Senior international nuclear safety and radiation protection experts today concluded an eight-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) follow-up mission to review the regulatory framework for nuclear safety in Slovakia.
The Team reviewed progress in addressing the findings from an Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission conducted in 2012. The Team met with senior management and staff of Slovakia's Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Public Health Authority, Ministry of Interior, and other organisations. Andrej Stritar, Director of the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration, headed the eight-member review team, which included experts from Belgium, Finland, Hungary and the United Kingdom.
The Team concluded that the Nuclear Regulatory Authority had strengthened its regulatory oversight and made significant progress since the 2012 mission, addressing 25 of the 31 findings of the earlier mission. This is a significant accomplishment, which demonstrates a commitment to an effective implementation of the IRRS programme.
In a message delivered on his behalf during the closing meeting, IAEA Director Jim Lyons, Head of the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety, said: "The results of this IRSS follow-up mission show that Slovakia moved ahead significantly in strengthening its regulatory framework. Not only is this an important message to the IAEA Member States, but it also displays that the Agency's safety standards serve as a sound benchmark for continuous improvement of national safety infrastructures."
Mission team leader Andrej Stritar commended the authorities for their dedication to address the findings raised in the 2012 review. "Slovakia's authorities have shown again that they are very committed to maintaining a high level of nuclear safety, and that they are doing everything to follow the best international practices and in particular the IAEA safety standards."
The Chairperson of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Marta Ziakova, said: "The findings of this international mission have demonstrated that the Slovak Republic is fully engaged to align its regulatory framework for nuclear safety with the IAEA safety standards. Together with other relevant Slovak authorities, we will implement the findings of this mission and continue our ongoing efforts to strengthen nuclear safety."
The mission issued recommendations and suggestions for consideration by Slovakia's authorities. Among others, these include:
- Further efforts to enhance cooperation among state authorities in the area of radiation safety; and
- The revision of resources allocated to the Public Health Authority.
The Nuclear Regulatory Authority informed the IAEA that it will make the mission's report available to the public.
About IRRS Missions
IRRS missions are designed to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the national nuclear regulatory infrastructure, while recognizing the ultimate responsibility of each State to ensure safety in this area. This is done through consideration of regulatory, technical and policy practices, with comparisons against IAEA Safety Standards, and, where appropriate, good practices elsewhere.