The issue is Ringhals' strategies and methods for dealing with the ageing process – how we analyse, manage and maintain the nuclear power plants to ensure safe and stable operation after the originally-intended period of 40 years. The inspection, called SALTO – Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation – gave valuable feedback on Ringhals' strategies and methods for doing this.
Issues and good practices
Ringhals was given a total of sixteen so-called 'issues' i.e. areas for improvement which require further work. These issues include, for example: 1) ensuring that the appropriate preconditions are in place for the planned LTO project, 2) how Ringhals identifies and evaluates the status of components and their maintenance programmes, and 3) having access to the necessary competencies in the area.
The inspectors also hihglighted two examples of "good practice' – something new, valuable and transferable to others. One of these is that Ringhals offers a well-defined specialist technical career path. The other is the way of working with programmes for recurrent checks and tests in the plants, where a database acts as an important hub.
The final report from the inspection is due in May.
Deputy Managing Director Björn Linde was able to note that his expectations of the inspection were fully met. There was an open dialogue with plenty of learning and assistance for Ringhals to benefit from.
"Ringhals 1 and 2 will soon have been in operation for 40 years, and the directive from our owners is that we should plan and invest for 50 years of operation. It is essential for us to work on our LTO programme. Now we have received objective, constructive feedback, which will help us to improve. We will attend to this, and we will also make use of the networks and contacts we have gained," says Linde.
The inspection was also followed by representatives from the Vattenfall Group and from Forsmark and OKG, which are due for similar inspections.
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