Joint meetings of Safety Standards Committees
RASSC, TRANSSC and WASSC committees meeting held in Vienna, on 29 June - 2nd July, 2009, at IAEA headquarters, Vienna, Austria
RASSC/TRANSSC/WASSC Joint Session
Between the 29th June and 2nd July the Radiation Safety Standards Committee (RASSC), the Transport Safety Standards Committee (TRANSSC) and the Waste Safety Standards Committee (WASSC) met at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna. Advantage of the committees meeting at the same time was taken to hold joint sessions of all committees, of RASSC and WASSC and of TRANSSC and WASSC. The joint sessions were used to examine cross-cutting issues, and to improve efficiency by considering draft Safety Standards once rather than separately in each committee.
Joint RASSC/WASSC meeting
RASSC and WASSC held a joint meeting to discuss the conclusions from RASSC on its discussion of the revised BSS, and to discuss with WASSC members their comments. RASSC and WASSC approved the following drafts for submission to the Commission on Safety Standards (CSS):
- one Safety Requirements: DS354 - Disposal of Radioactive Waste
- three Safety Guides for submission to the CSS for endorsement: DS44 on Criteria for Use in Planning Response to Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies; DS388 on Chemistry Programme for Water Cooled Nuclear Power Plants, and DS371 on Storage of Spent Fuel
Joint TRANSSC/WASSC meeting
The joint WASSC/TRANSSC meeting examined a series of cross cutting waste and transport issues. Interesting discussions on issues such as long term storage of waste in transport packages took place, and an agreement on how to address such issues which require the input of both committees was reached.
The major item on the agenda of the RASSC meeting was a review of draft 2.0 of the revised BSS. More than 500 written comments were received on draft 2.0 prior to the meeting. Many of the comments were editorial in that they did not lead to a change in the intent of the document. RASSC spent more than one day discussing the significant comments. RASSC also agreed with the proposal from the Secretariat that it should start work on transforming the text of the revised BSS into the new format for Safety Requirements publications, and that a draft of the revised BSS with the "overarching requirements" would be provided to RASSC by 1 October 2009, for review at their November meeting. RASSC also approved two draft Safety Guides for submission to the CSS for endorsement:
- DS408 - Radiation Safety in Industrial Radiography and
- DS409 - Radiation Safety of Gamma, Electron and X Ray Irradiation Facilities
In the area of transport one of the main highlights was a presentation of Stuart Hughes of HPA (UK) which provided the historical perspective of the radiation protection criteria in the transport regulations. One important development reported in the transport area that became evident was the increase in co-operative working between different groups of regulators involved in transport. A presentation on the Radioactive Transport Study Group was given by Rick Boyle of DOT (USA), the current chairman. It was initiated following publication of the IAEA Transport Regulations in 1967. "In a series of letters, the competent authorities of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada observe that the Agency’s recently published transport regulations can only succeed if they are uniformly implemented and administered by all member states and petition the IAEA to form a panel of national competent authorities concerned with the transport of radioactive material... the group would meet under the aegis of the IAEA".
The work of this group contributed directly to the improved implementation of the IAEA transport regulations. Further examples were given of co-operative working between Canada and USA, between an "association" of 19 European regulators.
The main aim of the WASSC session was to discuss in depth the draft Safety Requirements on Disposal of Radioactive Waste (DS354) and to provide WASSC recommendations to RASSC for the approval of the document for submission to CSS for endorsement. The draft Safety Guides on Storage of Spent Fuel and on Monitoring and Surveillance of Radioactive Waste Disposal Facilities were also discussed in great detail. WASSC27 approved the Safety Guide on Evaluation of Seismic Hazards for Nuclear Facilities for submission to CSS for endorsement. In addition, comprehensive reports were received on the latest Waste and Environmental Safety Section international events, these included the Workshop on sustainable management of disused sealed sources (DSS), held in Thailand, and the Workshop on safety assessment and strategy of disposal options for radioactive waste, held in the Republic of Korea.