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IAEA Launches Toolkit for Quality and Management Standards and Regulations


Different national regulations, standards and legislation highlight the difficulty of harmonising the nuclear supply chain. The toolkit highlights knowledge gaps and helps to ensure that in discussions among governments, regulators, operators and suppliers. (Photo: Xunxi)

Navigating the engineering, quality and management related standards and regulations needed to ensure the safe construction and operation of nuclear facilities is challenging, particularly for nuclear newcomer countries and those working across borders. To support managers, suppliers, owners and regulators, the IAEA has developed a new toolkit for the quality and management requirements of nuclear facilities.

The rules and systems governing the construction, maintenance and operation of nuclear facilities vary from country to country. The toolkit highlights knowledge gaps and helps to ensure that in discussions among governments, regulators, operators and suppliers, everyone is on the “same page” with a sound understanding of the quality and management needs for a successful project.

“The toolkit brings us closer to a common understanding of the approaches needed when we develop procedures within multinational projects,” said Leonid Letchford, Head of Quality Management Department, Rosatom. “What is valuable is that, finally, we can familiarize ourselves with different principles using one consolidated resource.” 

Like Wikipedia, the toolkit is a living repository that is constantly evolving and updating. It provides an overview of globally used standards, and the legislation, regulations and standards in each nuclear state, including advanced newcomers. Operating organizations, suppliers and regulators have also contributed, sharing information including their manuals on quality requirements, suppliers’ quality assurance, supplier evaluation and oversight and inspection. To keep the information current, users are encouraged to provide feedback, corrections and additions.

To help governments when drafting or updating their national regulations, the website provides an overview of the IAEA’s requirements and practical guidance, as well as examples of national good practices.  “Newcomer states are using the toolkit as a comprehensive way to harmonize standards in quality and management systems,” said Rania Gomaa, Senior Inspector from the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority.

For those working across borders, users can make comparisons between different nuclear standards and regulations in force in various countries. This kind of information is particularly valuable to suppliers, allowing them to streamline processes in advance to reduce errors, costs and uncertainty.

“Engineering standards are well known by suppliers, but often the different quality assurance, control and management systems are less familiar – we aim to improve this situation,” says Aline des Cloizeaux, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Power. “Understanding and complying with these standards and systems is essential to ensuring the safety and sustainability of nuclear energy.”

The toolkit, developed with support from the United States through the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative, is the latest online resource from the IAEA, including similar products on supply chain management and contracting. All of them are part of the Management System Network of Excellence (MSN), a network dedicated to facilitating and encouraging enhanced co-operation and the exchange of knowledge and experience on management systems, quality and supply chain management in the nuclear industry around the world. Access to the MSN and the toolkits can be requested here. The IAEA also hosts trainings on nuclear supply chain topics and organizes webinars as part of the Nuclear Supply Chain Series.

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