Safety Assessment Section

This Section works with international experts to develop new and revise existing safety standards, with the goal to assist the IAEA Member States in achieving and maintaining a high level of safety. To complement the IAEA Safety Standards, the Section also provides technical safety review services to Member States.

Developing standards for design safety and safety assessment

The Section develops and maintains a broad range of Safety Standards related to the design safety of nuclear power plants and the safety assessment of facilities to ensure an integrated focus on safety assessment. The Standards are developed together with an international team of senior experts by means of an open, transparent and consensus-driven process that integrates safety knowledge and best practices from Member States.

To support Member States during the stages of the nuclear life-cycle, the Section also provides Technical Safety Review (TSR) services. The life-cycle stages for which these are offered, are:

  • Conceptual design;
  • Pre-licensing and licensing phases;
  • Nuclear installation construction and operation; and
  • Lifetime extension.

These TSR services are also offered to address specific technical aspects, such as plant modifications or the development of regulatory safety requirements. The reviews provide a tailored, independent evaluation of plant design safety and safety assessment documentation and make recommendations for enhancements and improvements to safety.

Organizing safety assessment advisory and training programmes

On request, the Section provides a Safety Assessment Advisory Programme (SAAP) to Member States to advise them on the systematic identification of nuclear safety assessment competency and capacity needs for establishing a nuclear power programme. The SAAP also gives support in developing an action plan for competency- and capacity-building based on the Safety Assessment Education and Training (SAET) programme.

SAET is part of a variety of international, regional and national training courses and workshops the Section offers to Member States. These activities are essential components to building and sustaining competency for the design, oversight and operation of nuclear installations.

Collaborating via the Global Nuclear Safety Assessment Network

The Section also maintains the Global Nuclear Assessment Network (GSAN), which is part of the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN) and requires registration. It links experts worldwide and facilitates focused collaboration on safety assessment competency-building in support of global implementation of the IAEA Safety Standards, with the intent to expand and develop nuclear programmes globally.

Managing project-based work

The Section also manages six projects, ranging from a study on the graded approach application of IAEA design safety requirements to small modular reactors (SMRs), to the development of a methodology for the aggregation of various risk contributors for nuclear facilities.

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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