Two senior inspectors from the Office for Nuclear Regulation joined a team of nuclear safety and radiation protection experts on an International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) mission to review the regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety in Sweden.
George Sallit, Head of Radioactive Materials Transport and David Senior, Director of the Decommissioning, Fuel and Waste programme, provided transport and safety advice as part of the 12-day Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission in February. The IRRS team consisted of 18 senior regulatory experts from 16 IAEA Member States.
Conducted at the request of the Swedish Government, the mission noted good practices in the country's nuclear regulatory system. For example, that the Swedish Radiation and Safety Authority (SSM) operates as an independent regulator in an open and transparent manner; it has influenced significant upgrade programmes for the country’s ageing 10 nuclear power plants and is successfully implementing a regulatory strategy for the disposal of high level radioactive waste.
The mission also made several recommendations and suggestions including the development of a strategy to ensure that Sweden's regulatory framework remains consistent with IAEA Safety Standards and the need to address the regulatory body’s future nuclear inspector and competence requirements.
Commenting on ONR’s participation, George Sallit said, ‘It is important that we contribute as part our commitment to provide specialist assistance to the IAEA. It also reflects ONR’s vision to be universally respected for securing confidence in nuclear safety and security, which includes the aim to have a positive influence on UK and International safety and security standards.’
The IRRS team gave special attention to the regulatory implications following the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident.
David Senior commented: ‘In the year since an earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan, IAEA member states have looked closely at the regulatory implications within their safety frameworks. IRRS missions play a key part here as they aim to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the national nuclear regulatory infrastructure and are now a requirement of European Union member states. ONR is pleased to participate in these missions and will continue to support IAEA’s work where appropriate.’