The Office of International Programs (OIP) provides overall policy and planning direction for the IRDP. They have been given responsibility by the U.S. Congress and the US NRC to create partnerships on a bilateral basis with selected countries having a near-term need for nuclear regulatory infrastructure.
Their first responsibility is to select the countries to work with. Many countries have shown an interest in participating in the project, but only a few are at a point where the program activities can make a substantive difference in their national programs. OIP also sets priorities for the program. It is possible to conceive of a program with many different facets under development simultaneously, but an effective and efficient program must focus on those activities that can have an impact on the early development of the participating countries’ programs. Lastly, OIP coordinates the program with its many stakeholders. These include the Commission, Congress, and the many federal agencies with an interest in nuclear power development overseas. It also includes international organizations such as the NEA and IAEA, and regional nuclear development groups throughout the world. Finally it involves close coordination with the highest level of decision-makers in the participating countries.
Advanced Systems Technology and Management, Inc. (AdSTM):
Advanced Systems Technology and Management, Inc. (AdSTM) is the prime technical contributor to the program. AdSTM has assembled a team of highly experienced former NRC executives and staff—professionals with hands-on experience in the development and implementation of reactor regulatory organizations and programs.
AdSTM developed training programs for agency staff in developing countries relating to the basic concepts of nuclear safety regulation, the development of agency infrastructure and the details of regulatory program implementation. AdSTM staff members deliver these training courses at locations convenient to the staff of participating countries. It is mostly through this direct contact that the vast experience base of the AdSTM staff is most effectively imparted to the participating countries.
Participating Regulatory Agencies:
The participating countries have the most difficult role of all. They often enter the program with insufficient staffing, no fundamental regulatory nuclear power structures, and little experience with nuclear reactors. Given these barriers, it is remarkable what these agencies can accomplish in a few short years. The agency leadership must first develop an action plan, based in part on the generic action plan developed by AdSTM. They must define an agency structure and specify their staffing needs. This step helps the agency to communicate their needs within the National Government and justify their budget requests to the National Assembly. They must define their training and qualification requirements, and enlist the aid of the international community to provide on-the-job experience for their new staff. It requires making staff available to participate in training provided by AdSTM and other international contributors.
The participating agencies are often under pressure to provide information in support of the national decision on nuclear power. This involves a major push to define the regulatory requirements for siting and licensing of the first reactors. It also requires an early need to conduct a preliminary review of proposed sites.