«Managing Regulatory Body Competence IAEA SAFETY STANDARDS AND RELATED PUBLICATIONS IAEA SAFETY STANDARDS Under the terms of Article III of its ...»
The methods of acquiring competences described in the body of this Safety Report are relevant to a State embarking on a nuclear power programme. For a new entrant State, the main distinctions are not the lack of existing competences, but the recognition that competences need to be developed in a systematic way so that the regulatory body can perform as necessary. The competences needed for Phases 2 and 3 have been further developed, informed by the actions contained in IAEA Safety Standards Series No. SSG-16 . However, the specific competences will vary depending on the State’s licensing process and according to the framework of the NPP project schedule.
It is anticipated that “any construction by a new entrant will likely be based on the well proven technologies of an exporting country. It might be expected that the design has been licensed by the regulatory body in the exporting country, perhaps with the benefit of analysis by other regulatory bodies” (para. 26 of Ref. ). This section identifies examples of how the methods could be incorporated into an overall strategy for acquiring competences.
V.4.1. Use of external support
The entrant regulatory body needs to establish bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements with other regulatory bodies — mainly the regulatory body of the vendor State or of a State which has already licensed a similar plant which might serve as a reference — and with international organizations of regulators, such as the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group, in order to
(a) Interactions with senior policy makers from experienced nuclear States to develop an understanding of the required nuclear power infrastructure;
(b) Attachments by senior regulatory managers to an experienced regulator to understand regulatory management requirements and processes;
(c) Attachments of selected senior staff to experienced regulatory bodies for gaining hands-on work experience — these experts would then train local staff;
(d) Attachments of experienced regulatory staff to the new entrant regulatory body to assist with training and the development of processes.
In addition, the entrant may consider receiving assistance with the early regulatory activities — such as the development of a regulatory framework that may be based on adopting existing regulations, and regulatory review and assessment leveraging regulatory decisions associated with the reference plant.
Within the method of use of external support, new entrants have particularly relied on support from the regulator of the vendor State or that from a regulator that had licensed the same reactor design. In this case, it is important for the new entrant to evaluate the regulatory framework of that regulatory body in the context of its own national legal and regulatory obligations. Any differences need to be properly addressed.
Regardless of the use of external support, the regulatory body must retain the decision making responsibility. It is recognized that as the embarking State further develops its competence, there will be a reduced reliance on this external support in performing regulatory activities.
Recruitment of experienced personnel from other national or international institutions will take place. The extent to which the regulatory body can recruit experienced personnel will influence the reliance on external support to perform regulatory functions. It needs to be recognized that this personnel will still need training in Quadrant 1 competences to familiarize themselves with specific aspects of the legal and regulatory framework and practices. In addition, there may be some training and sometimes a retraining in Quadrants 2, 3 and 4 to address issues specific to States.
To assure the sustainability of the regulatory body in the longer term, the competences required to regulate the future operation of the plant must be available at the beginning of the commissioning phase. The goals of the training programme in this case need to be to provide the necessary skills to perform the regulatory functions by the end of the construction period, with limited support from external experts. The regulatory body needs to define a core set of competences to receive priority during the training programme. The training programme itself will initially rely on that of the mature regulatory body.
V.4.4. Coordination at the national level The availability of adequate numbers of suitable candidates for initial recruitment may well need the reinforcement of the national universities and other professional institutions to increase the quantity and the quality of the graduates.
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