Measurement system of the Borssele Nuclear Power Plant improved at the insistence of the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection
In July of 2023, the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection imposed a financial penalty order on EPZ, the owner of the Borssele Nuclear Power Plant. After all, we wanted EPZ to improve the new system of radiation measurements at the site boundaries of the nuclear power plant. Because inspections showed that this new measurement system was not yet fully operational. There was no risk to people and the environment, because the old measurement system was also still working. Now that the objections procedure has ended, we are publishing the monitoring decision.
Radiation at the site boundary can more easily be measured
The financial penalty order was imposed because inspectors had determined that the new online system used by EPZ to measure the radiation at the site boundary around the Borssele Nuclear Power Plant was not working as agreed. EPZ installed this online system in light of the mandatory ten-yearly periodic safety review (10EVA) from 2013. This allows EPZ to constantly monitor the amount of radiation at the site boundaries surrounding the nuclear power plant from the control room of the nuclear power plant. This can be important in the event that something goes wrong at the nuclear power plant. The old measurement system did not have this option and could only be read out on the spot and periodically.
Financial penalty order imposed
Inspections have shown that the new measurement system did not yet work properly due to IT and hardware issues. Based on this violation, the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection informed EPZ that it intended to impose a financial penalty order if the issue was not resolved. During an initial re-inspection, our inspectors concluded that the violation had not yet been fully resolved. As a result, the penalty was imposed. If, after the set term of one month, an inspector from the Authority were to conclude that the violation had not been resolved, EPZ would be required to pay a financial penalty for each violation found.
In September 2023, the Authority’s inspectors determined that EPZ had improved the measurement system. There was no longer a violation. As a result, EPZ was not required to pay a financial penalty. To prevent recurrence of the violation, the financial penalty order will continue to apply. After receiving a notice of objection from EPZ, we amended a number of items in the financial penalty order. This gave EPZ the scope to resolve the violation in a manner that suited the company.
The old measurement system was still working
In addition to the new system, the old system was also still working. The results of the measurements of this system will be published in EPZ’s annual environment report. This is monitored by the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection. Those measurements show that the net dose at the site boundary of the nuclear power plant is in compliance with the licence. EPZ also has various other systems that provide information on the radiation that is produced. As a result, the violation did not have any effects on people and the environment.