OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA)
    Working Group on Inspection Practices (WGIP)


    12th International Nuclear Regulatory Inspection Workshop

    Experience from the inspection of licensee's outage activities including fire protection programmes; event response inspections and the impact on inspection programmes of the Fukushima accident

    7-10 April 2014
    Chattanooga, Tennesseee, USA

    Hosted by United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    General information

    The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) Working Group on Inspection Practices (WGIP) sponsored the 12th International Workshop on Nuclear Regulatory Inspection Activities on Experience from the Inspection of licensee’s outage activities including fire protection programmes, event response inspections and the impact on inspection programmes of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. The workshop was hosted by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA on 7-10 April 2014.

    Objective

    The main purpose of the workshop was to provide a forum for the exchange of information on regulatory inspection activities. Participants had the opportunity to meet with their counterparts from other countries and organisations to discuss current and future issues on the selected topics. They developed conclusions and commendable practices regarding these issues and identified methods to help improve their own inspection programmes.

    Background

    The CNRA believes that safety inspections are a major element in a regulatory authority’s efforts to ensure the safe operation of nuclear facilities. Considering the importance of these issues, the committee established a special working group to address inspection practices. The purpose of WGIP is to facilitate the exchange of information and experience related to regulatory safety inspections between CNRA Member countries. This workshop, along with many other activities performed by WGIP, was directed towards this goal. The consensus from participants in previous workshops, noted that the value of meeting with people from other inspection organisations was the most important achievement.

    Topics

    The workshop addressed the following three (3) main topics concerning experience from inspection activities:

    • inspection of licensee's outage activities including fire protection programmes;
    • event response inspections;
    • the impact on inspection programmes of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

    Overview

    A brief overview of the concepts and issues for each of the topics is provided in the following paragraphs. Actual issues discussed during the workshop was generated by the organising committee members based on the responses submitted by participants with their registration forms. This helped ensure that issues considered most important by the workshop participants were covered during the group discussions.

    Inspection of licensee's outage activities including fire protection programmes

    Outages are an important opportunity for licensees to undertake plant maintenance, inspections, modifications and other activities necessary to ensure the continued safety of nuclear power plants (NPPs). Fire protection is one of the important aspects to be considered in the frame of this topic because of the increase of the fire risk and maintenance on fire protection systems. The scope of the workshop was limited to planned NPP routine outages and included: the consideration of NPP outage work scope; regulatory body (RB) inspection scope; nuclear and fire risk minimisation; resolution of outage findings that may affect start-up and arrangements for restart of the NPP. The focus of this workshop topic was to identify commendable inspection practices by the RB for gaining confidence that safety will be maintained during an outage, return to service and following the operating cycle of the NPP.

    Event response inspections

    How RBs respond to events is significant for a variety of reasons. The purpose of this workshop topic was to exchange information on how RBs respond to significant plant operating events. For the purposes of this workshop an event was defined as an incident that has had significant impact on plant safety. Security and safeguard events and off-site emergency response had been excluded from this workshop topic to better focus on reactor safety issues. The workshop topic then focused on singular events during normal operations and outages which involved an immediate notification of the RB. The focus of this workshop topic was to identify commendable inspection practices for gaining confidence in responding to significant plant operating events.

    The impact on inspection programmes of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident had a significant impact on RBs. Many RBs reacted to the accident by reviewing their regulatory framework, licensing requirement and inspection programmes. The purpose of this workshop topic was to explore how the reviews led to changes in inspection programmes. The focus of this workshop topic was to identify commendable inspection practices by the RB for gaining confidence that safety will be maintained in the case of severe accidents.

    Format

    The formal workshop sessions were divided into an opening session, discussion sessions, open discussion sessions and a closing session. Additionally, informal opportunities were made available throughout the workshop for participants to exchange information and communicate on other inspection topics.

    Plenary opening session

    The opening session included presentations by invited speakers from both regulatory and other organisations. The lead WGIP facilitator for each topic introduced the main topics addressed during the workshop, based on the responses received from the participants' survey and WGIP discussions.

    Workshop discussion sessions (3 half-day sessions)

    Participants were divided into smaller groups to discuss one of three workshop topics. A facilitator and recorder worked with each group to stimulate and encourage discussions. Based on experience from previous workshops, each group remained the same throughout these sessions, although facilitators may have been rotated to enhance the exchanges of information. Each group was expected to develop a list of conclusions and commendable practices for the topics being discussed.

    • Participants indicated on the registration form, the preferred topic they would have liked to discuss during these sessions. Every attempt was made to assign participants to the appropriate discussion group. Again, past experience had shown that groups having the most diverse (e.g. participants from different countries) groupings, have been the most effective.
    • Participants were also requested to list one or two specific issues that they would have liked to have seen addressed during the workshop discussion sessions.

    As a result of previous workshops, most participants have commented that advanced information was very valuable to the discussions. Therefore, participants were requested to supply the following:

    Open discussion session

    Prior to the closing session, an open informal discussion (morning) session was held. Participants were given the opportunity to discuss and review all of the workshop topics in an informal setting. This may have included a presentation on selected related topics arranged by, US NRC.

    Plenary closing session

    One facilitator from each topic presented the conclusions and proposed commendable practices that were developed by their respective groups. A panel discussion including all facilitators and recorders for the topic answered questions from the audience. Following the presentations, there was an open panel discussion on the results of the workshop.

    Participants

    It was expected that participation in the workshop would mainly be from regulatory organisations familiar with inspection programmes and activities. This included inspectors, inspection managers and inspection training officers. The intrinsic value of these workshops is for people (i.e. the inspectors) who face these topics in practical situations on a day-to-day basis.

    Language

    All presentations, discussions, and meeting documents were in English.

    Workshop proceedings

    Proceedings from the workshop will be published, and will include papers from the opening session, conclusions and recommendations from the discussion groups, summary of panel discussions and information papers submitted by participants to the workshop.

    Informal sessions

    In order for participants to communicate and exchange information on other topics of interest, informal sessions were arranged during lunch periods and following daily sessions. Additionally, a meet and greet and a dinner had been arranged by the US NRC. The preliminary schedule is provided below and a detailed schedule and programme was transmitted to each participant in advance of the workshop.

    Preliminary schedule of workshop activities

    The following schedule had been developed for the workshop. This schedule was preliminary in nature and subject to change based on the planning and arrangements being prepared by the US NRC. As noted in the table, US NRC hosted a meet and greet on Sunday evening, a workshop dinner on Thursday evening and coffee breaks during the workshop.

    Day Time Event
    Sunday 6
    April
    15:00 Workshop pre-meeting for discussion group leads
    17:00 Pre-registration meet and greet
     
    Monday
    7April
    08:15 Registration and coffee
    09:00

    Plenary opening session

    Welcome by Mr. Victor McCree, Region II Administrator, US NRC; Mr. Olivier Veyret, WGIP Chair and Ms. Nancy Salgado, NEA
    presentations of the workshop topics by WGIP topic leads
    12:30 Lunch
    13:30 Workshop discussion sessions by topic
    17:00 End
     
      Free evening to visit Chattanooga
     
    Tuesday 8
    April

    Topics Sessions: Parts 2 and 3

    09:00 Resume workshop discussion sessions
    12:30 Lunch
    13:30 Workshop discussion sessions
    17:00 End
     
    Wednesday
    9 April
    09:00 Host country presentation and open discussion session
    12:30 Lunch
    13:30 Plenary closing session: Workshop discussion results
    17:00 Closing
     
      Closing workshop dinner
     
    Thursday
    10 April
    08:30 Meet for tour to US NRC Technical Training Center
    12:30 Return from tour
    12:45  

    Official workshop contacts

    NEA Secretariat:

    Ms. Nancy SALGADO,
    Nuclear Safety Specialist
    Nuclear Safety Division
    OECD/NEA
    Le Seine St-Germain
    12, blvd des Iles
    92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux
    FRANCE

    Tel: +33 (0)1 45 24 10 55
    E-mail:


    Host Country Contacts:

    Mr. Christopher Regan, Chief
    Reactor Inspection Branch
    Division of Inspection and Regional Support
    Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    Tel: +001 (301) 415 2768
    E-mail:

    Ms. Marsha Gamberoni,
    Senior Reactor Systems Engineer
    Reactor Inspection Branch
    Division of Inspection and Regional Support
    Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    Tel: +001 (301) 415 0890
    E-mail:

    NEA Secretariat Assistant

    Ms. Elisabeth MAUNY
    Assistant
    Nuclear Safety Division
    OECD/NEA
    Le Seine St-Germain
    12, blvd des Iles
    92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux
    France

    Tel: +33 (0)1 45 24 10 51
    E-mail:


    Last reviewed: 11 April 2014