STUK approves the response of TVO with certain reservations

13/10/2006

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) approves the plan prepared by Teollisuuden Voima and the consortium in charge of the construction of the new nuclear power plant to improve the compliance with safety requirements in the OL3 project. However, STUK still wants to obtain sufficient assurance of the implementation of this plan.

In the spring and summer this year, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) investigated the compliance with safety reguirements in the construction of the new Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. The investigation began in March, and the report completed in July stated that the operations of the organisations participating in the construction did not entirely meet STUK’s expectations. Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) submitted its response to STUK on 15 September, and STUK gave its decision on this response today, on 13 October. 

TVO and the consortium the construction of the nuclear power plant have prepared a detailed action plan in response to the recommendations made in the investigation team’s report. STUK recognises that the matter has been taken seriously. Particular attention has been paid to identifying corrective measures to address the problems experienced in subcontractors’ guidance and supervision. Objectives of the action plan include making the project-related responsibilities more clear, increasing the level of supervision, and improving the guidance and instructions provided. 

In STUK’s opinion, the measures suggested to improve operations were sufficient. However, STUK still wants to ensure that the measures can be adequately implemented. TVO was given one month to clarify and detail its response.

In its decision, STUK emphasises that construction project management expertise is a major issue, and that continued attention must be paid to it. TVO and the consortium are expected to implement measures that will allow the senior management of the companies involved to become convinced that appropriate construction expertise is available for the senior management of the project and on the construction site.

Better communication, clear requirements

STUK wants to underline the importance of a good flow of information between the organisations participating in the construction project. STUK particularly emphasises the management’s responsibility in this respect.

When the consortium enters into agreements with subcontractors, the special safety and quality requirements must be included in the contract documents. Furthermore, STUK points out that any repeated quality deviations detected during construction and manufacture must be continuously analysed, and that the company management must be immediately informed of any recurring quality deviations. 

TVO and the consortium must take responsibility for training of the organisations involved in the nuclear power plant construction and equipment manufacture, with special attention paid to those with no previous experience in such work.

Foundation laid for a good safety culture

In STUK’s opinion, the investigation and its aftermath were very instructive. The incident brought up a number of issues affecting safety culture and thereby helped promote safety culture in all organisations involved in the nuclear power plant project. In the future, the elements of a good safety culture will be emphasised in the training sessions organised by TVO and the consortium. 

The decision of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority "Turvallisuusvaatimusten hallinta Olkiluoto-3 ydinvoimalaitoksen rakentamisessa - TVO:n vastine" (Compliance with safety requirements in the construction of the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant - TVO's response) with appendices is available in Finnish on STUK’s website.

Further information:
Office manager Petteri Tiippana, tel. +358 9 759 88 654
Information officer Risto Isaksson, tel. +358 9 759 88 208

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