IAEA TECDOC Workshop “Case Studies: Experiences of Member States in Building a Regulatory Framework for the Oversight of New Nuclear Power Plants” in Vienna, Austria

June 23rd, 2019 — 

From June 18 – 21, 2019, Ms. Haimanot Yilma of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Mr. Mel Fields of Advanced Systems Technology and Management (AdSTM) participated in an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sponsored workshop to discuss the draft IAEA Technical Document (TECDOC) publication entitled “Case Studies: Experiences of member States in Building a Regulatory Framework for the Oversight of New Nuclear Power Plants”; and to collect additional information insights from other member states’ experiences and practices. The meeting was attended by 41 participants representing 18-member states and various IAEA departments. 

Ms. Yilma presented on the NRC’s international assistance program, covering bilateral and multilateral cooperation efforts, the NRC’s Radiation Sources Regulatory Partnership (RSRP), and International Regulatory Development Partnership (IRDP).  Some workshop participants showed a high level-of-interest in the NRC’s international assistance programs and expressed their appreciation for the NRC’s support. 

The IAEA staff delivered several presentations on the following topics:   the Milestones approach and integrated IAEA support to embarking countries; considerations in establishing a legal framework for nuclear power; establishing the necessary infrastructure for nuclear safety, security, and safeguard; and the IAEA’s experience with the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) missions to member states.  In addition to the presentations delivered by the NRC and IAEA, the 18-member states in attendance presented on the status of their respective countries ongoing efforts to establish an effective regulatory body and the challenges they have experienced throughout this process.

During the discussion of the draft TECDOC report, Mr. Fields suggested that the discussion on common observations and challenges faced by the member countries could be expanded to include IAEA’s analysis and recommendations on the relative importance and possible solutions to the challenges identified by the workshop participants.

Both Ms. Yilma and Mr. Fields  also engaged in informal interactions with individual member country representatives throughout the week.  Overall, the participants provided insightful and positive comments on the purpose and objectives of the TECDOC, and the IAEA’s efforts to finalize the TECDOC in the near future.