NNR Programme Manager NTWP , Mr Thiagan Pather participated in the Artemis segment of the Joint IRRS mission to Spain which took place from 14-26 October 2018.
For the first time, the IAEA carried out two different peer reviews. The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team looked at the Spanish regulatory framework for nuclear and radiological safety. The Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation (ARTEMIS) provided an independent evaluation of the country’s radioactive waste management programme. The combined mission was carried out at the request of the Government of Spain.
The mission was hosted by the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), the Ministry for Ecological Transition, and the Spanish Radioactive Waste Management Agency (ENRESA). The team recognized the expertise and dedication of the national regulatory authorities – which includes CSN, relevant ministries and local government authorities – and commended Spain for its strategy for the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel generated in the country. The team noted, however, that delays in the implementation of the strategy could affect its sustainability.
“In inviting the IAEA to conduct this unique mission, the Spanish government has demonstrated strong commitment to a basic principle for excellence in nuclear and radiation safety—a quest for continuous improvement,” said team leader Victor McCree, retired Executive Director for Operations at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
IRRS missions are designed to strengthen the effectiveness of the national nuclear regulatory infrastructure, using IAEA safety standards and international good practices, while recognizing the responsibility of each country to ensure nuclear and radiation safety.
ARTEMIS missions provide independent expert advice from an international team of specialists convened by the IAEA. Reviews are based on the IAEA safety standards, technical guidance, as well as international good practices. The mission covered all regulated nuclear facilities and activities, as well as the national framework and programme for the management of all types of radioactive waste and spent fuel in Spain. The team met with relevant agencies, including CSN, ENRESA and the Ministry for Ecological Transition, and observed regulatory inspections at sites such as a nuclear power plant, a nuclear fuel fabrication facility and a large industrial radiography facility.
The review team comprised 24 senior international experts from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Pakistan, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and IAEA staff.