Research Reactor Safety Section

The Section develops and implements programmes and activities for the safety enhancement of research reactors and fuel cycle facilities. It provides for monitoring and enhancing the safety of research reactors subject to project and supply agreements and helps Member States fulfil their safety obligations.

Research reactor safety

To enhance the safety of research reactors in Member States, the Section covers a wide range of topics, from the siting, design, construction and commissioning of reactors to their operation and utilization and, eventually, preparation for their decommissioning. In cooperation with Member States, the Section develops the IAEA safety standards for research reactors and promotes their application. It also assists in applying the provisions of the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors and operates the Incident Reporting System for Research Reactors, which is an effective tool in collecting, analysing and disseminating information on operating experience. The Section offers services on the request of Member States, such as the Integrated Safety Assessment of Research Reactors (INSARR); the safety assessment of long-term operation of research reactors (SALTO-RR), and other safety advisory services.

The Section also conducts coordinated research projects, technical meetings and training activities to support Member States to build their capacity for safety. It also works with other IAEA departments to assist Member States in establishing the necessary national infrastructure for new research reactor programmes.

To promote an adequate level of safety in line with the IAEA safety standards, the Section regularly organizes review meetings on the safety status of research reactors subject to project and supply agreements; collects and analyses data on their safety performance indicators; and conducts safety review and advisory missions at these facilities.

Safety of fuel cycle facilities

The Section works on enhancing the safety of nuclear fuel cycle facilities in Member States. In cooperation with Member States, the Section develops specific IAEA safety standards for these facilities, which include uranium refining, conversion and enrichment, fuel fabrication, and fuel cycle research and development facilities, as well as facilities for spent fuel storage, reprocessing and waste conditioning. The Section also assists Member States in enhancing the operational safety of such facilities through conducting Safety Evaluation (of Fuel Cycle Facilities) during Operation (SEDO) missions; facilitates the exchange of operating experience through the Fuel Incident Notification and Analysis System (FINAS), and supports Member States in building their capacity for safety through technical meetings and training activities on various safety areas.

Stay in touch