Strengthening Regulatory Infrastructure
The IAEA promotes and supports the establishment of a global nuclear safety regulatory framework. One objective of this framework is to strengthen the transparency, openness, independence, technical competence and effectiveness of regulatory bodies in Member States. Central to establishing this framework are the IAEA Safety Standards, their application and related review services.
The Safety Requirements publication Governmental, Legal and Regulatory Framework for Safety ( GSR Part 1), establishes the basic requirements for legal, governmental and regulatory infrastructures for nuclear, radiation, radioactive waste and transport safety.
The International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) is convened under the auspices of the IAEA with the objective to provide authoritative advice and guidance on nuclear safety approaches, policies and principles. The objective of the Nuclear Safety Standards Committee (NUSSC) is to achieve consensus, quality, coherence and consistency in the development of international standards for the safety of nuclear power plants, research reactors and nuclear fuel cycle facilities.
The regulatory framework and its associated activities are essential to guarantee a high level of safety of all nuclear facilities and activities under national responsibility. The regulatory bodies are facing new challenges and regulatory and policy issues, and are striving to improve the regulatory infrastructure to adequately control, using a graded approach, all types of nuclear facilities. The IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) considers all regulatory aspects in nuclear facilities and activities, and provides a review of regulatory and policy issues facing Member State regulatory bodies. The IAEA provides a self-assessment tool and methodology with its associated software, the Self-Assessment of the Regulatory Infrastructure for Safety (SARIS), to facilitate Member States in regular and routine self-assessment of the national regulatory infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety, on the basis of the IAEA Safety Standards.
The Regulatory Cooperation Forum (RCF) is a Member State initiative open to all Member States. It is a regulator-to-regulator forum that promotes the sharing of regulatory knowledge and experience through effective international cooperation and collaboration. The RCF involves countries with advanced nuclear power programmes and those countries embarking on nuclear power for the first time and those countries with smaller programmes who are considering expansion. The primary objective of the RCF is to help develop effectively independent and robust regulators in helping to ensure the safety and security of nuclear power worldwide. The IAEA’s role is to facilitate and promote RCF activities.
The importance of international regulatory peer review, and the opportunity it provides to share knowledge and experience of regulatory issues and good practices to improve regulatory effectiveness, was acknowledged and supported by Member States at the Review Meetings of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) and at the IAEA International Conference on Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems, held in Moscow in 2006, and the International Conference on Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems: Further Enhancing the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Regime, held in Cape Town in 2009.
For Member States embarking on nuclear power, a specific IRRS can assist on the development of an effective regulatory infrastructure as a main step to build the necessary safety infrastructure in the Member State. Safety Guide on Establishing the Safety Infrastructure for a Nuclear Power Programme (SSG-16) will assist by providing a road map for applying the IAEA Safety Standards during the first three phases of NPP development. The IAEA provides a self-assessment tool and methodology with its associated software, the Integrated Review of Infrastructure for Safety (IRIS), to facilitate Member States in regular and routine self-assessments of the development of their national safety infrastructure during the development of a new nuclear power programme, on the basis of the IAEA Safety Standards.
To enhance the international nuclear safety framework, the IAEA is assisting Member States to develop sustainable education and training systems consistent with IAEA safety standards and best practices and by maintaining knowledge and competence in the area of nuclear safety.
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