Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Nuclear - Safety
The international exchange of nuclear power plant operating experience and, in particular, the broad dissemination of 'lessons learned' are essential parts of maintaining and strengthening the safe operation of nuclear power plants. Collecting, sharing and analysing operating experience are all vital safety-management elements, and there is clear empirical evidence that learning from nuclear power plant operating experience has led, and continues to lead, to improvements in plant safety. International mechanisms to facilitate exchange include the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the IAEA. Regular meetings of the IAEA-OECD/NEA Joint Incident Reporting System are an additional part of this global exchange process, where recent incidents can be discussed and analysed in detail. Safety indicators, such as those published by WANO and reproduced in Figs. 6-13 and 6-14 , improved dramatically in the 1990s. However, in recent years some areas of improvement have stalled. Moreover the gap between the best and worst performers is still large, providing substantial room for continuing improvement. Since the 1986 accident at Chernobyl, enormous efforts have been made to upgrade reactor safety features, but facilities still exist at which nuclear safety assistance should be made a priority.