ENSI decides that Swiss nuclear plants should participate in Europe-wide peer review on ageing management

Nuclear power plants in Switzerland are to take part in a Europe-wide peer review on ageing management this year. ENSI, the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate, has decided that Swiss plants should participate in the EU Topical Peer Review.

Following on from the EU Stress Tests, the European Council decided that topical peer reviews should be carried out by nuclear power plants. Switzerland will also play a part in this review process on ageing management in nuclear power plants.

“By taking part in the 2017 Topical Peer Review, we hope to learn from experiences made in the field of ageing management in other European nuclear power plants,” says ENSI Director General Hans Wanner. “Switzerland was one of the first countries to introduce ageing management,” he added.

Systematic ageing monitoring in place for over 25 years

Swiss operators have been monitoring ageing components as part of a dedicated programme since 1991 and routinely inspect all safety and security-related components and structures to assess the effects of ageing.

As part of the Topical Peer Review, participating countries review the ageing management programmes of each other’s nuclear power plants and use their findings as an opportunity to introduce potential improvements.

National report by the end of 2017

Each Swiss nuclear power plant will submit its report to ENSI by the summer of 2017. This should describe the ageing management programmes for the following components and structures:

  • electrical cables,
  • underground pipes,
  • reactor pressure vessels,
  • concrete structures in the reactor building.

ENSI will then use the reports from the nuclear plant operators to compile a consolidated Swiss national report.

Topical Peer Review process

The European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group ENSREG is to coordinate the 2017 Topical Peer Review. There are three phases in the review process:

  1. National assessment: leading to a national report (to be published at the end of 2017).
  2. Review of the submitted national reports (workshop in May 2018, final workshop report to be published in August 2018).
  3. Implementation of the recommendations from the final report (implementation plan to be published in December 2018, with a report on the status of any implementation measures being published in December 2023).