From September 30 through October 4, 2018, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) International Regulatory Development Partnership (IRDP) conducted a workshop on the NRC approach to conducting inspections at research and test reactors (RTRs). The workshop was conducted in Amman, Jordan, and taught by IRDP instructors , Dr. Steve Reese and Mr. Robert Gramm. Jordan’s regulatory body, the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC), hosted the workshop on behalf of the Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators (ANNuR). Participants included experienced staff members from ANNuR member countries who are working to improve or establish a national regulatory infrastructure for RTR’s. Representatives from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia were in attendance. Participants from the NRC included Mr. Nader Mamish, Director of the Office of International Programs (OIP), and Ms. Emily Larson and Mr. Barry Miller, also from NRC-OIP. Ms. Tammy Way, Director of the IRDP Program, also participated in the training throughout the week.
The workshop provided the participants a practical application of NRC inspection protocols for a typical RTR. The primary focus of the workshop was NRC Inspection Procedure (IP) 69001 for Class II RTRs. Discussions were held regarding typical inspection practices for the 12 inspection topical areas within IP 69001. In addition, the instructors covered RTR inspector qualification, the importance of licensee documentation, inspection techniques, and how to document inspection findings.
The participants were afforded the unique opportunity to visit and tour the Jordan Research and Training Reactor (JRTR) located in Irbid, Jordan. Dr. Samer Kahook, JRTR Manager, provided an overview presentation about the “state-of-the-art” JRTR , which was followed by a tour of the JRTR facility by staff of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC). The tour included: the Main Control Room, reactor and service pool deck, Neutron Activation Analysis Facility (NAAF), Radioisotope Production Facility (RIPF), Pumphouse, and the Radwaste Treatment Facility. The participants observed the JRTR staff perform portions of Periodic Inspections of Main Control Room displays and the Service Water pumps.
Throughout the workshop, Steve Reese and Robert Gramm provided instruction, mentoring, background information, and facilitated interactive dialogues with the participants that focused on NRC and RTR facility practices relevant to RTR inspections and regulatory oversight practices. The ANNuR participants also shared experiences and best practices from their respective regulatory bodies.
The participants were enthusiastic and engaged throughout the entire workshop and site tour. They found the inspection exercises, examinations of facility operations, reactor operation examples, NRC inspection protocols, and interactions with AdSTM and NRC staff to be extremely valuable.
The IRDP team continues to appreciate collaborative opportunities with its IRDP members and their nuclear industry counterparts. Having the support of the EMRC and the JAEC ensured the success of the RTR Inspections workshop.