FNCA 2012 Workshop on Safety Management System for Nuclear Facilities Project
October 29 - November 2, 2012
Opening and Welcome
The workshop was opened by Dr. Wonho Kim, Vice President, Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), who welcomed the participants and thanked ANSTO for their leading role in the FNCA SMS project. He noted that HANARO had been able to make improvements following the Nuclear Safety Culture project visit in 2004 and was confident that the peer review process would upgrade safety management.
Mr. Basil Ellis, Project Leader for the lead country Australia, replied on behalf of ANSTO. He thanked Dr. Kim and the host country staff for hosting the workshop and peer review and thanked them for the preparation and administration. Mr. Ellis welcomed the participants, noting that unfortunately Mr. Zuzaan Damdinsuren from Mongolia was unable to attend. He particularly welcomed Mr. Hefin Griffiths from Australia who will be taking over the Australian Project Leaders role and Dr. Kaldybek Donbayev from the Republic of Kazakhstan which was attending for the first time. He then explained that this was the third peer review for the SMS project and would include feedback to the group on the last review in Malaysia.
Workshop Introduction and the SMS Project Context
Representatives from the participating countries introduced themselves to the workshop.
Mr. Ellis 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 project which used 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 2010. Subsequently combined workshop / peer reviews were held in Serpong, Indonesia in October 2010 and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in November 2011. Mr. Ellis noted that the experience gained by the team in the previous peer reviews will be valuable in this current review.
Mr. Ellis then outlined the activities of the workshop.
Context for Nuclear Activities in the Republic of Korea
To give the participants context information for the peer review there were two presentations on the nuclear activities and regulatory background in Korea.
Mr. Hoan Sung Jung gave an overview of the nuclear activities in Korea. KAERI has a mission to provide nuclear R&D activities, operate facilities including the High Flux Advanced neutron Application Reactor (HANARO) Research Reactor and provide supporting activities. Korea has a broadly-based nuclear program and provides technology and support to other countries. The HANARO reactor provides medical and industrial radioisotopes, neutron beam radiography, neutron activation analysis and irradiation research.
Dr. Dae Soo Shin of the Korean Institute for Nuclear Safety (KINS) then gave a presentation on the nuclear regulation framework and processes in Korea. The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) reports to the President and has the mission of contributing to the strengthening of global nuclear safety, security, and non-proliferation regimes. Its activities include the licensing and inspection of nuclear facilities, materials, and activities, emergency preparedness and response and non-proliferation, safeguards and physical protection. KINS is an independent expert regulatory organisation entrusted by the NSSC which has a mission to protect the public health and environment from potential radiation hazards.
Following previous suggestions, the approach in this workshop was to allow for more focus on a specific topic. The issue chosen for its relevance was emergency arrangements and how these are integrated into the management systems. The participants from each country made a presentation giving an update of changes in their safety management systems and a brief description of their emergency arrangements. Dr. Kaldybek Donbayev gave a more general presentation describing the nuclear activities in the Republic of Kazakhstan which are extensive. There was good discussion following the presentations and they were well received.
Special Presentations and Sessions
Mr. Satoshi Kurata of Japan gave a presentation about detecting symptoms of a weakening safety culture. This covered some of the matters related to TEPCO's safety culture which included an inadequate framework for making good decisions on critical problems. Mr. Kurata examined possible reasons for this and noted one important factor is that safety culture is less visible than safety management. It is difficult but important to detect weakening performance early. He explained a Plan Do Check Act approach that CHUBU Electric Power is using to improve safety culture. The elements considered are compliance, communication, technical ability and morale.
Mr. Hefin Griffiths of ANSTO gave a presentation with the theme of integration in which he discussed the legislation affecting ANSTO, safety systems, the regulatory approach and safety strategy. New workplace health and safety legislation has been introduced in Australia which, for the first time, integrates the requirements for Commonwealth Agencies including ANSTO and the states of Australia. This has required update of ANSTO's SMS. Within ANSTO there has also been closer integration between safety, security / safeguards and operations. ANSTO is working towards certification to the ISO safety management standard which will then provide better linkage to its existing ISO quality management and environmental management certifications.
There was some discussion relating to the relationships between the 3S; safety, security and safeguards. It was not possible to consider this in depth given the limited expertise on security / safeguards in the team. Good examples of measures beneficial to both safety and security including control of access to areas and cooperation in emergency exercises were given. It was generally agreed the cooperation could be further improved.
Feedback from the Previous Peer Review
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 provides for a presentation at each workshop from the previous host country. Mrs. Zarina Masood, the SMS Project Leader for Malaysia, gave a presentation reporting back to the project team on the progress on follow-up activities from the RTP reactor peer review in November 2011. The measures adopted included better sharing of documents through the organisation, the development of a more integrated management system and better communication to the emergency control centre. Other improvements are that radiation protection staff are now more involved in planning high dose activities and a safety culture awareness program is being developed.
Self Assessment and Peer Review Process
The self-assessment tool is central to the review process and a sound understanding is important for users. Because there were new participants in the team, Mr. Ellis gave some training to ensure everyone was familiar before the HANARO peer review.
Workshop Summary and Conclusions
The workshop presentations from Korean staff provided good understanding of the context for the peer review of HANARO. The country reports were interesting and well received. Mr. Satoshi Kurata's presentation on detecting a weakening culture gave good insight into this important aspect of maintaining standards. Mr. Hefin Griffiths' presentation on the new safety management arrangements at ANSTO was a good example of a comprehensive system.
Mrs. Zarina Masood reported good progress on the follow up of the 2011 peer review of the RTP reactor in Malaysia.
During the workshop discussions there were two proposals designed to make the SMS project learning more readily available. The first was to make the self-assessment tool available on the FNCA website.
The second proposals was to compile the good practices found from the three peer reviews and with the approval of the host countries, make these available on the FNCA website. These proposals will be developed further.
The current SMS project is approved to run until 2013 and there was discussion on how this may proceed in the future but no conclusions were reached at the meeting. This needs further discussion including with the FNCA Coordinators.
Bangladesh has kindly offered to be host country in 2013 and subject to approval by the FNCA Coordinators and funding approvals, the arrangements will be made early next year. The proposal for the future peer reviews is to focus more on specific processes and the details will be developed next year.