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atw 2018-03v6


atw Vol. 63 (2018) | Issue 3 ı March 190 NEWS NMRC for Radiology Sergey Ivanov and others. | | (18501542), IAEA mission: France committed to safe, responsible management of radioactive waste (iaea) An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said France demonstrated a comprehensive commitment to safety with a responsible approach to the management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The team also made suggestions aimed at further enhancements and noted several good practices. The Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation (ARTEMIS) team concluded an 11-day mission to France on 24 January. The mission, requested by the Government of France, was hosted by the Directorate General of Energy and Climate (DGEC), with the participation of officials from several relevant organizations including the French National Radioactive Waste Agency (ANDRA) and the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), which is responsible for nuclear and radiation safety regulation in the country. ARTEMIS missions provide independent expert advice from an international team of specialists convened by the IAEA. Reviews are based on the IAEA safety standards as well as international good practices. The mission to France aimed to help the country meet European Union obligations that require an independent peer review of national programmes for the safe and responsible management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. Nuclear power currently generates more than 70 percent of France’s electricity. The country has 58 operating nuclear power reactors, which will require the continuing safe management of radioactive waste and spent fuel. France operates facilities for the disposal of very low-level and | | Members of the ARTEMIS team which carried out a mission to France that concluded on 24 January 2018. (Photo: IAEA) low- level wastes, and is developing a deep geological repository for the disposal of high-level waste. “On the basis of the review, the team concluded that France’s waste management programme is comprehensive and coherent in fostering safety,” said ARTEMIS team leader Peter De Preter, Senior Advisor at ONDRA/NIRAS, the Belgian agency for the management of radioactive waste. “Our review highlights France’s commitment to safety.” The ARTEMIS team said France is well positioned to continue meeting high standards of safety. It noted a number of good practices to be shared with the global waste management community, while making suggestions for further enhancing the programme. Good practices identified by the team included: • A clear government commitment to the national strategy and programme for waste management, including safe disposal. • The development of a transparent national waste inventory. • Deliberate efforts towards maintaining a high level of professional, competent staff. Suggestions made by the team included: • Facilitate implementation of the requirement for decommissioning to take place in the shortest time possible. • Optimize management of very low level wastes. • Consider mechanisms to address disposal liabilities for small waste producers. The team comprised 13 experts from Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom as well as three IAEA staff members. The team held meetings with officials from the Government and several relevant organizations. “This peer review represents an important element in our efforts to ensure the safety of the French waste management programme, establish greater public confidence and respond to the EU waste directive,” said Aurelien Louis, Head of the Nuclear Industry Department at DGEC. “The outcome of the mission was very positive while also providing us with suggestions that will be a good basis for future enhancements.” IAEA Deputy Director General Juan Carlos Lentijo, Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, noted that the French mission was the second ARTEMIS carried out to meet EU obligations, following a recent review in Poland. “The French national programme is characterized by a pervasive proactive attitude combined with a high level of professionalism, which together demonstrates an enduring commitment to safety,” Lentijo said. “The French programme review provides all of us a valuable reference with an established, diverse and coherent programme.” The final mission report will be provided to the Government in about two months. About ARTEMIS ARTEMIS is an integrated expert review service for radioactive waste and spent fuel management, decommissioning and remediation programmes. This service is intended for facility operators and organizations responsible for radioactive waste management, as well as for regulators, national policy makers and other decision makers. | | (18501336), IAEA and EU review progress on cooperation (iaea) The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Union (EU) reviewed progress achieved in working together on a range of nuclear activities and agreed to further enhance cooperation during their sixth annual Senior Officials Meeting in Vienna. The talks on 8 February at the IAEA’s headquarters provided a forum for exchanging views on strengthening collaboration on nuclear safety, security, safeguards, sustainable development, nuclear energy research and increasing innovation. The two organizations welcomed the fruitful cooperation and progress achieved over the past years. They agreed to deepen cooperation in several areas, particularly in the promotion of nuclear applications for sustainable development. “The EU is a significant partner for the IAEA and these annual gatherings of senior officials serve an important role in helping to coordinate our activities,” said Cornel Feruta, Chief Coordinator for the IAEA. “We have been pleased by progress made in working together on several nuclearrelated issues, and look forward to deepening our cooperation, in particular in the area of nuclear applications for sustainable development.” “Nuclear safety and security remain our key priorities, both in News

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), 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. 191 NEWS News