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IAEA hosts First National Training Course on Safety Standards Overview in Bulgaria


Participants at the IAEA hosted training course on safety standards in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Photo: A.Georgieva/ Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency)

The IAEA conducted for the first time at a national level, in Bulgaria, its comprehensive safety standards overview training course from 19 to 23 June. The course covered topical areas addressed by safety standards, their history, scope and structure, as well as their application in practice. Over 150 participants from regulatory bodies, regulatory bodies, technical support organizations, and operating organizations have attended the training since it began in Vienna last year.

The Director of the Office of Coordination of the Department for Nuclear Safety, Shahid Mallick, said: “The request to conduct the course for interested parties in the country is an indication that the course is much needed. The knowledge on the IAEA safety standards is of high importance for ensuring safety of nuclear facilities and activities, including  for those countries with long lasting experience in operation and regulating nuclear facilities and activities.”

The IAEA safety standards are a series of publications that contain principles, requirements and recommendations to achieve a high level of nuclear and radiation safety worldwide. Since the first IAEA safety standard was published in 1958, they have served as the global reference for national regulatory systems, and many countries adopt the Agency’s standards for use in their national regulations. They also form the basis for several international legal instruments, such as the Nuclear Safety Conventions.

Hosted by the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (BNRA), over 60 participants from national organizations, such as Kozloduy nuclear power plant, National Centre of Radiobiology and Radiation Protection, Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, State Enterprise Radioactive Waste, and technical support organizations attended this course.

Participants were provided with a comprehensive introduction of all general and specific safety requirements and corresponding safety guides. Practical sessions focused on using various resources and tools including the Nuclear Safety and Security Online User Interface (NSS-OUI)  to access and navigate the safety standards series.

Participants visited the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria. (Photo: I. Simova/Kozloduy nuclear power plant)

During the four-day event, the interactive panel discussions addressed specific aspects such as using a graded approach for applying safety standards to different nuclear and radiation facilities. Group discussion covered challenges in the application of safety requirements for their own organization, such as the role of staff in leadership and management for safety and detailed guidance for nuclear power plant configuration management.

“This training course marks a significant milestone in our continuous efforts to promote nuclear safety and ensure the highest standards in our nuclear facilities. The collaboration between the BNRA and IAEA is a testament to our shared commitment to enhancing knowledge, fostering best practices, and further strengthening the safety culture in the nuclear industry,” the Chairman of the BNRA, Tsanko Bachiyski said. “These standards serve as the backbone of our regulatory framework, providing a comprehensive and internationally recognized basis for the safe operation of nuclear facilities.”

Structure of the IAEA safety standards

The IAEA safety standards comprise Safety Fundamentals, Safety Requirements and Safety Guides. The Safety Fundamentals is the primary publication in the IAEA Safety Standards Series and establishes the fundamental safety objective and the ten principles of protection and safety. The publication is drafted in language that is understandable to the non-specialist reader. It conveys the basis and rationale for the safety standards for those at senior levels in government and regulatory bodies.

The Safety Requirements publications establish the requirements that must be met to ensure the protection of people and the environment, both now and in the future. The requirements are governed by the objective and principles of the Safety Fundamentals. The format and style of the requirements facilitate their use by Member States for the establishment, in a harmonized manner, of their national regulatory framework.

The Safety Guides provide recommendations and guidance on how to comply with the safety requirements, indicating an international consensus on the measures recommended. The Safety Guides present international good practices, and increasingly best practices, to help users achieve high levels of safety


Last update: 11 Oct 2023

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