Regulatory Supervision of Legacy Sites
General Conference 2011
International Working Forum on Regulatory Supervision of Legacy Sites - Side Event to the IAEA General Conference held at it's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on September 20th, 2011.
The International Atomic Energy Agency held an awareness-raising side event to promote support for the International Working Forum on Regulatory Supervision of Legacy Sites (RSLS), at its Headquarters in Vienna on September 20th as part of the 55th annual General Conference.
Legacy sites are those which have hazards to be managed after the initial phases of nuclear technology development, for example, sites where uranium was produced, or sites that had facilities for research, development (R&D) and experimentation. Restoration of these legacy sites includes activities such as facility decommissioning, remediation of contaminated lands and development of waste management-related facilities. Restoration also requires activities to reduce existing radiation hazards until long-term solutions can be implemented.
The objectives of the meeting were to provide an update on RSLS activities and to provide a forum for exchange of ideas among Member States concerning regulatory needs for supervision of legacy sites. It was also an opportunity to expand the existing RSLS network and the points of contact for future RSLS interactions.
The meeting was attended by forty representatives from the Member States. Opening remarks were delivered by Pil-Soo Hahn, Director of the Division of Radiation, Waste and Transport Safety, and the Ambassador from Norway, His Excellency Jan Petersen. His Excellency stressed the importance of RSLS, the Norwegian experience gained in northwest Russia, and its relevance to RSLS. He also expressed strong support from Norway as RSLS moves forward. Following his remarks, Ms Malgorzata Sneve, from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority and current RSLS Chairperson, gave an overview of the genesis of RSLS and progress to date. Ms. Sneve identified three focus areas and working groups formed to address the following areas:
- enhancing the regulatory regime
- professional development of regulators
- applications of methods for safety and environmental assessments
She also discussed the upcoming RSLS Technical Meeting which took place on 17 to 21 October, 2011 at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna.
Ms. Sneve was followed by Dr. Keith McConnell, of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who gave a presentation on the regulatory process for oversight of uranium production legacy sites in the U.S.A. A panel session was convened and an interactive dialogue ensued with the participants for the remainder of the session.
The event was closed by Pil-Soo Hahn who noted in his remarks the importance of the application of the Basic Safety Standards (BSS), the necessity of a strong independent regulatory body, the respective roles of regulators and operators, and the need to address existing legacy issues while preventing future legacies from occurring.
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