New Review Service for Radioactive Waste, Spent Fuel, Decommissioning, Remediation
29 October 2013 | Two IAEA departments involved in radioactive waste and spent fuel management have joined forces to develop and launch a new integrated review service for radioactive waste, spent fuel, decommissioning and remediation of sites contaminated by radioactive materials.
The new service will be based on a clear structure, mechanism and procedures for implementation between the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology Division of the Department of Nuclear Energy, and the Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security.
So far, each Department had provided its own description and scope of services as well as instructions for applying. This duality created some confusion among the Member States as to which service to select and how to apply for it. This was not only disadvantageous for Member States, it also affected the efficiency of the work of IAEA staff.
Focus and Method
The scope of the new review service includes issues related to radioactive waste, spent fuel, remediation and decommissioning. Reviews may focus on national frameworks, regulatory systems and different aspects of national programmes.
They may also involve detailed assessment and technical advice on implementing specific programmes and project, with an emphasis on technology or on safety, or both. The extent to which the focus of the Review is on appraisal or peer discussion will be determined during the development of the specific Terms of Reference:
- Appraisal will involve checking the consistency of activities and procedures against the IAEA safety standards and technical guidance, as well as with good international practice, and identifying areas to improve.
- Peer-to-peer discussion will involve advice through an in-depth dialogue among senior experts from the host organization and the IAEA Review Team.
Why apply for an IAEA Peer Review?
The main purpose of the IAEA Peer Review Service is to deliver, upon request, expert advice to the counterpart. Benefits of such a review could include:
- Improved organizational performance relating to the issues under review;
- Enhanced safety, optimized operations and reduced costs;
- Improved confidence of stakeholders, including the public;
- Assessment of national programmes vis a vis national policies and strategies; and
- Improved information made available to strengthen decision making processes.
More information about the new Peer Review Service will soon be available on the IAEA website and in the brochure on IAEA Review Services for radioactive waste and spent fuel management, decommissioning and remediation.
By Juan Carlos Lentijo (NEFW) and Pil-Soo Hahn (NSRW)
This story was first published in the September 2013 issue of the NEFW Newsletter.