An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Nuclear Safety Assessment of Research Reactors (INSARR) mission was held in Israel from 7 to 11 July 2013. The purpose of the mission was to conduct a peer-review of the safety of the IRR-1 Reactor, located in the Soreq Nuclear Research Center (SNRC). The mission included IAEA safety experts as well as international experts in the field of nuclear safety from five countries.
The INSARR is a peer review of the safety of research reactors that is conducted on the basis of the IAEA safety standards. Israel's decision to invite the IAEA mission is part of international efforts, led by the IAEA, to study and apply the lessons learned from the March 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan.
The IAEA peer review team noted the strengthening of the national regulatory system to enhance independence and the efforts of the operator to enhance reactor safety. The team also noted areas of good practices and provided the Israel Atomic Energy Commission with recommendations and suggestions for further safety improvements.
"By requesting this mission, Israel has made a strong statement about their commitment to nuclear safety and to continuous improvement," INSARR Team Leader, James Lyons, said.
Along with other IAEA Member States, the State of Israel dedicates considerable resources to upholding and strengthening nuclear safety. In February 2011, the Government of Israel affirmed the independent status of the Nuclear Licensing and Safety Office. Israel also maintains cooperation with several leading countries in the field of nuclear safety, and Israeli experts participate in the IAEA safety committees, which set the international standard for nuclear safety.
Though it considers the chances for radiation emission from its nuclear centres as very low, Israel conducts national preparedness exercises and has put in place a contingency plan for such a scenario.