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 research reactors subject to project and supply agreements and helps Member States fulfil their safety obligations.

Research reactor safety

To enhance the safety research reactors in Member States, the Section covers a wide range of topics, ranging from the siting, design, construction and commissioning of reactors to their operation and utilization and, eventually, their decommissioning. In cooperation with Member States, it develops safety standards for research reactors and promotes their application. It also assists in applying the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors; promotes information exchange on operational experience through the Incident Reporting System for Research Reactors; and conducts Integrated Safety Assessment of Research Reactors (INSARR) missions and other safety review services on the request of Member States. The Section also conducts technical meetings and training activities to support Member States to build their capacity for safety.

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 safety performance indicators; and conducts safety review and training activities.

Safety of fuel cycle facilities

The Section also works on enhancing the safety of nuclear fuel cycle facilities in Member States. Similarly to its work on the safety of research reactors, it develops specific safety standards for these facilities, which include uranium milling and 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 promotes the operational safety of such facilities through regular safety review missions, including missions on Safety Evaluation (of Fuel Cycle Facilities) during Operation (SEDO), and the exchange of operational experience and lessons learned among Member States through the Fuel Incident Notification and Analysis System (FINAS). Technical meetings and training activities on various safety areas are also conducted by the Section.

The Section provides support to Member States in building and sustaining capacity in nuclear safety. Learn more about the Section's work in this area.

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