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Independent peer review of legislative and administrative frameworks of nuclear and radiation safety

On 4 April 2022, the International Atomic Energy Agency´s (IAEA) mission has started an independent peer review of legislative and administrative frameworks of nuclear and radiation safety in the Republic of Slovenia as well as the activities at the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration (SNSA) and the Slovenian Radiation Protection Administration (SRPA). During this review, the mission will check compliance of the SNSA and SRPA procedures with the IAEA standards. The event will conclude on 14 April 2022.

This mission is known under the acronym IRRS (Integrated Regulatory Review Service) which indicates that it overviews the legislative and administrative infrastructure according to the IAEA standards. Not only will the IRRS reviewers verify the compliance of our regulations with the IAEA standards, but they will also assess staffing capacities, budget adequacies, infrastructure and management systems of both administrative bodies, their cooperation and coherence as well as interaction with other bodies, technical support organisations, and institutions at home and abroad. Moreover, their scope of review will include security assessment procedures for different radiation activities and licensing, inspections, and regulatory procedures. The entire domain of nuclear and radiation security provision in Slovenia will be comprehensively examined, that is from the peaceful use of nuclear energy to the use of radiation sources in all fields (medicine, science, industry), and therefore, the mission will cover the full scope of activities. During this time, meetings will be held at the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning as well as at the Ministry of Health, while some license holders will host inspections. Moreover, this is an opportunity to exchange peer-to-peer views and experiences, as it is one of the missions where experts meet each other.

In accordance with the provisions of the Nuclear Safety Directive, such missions must be carried out at least once every ten years and reported to the European Commission. This IRRS mission will be closely related to another mission organised by the IAEA - the ARTEMIS mission (Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation) which reviews national management and disposal programs for radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. Certain common areas will be addressed only once, according to the methodology which will be tested for the first time for two consecutive missions (IRRS and ARTEMIS), as there are usually multi-annual intervals between them. The ARTEMIS mission will be organised at the end of May this year.

This IRRS mission consists of 18 international experts in various areas of nuclear and radiation safety from IAEA, Brazil, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Pakistan, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Sweden. Its main findings and recommendations will be published on the last day, 14 April 2022, when the reviewers will hand over their report to Slovenian representatives.

Group photo of foreign and Slovenian participants standing in front of the entrance of the SNSA headquarters building

IRRS Mission participants | Author Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration