Mr Andy Kong Shin Shyen, secretary of the Safety, Health and Environment Committee then gave an overview of the safety and regulatory processes for Dr Mohd Abd Wahab who was unable to attend.
The operations are regulated under the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984 which establishes the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB). Other regulators are the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and the Department of Environment (DOE). There is a well established Safety, Health & Environmental (SHE) Management System which operates with a main SHE Committee and subcommittees for Laboratory and Field Work, Emergency, Main Facilities, Audit and Physical Security.
Each participating country in the SMS project then gave a presentation describing their organisation, the nuclear facilities they had and an outline of the Safety Management System (SMS) in place. These presentations are intended to relay to the group of the countries progress on the six aspects of safety management that are reviewed in the self-assessment and peer review. The presentations were interesting and well received.
Dr Takehiko Nakamura of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency then gave a special presentation on the Lessons Learned from the Accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPS. His presentation gave an overview of the accident, the current status of the reactors, the lessons learned and the safety management issues. As is generally known, the combination of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused complete loss of external power and emergency power at the Fukushima site. Resultant events were core melting and hydrogen explosions within containment buildings. Immediate response measures included provisional cooling by spraying and water injection and since then circulating cooling has been established.
The Fukushima events have had a profound effect on nuclear related activities in Japan. Seven research reactors in the northern part of the country are still shut down pending full examination of the ability to withstand earthquakes. The presentation referred to twenty-eight lessons learned in five categories; the prevention of severe accidents, countermeasures against severe accident, responses to nuclear emergencies, enhancement of infrastructure and the need to instil a good safety culture. The most important basic principle in securing nuclear safety is having defences in depth. Furthermore a simple nuclear safety system with clear lines of responsibility is extremely important.
An important step in the peer review process is the follow-up by the previous peer review host organisation on the comments and suggestions for potential improvements. To facilitate this, the SMS project will provide for a presentation at each workshop from the previous host country. Dr Sigit Santoso, the SMS Project Leader for Indonesia, gave a presentation reporting back to the project team on the progress on follow-up activities from the RSG - GAS reactor peer review in Serpong in October 2010. The measures adopted included reporting of near misses, small safety cards, enhanced safety signs and backup monitoring equipment.
Self Assessment and Peer Review Process
The self-assessment tool is central to the review process and a sound understanding is important for users. However, in the SMS project thus far, there have been considerable changes to the participants from each country. While this has the advantage that it gives more people familiarity with the self-assessment tool and process, it does mean there is an ongoing need to train the new participants. To help with this, Mr Ellis had prepared a simplified training version of the tool and a glossary of SMS terms. He facilitated a training session to ensure everyone was familiar with the process before the RTP peer review.
Workshop Summary and Conclusions
The workshop presentations from Malaysia provided good understanding of the context for the later peer review of the TRP reactor. The country reports were interesting. The special report by Japan on the lessons learned from Fukushima was especially interesting and instructive. Future SMS project activities were discussed and the ideas will be developed before the next workshop. This workshop was the first for the SMS project at which the host country from the previous peer review was able to report back. Good progress has been made on the follow-up activities in Indonesia. A further workshop aim was to consider the host country for the next workshop and peer review. This needs further discussion by the FNCA Coordinators.