Nuclear Power and Nuclear Safety

Safety assessment report of the JEEP II research reactor

IFE has received the complete report from the Integrated Safety Assessment of Research Reactors (INSARR) in October 2017 from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Hole, Silje Aspholm

Communications Director


IFE initiated the review in 2016 as part of the ongoing effort to improve safety and security at the research institute. The reason why IFE initiated this thorough and independent review of the safety culture is identification of humidity at spent reactor fuel storage at Kjeller and the incident at the Halden reactor last autumn. The review will also play a role in the licensing process application for the Kjeller facilities, which will be finalized in 2018 by national authorities.

The INSARR-mission was conducted by an international team of experts on research reactor safety, headed by the IAEA. The objective of the mission was to review the operational safety of the reactor covering the following areas: Reactor management, safety committee, safety culture, management system, training and qualification, safety analysis report, safety analysis, operational limits and conditions, conduct of operations, maintenance and ageing management, safety of the utilization program and modifications, operational radiation and waste management, emergency planning and decommissioning plan. The review was performed in accordance with the methodology established in the IAEA Guidelines for Research Reactor Safety Review, which is based on the IAEA safety standards.

In the report, the IAEA team notes the competence of the IFE staff and the significant work being planned and performed for future operations of the reactor. The team observed continued improvement in the effectiveness of the IFE safety committee, emergency preparedness, and the implementation of an effective maintenance program for the reactor systems and components. The report also emphasizes the efforts being exerted by IFE in establishing and implementing a national strategy for managing spent fuel and radioactive waste and in developing decommissioning plan in line with the IAEA safety standards.

Improvements and implementing IAEAs recommendations

Work on safety culture is about continuous improvements. The IAEA-experts provided recommendations for further safety improvement. The need for improvement mainly covered the following areas:

  • Clearer roles and responsibilities of the reactor staff. The IAEA recommends a radiation protection employee dedicated to the reactor, as well as the establishment of its own internal safety committee for the JEEP II reactor.
  • When reorganizing IFE, it is important to maintain a high level of safety and clear responsibility for operations in the reactor and ensure adequate human and financial resources to safeguard security and technical support.
  • Further develop integrated management systems that support continuous development and maintenance of strong safety culture.
  • Establish a formal training program for certain types of personnel at the reactor.
  • Strengthen radiation protection work by strengthening the practical work at the plant.
  • Conduct ongoing revision of the security documentation at the reactor to address upgrades that are currently under implementation.

The complete list of areas for improvement and IAEAs recommendations are available in the report.

IFE has studied the INSARR report thoroughly. For each of the areas of improvements, we have developed a plan with specific actions and defined a period of implementation.

Safety always first

The overall effort for safe operations greatly benefits from the review of the IAEA. The recommendations for improvements give a direction and focus for further safety enhancements.

"Safety always comes first for IFE, and we continuously work to improve our safety culture," says Nils Morten Huseby, CEO of IFE. "We have received useful recommendations for our safety work. IFE is continuing to develop and maintain a strong safety culture. We have invited the IAEA to review the safety culture of the entire IFE in March 2018 through an ISCA (Independent Safety Culture Assessment). We have also invited the IAEA to a follow-up INSARR mission, Huseby says.

About the Expert Group Review:

INSARR stands for the Integrated Safety Assessment of Research Reactors, and the reactors under review are assessed by IAEA safety standards. The INSARR group consists of reactor specialists from all over the world.

The INSARR team that reviewed the JEEP II reactor, consisted of eight people from different countries representing different professional expertise, as well as experience from this type of audit. The review of JEEP II was conducted on the basis of IAEA's safety standards and publications, in addition to the expertise represented by the team.

Link to the final INSARR-report assessing operational safety at the JEEP II research reactor (pdf)

2017-11-22 Text: Silje Aspholm Hole