Romania's Nuclear Regulatory Mechanism Strengthened

Participants at the regional regulatory capacity building project meeting in Bucharest, Romania, 2017. (Photo: Romanian National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control)

Romania has a stronger nuclear regulatory system following a capacity building project that was completed recently, agreed participants of a roundtable in Bucharest on Friday. The project led to strengthening of the Romanian National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control (CNCAN) in enhancing safety and security, radiation protection, emergency preparedness, knowledge management, inspection processes at nuclear facilities, radioactive waste management and safeguards (See Enhancement of CNCAN capabilities in eight areas).

“Recognizing that nuclear safety is a national responsibility and a global challenge, through international cooperation CNCAN has greatly enhanced its regulatory capacity,” said Grzegorz Rzentkowski, Director of the IAEA Division for Nuclear Installation Safety. By maintaining a clear focus on results, the CNCAN’s regulatory effectiveness has improved, resulting in adequate implementation of regulatory control over nuclear facilities and activities, including verification of compliance with regulations, he added.

The three-year ‘Regional Excellence Programme on Regulatory Capacity Building in Nuclear and Radiological Safety, and Emergency Preparedness and Response in Romania’ was carried out by the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) and the IAEA. It was financed by Norway, which provided 85 per cent of the over EUR 4 million budget, with Romania contributing the remainder.

“As a result of this project, there is now better control of radioactive material and a reduced risk of accidents,” said Ingar Amundsen, Head of the NRPA International Nuclear Safety Section.

The project implementation required strong commitment and extensive resources from Romanian authorities and partners, said Cornelia Spitzer, Head of the IAEA Safety Assessment Section. Pooling resources and expertise are valuable conduits for capacity building and in some instances adopting novel solutions.

During the two-day meeting last week, over 60 participants received an overview on the activities implemented, the results obtained and gained insights valuable for similar future projects in other countries.

“The project is proof of an efficient partnership between NRPA, IAEA and CNCAN to address Romania’s nuclear regulatory needs,” Cantemir Ciurea-Ercau, Director of the Romanian National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control (CNCAN) Nuclear Fuel Cycle Division said.

The project was based on the recommendations of two earlier IAEA review missions to Romania. An IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission in 2011 produced recommendations and suggestions to strengthen the regulatory body, and an Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) mission in 2010 also made various immediate and long-term recommendations focusing on the improvement of Romania’s national emergency preparedness and response infrastructure.

Cornelia Spitzer, Head of the IAEA Safety Assessment Section, speaking with participants at the regional regulatory capacity building project meeting in Bucharest, Romania, 2017. (Photo: Romanian National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control)