atw 2018-03v6

inforum

atw Vol. 63 (2018) | Issue 3 ı March

| | Cornel Feruta (centre), Chief Coordinator for

the IAEA, making opening remarks at the sixth

annual IAEA/EU Senior Officials Meeting held

in Vienna on 8 February 2018.

Europe and globally,” said Gerassimos

Thomas, Deputy Director General in

the Directorate-General for Energy of

the European Commission. “In 2018,

the EU will conduct its first ever

topical peer review on ageing management

of nuclear power plants under

the amended Nuclear Safety Directive.

It will also advance its strategic

agenda on non-power applications in

medicine, industry and research. We

are working in close cooperation with

the IAEA on these matters.”

The EU and the IAEA reaffirmed

support for the Joint Comprehensive

Plan of Action (JCPOA) based on their

respective mandates. The EU High

Representative, as Coordinator of the

Joint Commission established under

the JCPOA, will remain in close

contact with the IAEA regarding

continued implementation of the

agreement.

EU support for a variety of IAEA

activities has delivered consistent and

concrete results over the past year.

Officials commended the long-standing

and successful cooperation under

the Instrument for Nuclear Safety

Cooperation. The EU also welcomed

joint efforts to address environmental

remediation in Central Asia and the

upcoming donors’ conference in fall

2018.

During the talks, the EU and the

IAEA agreed to further strengthen cooperation

in training as well as research

and development. They welcomed

progress in advancing activities

on nuclear applications since the

signing of Practical Arrangements in

this field last year. The EU also reaffirmed

its support for the implementation

of the IAEA’s 2018-2021 Nuclear

Security Plan.

The sides welcomed the launch of

the IAEA’s new ARTEMIS peer review

service of national decommissioning

and waste management programmes,

to which the European Commission

contributes. First reviews have taken

place in some EU Member States

under the EU waste directive. The safe

long-term operation of nuclear power

plants and developments related to

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) were

also discussed.

Officials reviewed progress on the

implementation of nuclear safeguards

in EU Member States and on the

European Commission Support Programme

to the IAEA. Exchanges took

place on the 2018 Preparatory

Committee for the 2020 Review

Conference on the Treaty on the

Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

(NPT), scheduled to be held 23 April

to 4 May 2018 at the United Nations

Office in Geneva.

The next Senior Officials Meeting

is expected to take place in Luxembourg

in early 2019.

| | (18501339), www.iaea.org

IAEA mission sees significant

improvements to Belgian

regulatory framework and

identifies areas for further

enhancement

(iaea) An International Atomic Energy

Agency (IAEA) team of experts said

Belgium has made significant improvements

to its regulatory framework

for nuclear and radiation safety

since 2013 by clarifying the regulatory

body’s roles and responsibilities and

strengthening its independence. The

team also observed other improvements

and identified areas for further

enhancement.

The Integrated Regulatory Review

Service (IRRS) peer-review team concluded

a nine-day follow-up mission

today to review Belgium’s implementation

of recommendations and

suggestions made by a 2013 mission.

The review was conducted at the

request of the Government and hosted

by the country’s nuclear regulatory

body, comprising the Belgian Federal

Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC)

and its technical support arm, Bel V.

Using IAEA safety standards and

international good practices, IRRS

missions are designed to strengthen

the effectiveness of the national

nuclear regulatory infrastructure,

while recognizing the responsibility of

each country to ensure nuclear safety.

The IRRS team said the regulatory

body had adequately addressed most

of the recommendations and suggestions

made by the 2013 mission. The

team also said the regulatory body

should remain focused on tackling

outstanding issues.

“Belgium has made key improvements

to the national regulatory

framework, making it more effective

and efficient,” said team leader Robert

Campbell of the United Kingdom’s

Office for Nuclear Regulation. “The

independence of the regulatory body

has now been strengthened in legislation,

and the roles and responsibilities

between the regulator and the

National Agency for Radioactive Waste

Management have been clarified.”

Belgium has seven operating

nuclear power reactors at two sites,

Doel and Tihange, providing just over

half of the country’s electricity and

other nuclear installations including

research reactors, a radioactive waste

treatment facility and an isotope production

facility. In addition, medical

and industrial applications of radioactive

sources are widely used. By law,

nuclear power will start to be phased

out in 2022.

The scope of the 2013 and the 2017

missions covered areas including: the

responsibilities and functions of the

Government and the regulatory body;

the management system of the regulatory

body; activities of the regulatory

body related to regulation of the full

range of nuclear facilities and activities;

emergency preparedness and

response; control of medical exposure

and radiation safety; and the interface

between nuclear safety and nuclear

security.

The team found that the regulatory

body has taken positive steps to:

• Establish a central information

system for sealed source tracking

and inventory as well as inspection

recording.

• Develop a tool to assist in reviewing

and assessing safety-related

modifications through a clearly

defined graded approach.

• Improve patient radiation protection

by raising awareness

about the need to justify medical

examinations.

• Enhance openness and transparency,

including more communications

on regulatory activities

aimed at improving public trust.

“We are very pleased with the results,

which show that the work we’ve

carried out in the last four years is

recognized by international experts.

I particularly appreciate the comments

on transparency and the independence

of the regulator,” said Jans

Bens, director-general of FANC. “I’d

like to thank the staff of the regulatory

body for their contribution to this

achievement, and we look forward to

making continued efforts at improving

the regulatory framework.”

The IRRS team also identified a few

areas for further enhancing the effectiveness

of the regulatory body, including

by completing the programme

of work on its management system.

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