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IAEA Mission Says Moldova Is Committed to Strengthening Safety, Sees Areas for Further Enhancement

Chisinau, Moldova

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said Moldova is committed to strengthening its regulatory framework for radiation safety. The team also noted areas for further enhancement, including strengthening regulatory independence.

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team today concluded a 10-day mission to assess the regulatory safety framework in Moldova. The mission was conducted at the request of the Government of Moldova and hosted by the National Agency for Regulation of Nuclear and Radiological Activities (NARNRA). The team of senior nuclear and radiation safety experts also met with representatives of the National Agency for Public Health and the Ministry for Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, and observed inspection activities at the Oncological Institute and at radioactive waste facilities in Chisinau.

Using IAEA safety standards and international good practices, IRRS missions are designed to strengthen the effectiveness of the national regulatory infrastructure, while recognizing the responsibility of each country to ensure nuclear and radiation safety.

"The mission raises awareness about Moldova’s continuous work to enhance regulatory effectiveness,” said team leader Daniel Collins, Director of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Division of Materials Safety, Security, State and Tribal Programs. “It shows that the ministries and agencies involved in the regulatory activities are committed to implementing the IAEA safety standards, which serve as the benchmark for IRRS reviews.”

Moldova uses radiation sources in medical and industrial applications, science and research, and has radioactive waste management facilities.

“We found the results of this mission very useful, impactful and needed, especially while our Government is implementing significant reforms in its structure and in our national economy,” said Ion Apostol, Director of the NARNRA. “I would like to thank IAEA experts for their commitment and willingness to assist my country in its development.”

The IRRS review covered areas including: responsibilities and functions of the Government; the global nuclear safety regime; the management system and activities of the regulatory body; emergency preparedness and response; radiation sources and radioactive waste management facilities; decommissioning activities; occupational radiation protection; medical exposure; and discharges and material clearance.

The eight-member team comprised experts from Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Lithuania, Slovenia, the United States and two IAEA staff members.

Peter Johnston, Director of the IAEA’s Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety, said the Moldovan authorities were well prepared for the mission and transparent in their discussions.

The team provided recommendations and suggestions, including:

  • The Government should revise or update national policy and strategy for safety to clearly define and implement the roles and responsibilities of NARNRA and the National Agency of Public Health.
  • The Government should strengthen regulatory independence in decision making and regulatory control over activities involving radiation risks.
  • The NARNRA should integrate the management system and implement the safety legislation for all facilities and activities comprehensively.

The final mission report will be provided to the Government in about three months. The Government plans to make the report public.

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