A methodology and tool for self-assessment of the regulatory infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety – SARIS

Self-assessment of the regulatory infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety is key to establishing and developing a regulatory framework.  SARIS is an IAEA-developed tool for internal review of regulatory body processes and performance that helps users compare their practices with those recommended by the IAEA safety standards.

The SARIS methodology and software tool can be used by all Member States, irrespective of the status of their safety infrastructure.

Self-assessment aims to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the regulatory body and its activities. Through SARIS, regulatory body staff can reflect on important aspects of regulatory policy and strategy to achieve the fundamental safety objective by enhancing regulatory processes and performance. Self-assessment enables users to verify whether a regulatory body performs its functions in line with the IAEA safety standards and whether an organizational culture for continuous improvement is sufficiently maintained.

SARIS can be used for comprehensive or targeted self-assessment reviews. Additional SARIS components help users compare national safety regulations with relevant IAEA safety standards. Countries introducing nuclear power can use a SARIS component titled Integrated Review of Infrastructure for Safety (IRIS) to evaluate whether they are performing in line with recommendations in the IAEA Specific Safety Guide on Establishing the Safety Infrastructure for a Nuclear Power Programme (SSG-16). 

How it works

SARIS asks questions based on IAEA safety standards and on international instruments such as the Code of Conduct on Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources. The answers enable countries to perform an internal analysis and review supporting evidence against the IAEA safety standards. This process helps to identify areas for improvement. The overall self-assessment exercise should lead to the development and implementation of an action plan for continuous improvement of the national infrastructure for safety.

SARIS reports are also used to prepare for IAEA review services, such as the Integrated Regulatory Review Service – a mission designed to help countries strengthen the effectiveness of their national regulatory infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety.

The IAEA provides technical support in the implementation of self-assessment through eLearning packages and national and regional workshops.

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