International Nuclear Safety Regime

Today, the total of 449 nuclear reactors are operated in 30 countries worldwide, whose safety is critical for the international community. It shall be thoroughly controlled by national regulatory authorities to avoid nuclear accidents and catastrophes.

Design of nuclear installations, their construction, commissioning, repair and maintenance, modernization, personnel dose monitoring, radioactive waste management and decommissioning shall be performed under strict supervision of regulatory authorities.

International nuclear safety regime is based on four main principles. The first covers the introduction to the mandatory and recommendatory international legal documents, such as conventions on safety and codes of conduct. The second principle covers compliance with the comprehensive set of nuclear safety standards and rules. The third principle deals with the provision of international services in the field based on safety regulations. The fourth principle covers the need to establish powerful national infrastructures and global expert society.

National infrastructures cover relevant legal and institutional aspects, in particular, nuclear regulatory authority, scientific, research and educational establishments, industrial potential. Continuous safety improvement and mutual training require the development of expert knowledge network, relevant database of experience in the field of nuclear and radiation safety.

Currently, the area of global security is developing independently. However, in future global security of nuclear installations shall be integrated into the international nuclear safety regime. After all, they have the same purpose to ensure safe functioning of nuclear industry in the world.

The international nuclear safety regime includes: safe operation of nuclear power plants, research reactors, fuel cycle facilities; radiation protection of the population and environment; radiation safety of personnel, radiological protection of patients; safety of radioactive sources; safe transport of radioactive materials; safe management of radioactive waste, its disposal, decommissioning, remediation of contaminated sites and preparedness for response in case of incidents and emergencies.

The development of the international nuclear safety regime requires fundamental legal and regulatory framework. Countries with operating NPPs recently implemented significant improvements of national legal and regulatory safety framework. Countries having research reactors are creating relevant laws and independent regulatory authorities.

Today’s problem deals with independence of certain regulators and incompliance of their personnel competence with international standards. The international nuclear community conducted a set of international forums to improve professional level of regulatory authorities’ personnel. Such forums are held for experts from different countries to share experience, establish business contacts. The most well-known participants of such forums are as follows: International Nuclear Regulators’ Association (INRA), G8 Nuclear Safety and Security Group, Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA), WWER Regulators Forum. editorial board