On 16 September 2013, the International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) held its annual forum during the 57th General Conference of the IAEA. INSAG Vice-Chairman Jukka Laaksonen and a panel of nuclear safety experts discussed past INSAG recommendations and their relevance to the nuclear industry today.
INSAG members also shared their views on current and future nuclear safety issues, and areas where further research and development activities should be undertaken in the light of the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
The Forum highlighted the key importance of the IAEA safety standards' implementation in improving nuclear safety worldwide. The panel of experts considered the major challenge now to be faced in improving Member States' globally consistent application of the IAEA's safety standards. One important means for achieving improvement is through the peer review process and peer pressure, particularly through the IAEA's, and other organizations', peer review services.
The panellists focused on two of these IAEA services, the Operational Safety Review Teams (OSARTs), and the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS), both of which offer opportunities for operators and regulators to discover any safety compliance shortfalls that might exist but had been overlooked. The benefit to Member States from hosting peer reviews and follow-up reviews arises through sharing knowledge and experience, while at the same time instilling confidence in stakeholders by demonstrating an on-going commitment to improving safety through the timely publication of the peer review reports.
INSAG is a group of experts, from 14 countries and organizations, with high professional competence in the field of nuclear safety working in regulatory organizations, research and academic institutions and the nuclear industry. It is convened under the auspices of the IAEA with the objective to provide authoritative advice and guidance on nuclear safety approaches, policies and principles.