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International Conference on Effective Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Systems: Preparing for the Future in a Rapidly Changing Environment

13–16 February 2023, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Conference on Effective Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Systems 2023

» Extended Conference Deadlines →

This event was originally scheduled to take place from 20 to 23 February 2023 and has now been rescheduled to take place one week earlier from 13 to 16 February 2023. All existing paper submissions and registration applications that have been submitted for the original dates remain valid and do not require resubmission. All key deadlines and dates remain as previously confirmed.


This International Conference is being organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is the sixth in a series of conferences on effective nuclear and radiation regulatory systems. The five preceding conferences were held in the Hague, the Netherlands in 2019, Vienna, Austria in 2016, Ottawa, Canada in 2013, Cape Town, South Africa in 2009, and Moscow, the Russian Federation in 2006. Building on the conclusions and deliberations of these events, the conference to be held in February 2023 will review issues of importance to the global regulatory community focusing on the importance of the regulators in ensuring a high standard of safety and security. The conference is being hosted by the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Purpose and Objectives

The objective of the conference is to share regulatory experiences related to improving the effectiveness of nuclear and radiation regulatory systems, taking into account the outcomes of the past conferences in this series, as well as of the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts (February 2020); the International Conference on a Decade of Progress after Fukushima-Daiichi: Building on the Lessons Learned to Further Strengthen Nuclear Safety (November 2021); the International Conference on the Safe and Secure Transport of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials (December 2021); the Conference of the Parties to the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (March 2022); and the International Conference on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources: Accomplishments and Future Endeavours (June 2022).

Additionally, the significant results from the Seventh Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (June–July 2022), the open-ended meetings of legal and technical experts on implementation of the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its supplementary Guidance, works performed by the Commission on Safety Standards, and related activities, will  be covered during the conference.

Furthermore, the conference will address topics such as regulatory experience, resilience, and agility to respond to new and emerging challenges in a rapidly changing environment. It will also address regulatory approaches to innovation, emerging and new technologies, including regulatory harmonisation and international and regional cooperation. Another key topic that will be addressed at this event are the concrete efforts to maintain regulatory credibility and trust as well as capacity building to ensure regulators are prepared for future needs through the use of education, human resources, knowledge management, and knowledge networks.

Themes and Topics

The following topical issues and special panel have been identified as subjects for the conference sessions.

Topical Issue No. 1: Leadership through New and Emerging Challenges

This session will provide an opportunity for regulatory bodies to share their experiences on how to ensure regulatory resilience; to better understand strategies, needs and ways to adapt and respond to unexpected challenges; and to share notable practices and lessons learned from regulatory experience.

Topics for discussion include:

a. Regulatory implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to business continuity: use of on-line applications, remote inspections, approaches to address regulators and operators’ staffing challenges, and lessons learned for future regulatory enhancements;

b. Expect the unexpected: how regulatory programmes keep ahead of rapidly changing threats, such as cyber security and unmanned aerial vehicles; and, sustaining human performance under chronic stressors on operations such as military presence, economic uncertainty or civil unrest;

c. Climate change: regulatory strategies to ensure resilience of existing and new nuclear installations and enhanced efforts to monitor the external environment to be prepared for future demands.

Topical Issue No. 2: Harmonization, Innovation, and New Technologies: Approaches to Enhance Regulatory Agility

This session will provide an opportunity to discuss regulatory strategies and programmes for innovative and advanced technologies in nuclear and radiological applications; international cooperation, harmonization of safety requirements and licensing approaches, and the application of a “graded approach” in regulatory activities.

Topics for discussion include:

a. Developing or adapting regulatory strategies and programmes – including consideration of the “graded approach” – for nuclear applications, to include small modular reactors, transportable reactors and fusion reactors; and radiological applications, such as medical and industrial technologies;

b. The role of harmonization in new and advanced technology regulation and the need for enhanced cooperation at regional and international levels;

c. Use of technology, risk insights and research & development to advance the mission of the regulatory body, inter alia, targeted research activities, data analytics for risk assessment and decision making, information technology for greater connectivity, and the use of artificial intelligence and other technologies.

Topical Issue No. 3: Full Lifecycle Challenges and Strategies

This session will address challenges and strategies related to the full lifecycle of nuclear and radiation facilities, including the establishment of a new programme, managing aging of nuclear and radiation facilities, decommissioning, and radioactive waste storage and disposal.

Topics for discussion include:

a. Regulatory framework and infrastructure for new or expanding nuclear and radiation facilities;

b. Supply chain oversight: dynamic challenges for new and aging facilities such as constraints in the supply chain, commercial grade dedication techniques, and counterfeit, fraudulent, and suspect items;

c. Aging management of power and non-power applications: including design, operation, and extended operation phases;

d. Decommissioning and waste management of power and research reactors, including interim and long-term storage challenges and strategies for managing spent fuel;

e. The use of financial assurance instruments for lifecycle confidence, and strategies for radiological and environmental impact and control during the full lifecycle.

Topical Issue No. 4: Trusted Regulator: Cooperative Techniques to Promote Credibility and Resilience

This session will address the importance of building stakeholder and public trust, communication, and the enhancement of stakeholder and public involvement in nuclear and radiation safety and security activities.

Topics for discussion include:

a. Characteristics of a trusted regulator and processes for building stakeholders and public trust:  stakeholder engagement and communication during the regulatory process,; effective relationships between operators and regulators, regulatory independence and vision/mission statements as well as  their role in communicating the regulatory body’s priorities; 

b. International and regional cooperation for creating more effective partnerships;

c. Enhancing regulatory programme effectiveness and credibility through self-assessments and peer reviews;

d. Emergency preparedness and response: how to maintain effective emergency preparedness and response programmes, modernization options for regulators such as use of enabling technologies, coordination with offsite competent authorities and responders, effective coordination with neighbouring countries, international/regional organisations and jurisdictions and communication with the public.

Topical Issue No. 5: Capacity Building for the Future – Holistic Approaches for Nuclear and Radiation Safety and Security

This session will discuss sustainable capacity building strategies and programmes including education and training, knowledge management, human resource development, and knowledge networks. It will focus on the exchange of best practices to prepare the next generation of regulatory professionals and leaders (or decision makers).

Topics for discussion include:

a. Establishing durable capacity building programmes to align regulatory capabilities with future needs;

b. Techniques to transfer knowledge to the next generation;

c. Managing safety/security interface and maintaining safety and security culture;

d. Cultivating a workforce of regulatory practitioners in nuclear and radiation safety and security;

e. Attract and sustain technical experts including leveraging educational institutions for recruitment and ensuring competent regulatory staff in phasing out programmes;

f. Promoting gender balance in the nuclear workforce;

g. Preparing and empowering a new generation of leadership.

Special Panel Discussion: Regulating a Modern Era of Medical and Radioactive Materials Facilities and Applications - The Journey Continues

This special panel will provide an opportunity to highlight progress made since the previous Regulatory Conference (hosted in 2019); to address current priorities and initiatives; and, to exchange experiences on the implementation of legal instruments including the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and the Supplementary Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources.

Topics for discussion include:

a. Progress since the 2019 Regulatory Conference: Regulatory Systems: Working Together to Enhance Cooperation;

b. Current priorities and initiatives:

  • Rays of Hope. IAEA Initiative to support the sustainable introduction or expansion of radiotherapy for cancer treatment and strengthening radiation safety legislation and infrastructure;
  • The role of legally binding and non-legally binding international instruments in strengthening national legislative and regulatory frameworks; and
  • Regulatory measures for the prevention, detection and response to nuclear and other radioactive material outside of regulatory control

c. Experiences with the implementation of the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and the Supplementary Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources and Guidance on the Management of the Disused Radioactive Sources.

Target Audience

The conference is directed at a broad range of experts in the area of nuclear and radiation safety and nuclear security regulation, bringing together the world’s regulators responsible for the areas of nuclear and radiation safety and nuclear security.

Venue and Accommodation

The conference will be held at the Conrad Hotel Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers. Detailed information on accommodation and other relevant matters will be sent to all designated participants approximately three months before the conference. This information will also be made available on the conference web page.

Key Deadlines and Dates

  • 22 April 2022: Opening of synopsis submission through IAEA-INDICO
  • 1 August 2022 19 August 2022: Submission of abstracts through IAEA-INDICO
  • 1 August 2022 19 August 2022: Deadline for submission of the Participation Form (Form A) and if applicable Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and the Grant Application Form (Form C), using the InTouch+ Platform
  • 1 November 2022: Notification of acceptance of abstracts for oral or poster presentation
  • 2 December 2022: Electronic submission of full papers through IAEA-INDICO
  • No deadline: Registration only (no paper submission, no grant request) using Form A through the InTouch+ Platform
  • 13-16 February 2023: Conference dates

Conference app

The IAEA Conferences and Meetings App provides a one-stop access to information on the Conference, exhibitions and scheduled side events. The app also allows users to put together their own personalized schedule of events. Via this app participants will be able to view contributed papers and the latest conference programme, message other participants, and view PowerPoint presentations released after the event. Participants will receive an email inviting them to register for the app approximately one week before the conference.

For iPhone or iPad users, get your free download through the App Store; those with Android devices can visit the Google Play Store.

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