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IAEA and FORO Launch Project to Strengthen States’ Authorization of Nuclear Reactor Personnel

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Participants in  Ibero-American Forum of Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Agencies meeting to launch a project during a visit to  a control rooom simulator replica  at Tecnatom, Madrid. (Photo: M. Moracho Ramirez/IAEA)

The Ibero-American Forum of Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Agencies (FORO) and the IAEA last week launched a project that aims to strengthen nuclear safety by improving and harmonizing approaches to the authorization and training of nuclear reactor personnel.

The project will result in a FORO guidance document based on good regulatory practices from the licensing process in FORO members Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Spain, all of which also are IAEA Member States.  Experts from the countries taking part in the project and the IAEA launched the project during a meeting held 22 to 26 July in Madrid, Spain.

For example, a strong licensing process enables regulatory authorities to assess whether reactor personnel are sufficiently trained to safely operate facilities in all possible scenarios.

“International cooperation to improve processes for authorization of reactor personnel is beneficial because of its strong influence on the safe and reliable operation of the reactors, and because of the many practical steps it involves,” said project leader Diego Encinas, technical advisor at the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council. “By observing and comparing examination practices for such personnel, for example, a harmonized approach can be developed.”

During the meeting, participants compared their countries’ approaches and processes to identify and prioritize key aspects for safety related to the granting of licenses. They also observed a test session for reactor personnel and supervisors in a control room simulator that is a replica of the Almaraz nuclear power plant control room.

The project will support  the application of guidance in the IAEA safety standards, including the Specific Safety Requirement  on Safety of Nuclear Power Plants: Commissioning and Operation and related safety guides. 

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