Regulatory Supervision of Legacy Sites
The RSLS Project
Past development of commercial and military uses of radioactive material led to the development of many nuclear facilities worldwide. In many countries, these facilities were built and operated before the regulatory infrastructure was in place to ensure that they were effectively decommissioned at the end of their useful life. The legacy from this build up is that many countries now have abandoned nuclear facilities or areas where spills or accidents have occurred that are contaminated with long-lived radioactive and toxic residues that pose substantial environmental and health concerns. The International Forum on the Regulatory Supervision of Legacy Sites (RSLS) is focused on efforts to better regulate the existing sites and facilities and avoid the creation of new legacy sites through strong independent regulatory oversight.
The overall objective of the RSLS is to promote effective and efficient regulatory supervision of legacy sites, consistent with the IAEA Fundamental Principles, Safety Standards and good international practices. This will be achieved through the collection, collation and exchange of information on legacy sites. It will also be achieved through the generation of mutual support through presentations and discussions on how effective and efficient regulatory supervision can be implemented and maintained.
The project will focus on exchanging experience and identifying best practices. The expectation is that the participants will have a background in and provide lessons-learned in the management of legacy sites. The project will consider the variation, content, and structure of a national policy that exists in the world for regulatory supervision of legacy sites as well as the strategies employed for the conduct of safety and environmental assessments. In addition, the project will identify the fundamental training requirements necessary to ensure that regulatory staff can effectively carry out supervision of legacy sites.
The scope of RSLS activities covers support in development of effective and efficient regulatory processes, such as:
- regulatory requirements and guidance development
- licensing and authorisation
- inspection, compliance monitoring and enforcement
The project will compile lessons learned from past experience with legacy site remediation and provide recommendations as to what constitutes good practice for regulatory supervision of legacy sites.
The activities of the project are to be organised under three Working Groups (WGs). The IAEA Secretariat will provide coordination for the project and, among other things, organize an annual plenary Technical Meetings at which progress is reviewed, adjustments to the project plans and schedules are made and working group activities are carried out. Annual Technical Meetings of RSLS Working Groups are organized to facilitate the coordination of the project activities, recommendations and development of the inputs to project reports.
Annual coordination meetings and workshops have been held since the launch of the RSLS project.
The RSLS project will be directed by a Coordinating Group (CG), which consists of the RSLS chairperson, WG leaders and IAEA Secretariat. The CG is responsible for planning Technical Meetings and coordinating WG activities. The CG will meet annually, usually in conjunction with the annual Technical Meeting. A chairperson is selected on a rotating basis, in accordance with the Terms of Reference for the project.
Participation in the RSLS project is open to all Member States.
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