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Promoting Strong and Independent Regulation

Senior Nuclear Regulators Meet at IAEA General Conference for the 30th Year

The Senior Regulators' Meeting, where information on current regulatory issues and trends is exchanged, is an annual event organized by the Agency during the General Conference. (Photo: S. Henriques)

Senior nuclear regulators met on 25 September 2014 in Vienna, Austria, on the margins of the 58th IAEA General Conference to discuss issues central to creating more adaptive and robust nuclear regulation.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano opened the meeting by emphasizing the importance of a properly established legal and regulatory framework in order to ensure continued nuclear safety and nuclear security. "Improving nuclear safety is an issue that will never cease to require our attention and regulators play an essential role," he said.

"Strong and independent regulators, operating under a robust legal framework, are vital for ensuring a high level of nuclear safety and nuclear security," said Amano.

The morning session of the day-long meeting was chaired by Pierre-Franck Chevet, President of the French Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN). The afternoon's proceedings were chaired by Raoul Awad, Director General of the Directorate of Security and Safeguards at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Both sessions included Member State presentations, presentations from the IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security about the publications and services the Agency provides to bolster countries' regulatory efforts, and lively interactive panel discussions.

The first session of the Senior Regulators' Meeting focused mainly on the role of the regulatory body in strengthening the implementation of defence in depth, the need for regulators to address human and organizational factors as well as engineered protection, and the use of different deterministic and probabilistic tools to achieve a balanced design.

Defence in depth is the primary means of preventing and mitigating the consequences of accidents, and it is implemented through the combination of a number of consecutive and independent levels of protection that would have to fail before people or the environment could be harmed.

The second session addressed the regulatory needs and challenges in nuclear security.

Several Member States presented their experiences in licensing facilities for nuclear security, and the IAEA set out its programme for nuclear security for nuclear material and nuclear facilities. Presenters spoke about their experience in the use of INFCIRC/225/Rev. 5 (IAEA Nuclear Security Series No. 13), which was found to be a good basis for regulating the nuclear industry. Newcomers to nuclear power were also encouraged to work closely with the IAEA and with those Member States that have experience in threat characterization.

 

Evolution Over 30 Years

Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, then presented a special additional session celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Senior Regulators' Meeting, which looked back at topics spanning the last three decades and considered how the meeting has evolved over the last 30 years, from addressing only nuclear power plant safety matters, to covering nuclear safety and radiation protection, to addressing both nuclear safety and security at every meeting.

 

Background

The Senior Regulators' Meeting is an annual event organized by the Agency during the General Conference. It is a forum for the exchange of information on current regulatory issues and trends among senior government officials involved in regulatory matters in the fields of nuclear, radiation, transport and radioactive waste safety and security.

 

Last update: 4 September 2017

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