Nuclear Power and Nuclear Safety

International expert group reviews the safety of IFE's research reactor at Kjeller

Between 3 and 10 October, a group of eight international reactor experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will review the operational safety of the JEEP II reactor at Kjeller. This will lead to a review of the safety culture at IFE in March 2018.

Hole, Silje Aspholm

Communications Director


IFE initiated the review in 2016 as part of the ongoing work on improving safety and security at the institute. The reason why IFE wishes a thorough independent review of safety culture includes the finding of humidity in the spent fuel at Kjeller and the incident at the Halden reactor last autumn. The review, called the INSARR mission, will also contribute to a thorough basis for processing the IFE license application for the Kjeller facilities. This will be decided in 2018.

Integrated Safety Assessment of Research Reactors

INSARR is short for the Integrated Safety Assessment of Research Reactors, and the reactors under review are assessed according to IAEA safety standards. The INSARR group coming to Kjeller consists of reactor specialists from all over the world. They will conduct an independent review and evaluation of operations at JEEP II, and make recommendations regarding safety and security. Through the INSARR mission, IFE also evaluates the maintenance and aging program at the JEEP II reactor, which has been in operation since 1967.

The INSARR review of JEEP II is the first step in the review of the IAEA. The next step is that the IAEA will review the safety culture at IFE in March 2018 through a so-called ISCA (International Safety Culture Assessment).

Review of safety and operating practices at the reactor

The group to undergo INSARR mission at IFE consists of eight people from different countries representing different professional expertise, as well as experience from this type of audit. The review of JEEP II is done on the basis of IAEA's security standards and publications, in addition to the expertise represented by the team.

The group will review the operational practice of the reactor and can provide recommendations and suggestions for improvements, as well as provide an exchange of experience and methods. It is common for the review to take one to two weeks. The Expert Group will conduct interviews with personnel associated with JEEP II, review documentation and physically inspect the reactor. In parallel, a separate review of various aspects of the IFE's safety culture will take place. At the end of the visit, the expert group will prepare a draft report for IFE's management. The group concludes the visit at IFE on 10 October, and will then submit a report on the review of JEEP II.

Foto: Mona L. Ramstad, IFE

(The picture shows the research reactor JEEP II. Photo: Mona L. Ramstad, IFE)

Review on IFE's initiative

IFE's CEO Nils Morten Huseby looks forward to the review:

– IFE has initiated the IAEA to conduct the INSARR review. For us, safety comes first, and we work continuously to improve our safety culture. The expertise INSARR represents it is world-leading, and they assess us from the competence and standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). I have great expectations that this will contribute to further improvement of the safety culture at IFE, says Huseby.

2017-10-09 Text: Silje Aspholm Hole