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New Tool for Countries to Assess Their Safety Infrastructure Launched

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SARIS comes with free e-learning packages guiding users through the tool. (Photo: L. Dojcanova/IAEA)

Developing and maintaining an effective regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety is an important challenge all countries face. A new and improved version of a self-assessment tool developed by the IAEA and launched recently helps regulatory bodies meet this challenge.

The new version of the IAEA’s Self-Assessment of Regulatory Infrastructure for Safety (SARIS) tool makes it easier for countries to check whether their regulatory infrastructure is in line with IAEA safety standards, a set of more than 100 documents that reflect a consensus on what is considered a high level of nuclear and radiation safety. The safety standards outline the basics of how to establish, maintain and continuously improve governmental, legal and regulatory frameworks for nuclear and radiation safety.

The SARIS tool enables regulatory bodies to conduct a comprehensive self-assessment review of their national infrastructure, or zoom in on a particular area for a targeted review. SARIS can be particularly useful for countries preparing to host IAEA review services such as the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) – a mission designed to help countries strengthen the effectiveness of their national regulatory infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety.

The initial version of SARIS was launched in 2013, and has been updated from time to time. Since the launch, the IAEA has collected feedback from users such as governments, regulatory bodies, operators and service providers. In response, the new version rationalizes and streamlines its question sets, making it easier to use while also adapting it to the latest changes in the IAEA’s safety standards.

The new version has reduced the number of questions by 75 per cent. Combined with other improvements, this means that countries need less resources to carry out self-assessments, be it to address existing gaps in the national framework for safety, or to get ready to host an IRRS mission.

SARIS is available for a free download from the SARIS collaboration platform.

Participants of the regional workshop reviewing SARIS questions in Zimbabwe, Africa. (Photo: T. Hailu/IAEA)

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