IAEA unit reviews Japan's nuclear regulatory framework

Courtesy of the IAEA

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently concluded an evaluation mission in Japan, reporting improvements in the nation's nuclear regulatory system, the IAEA said late last week.

The study was carried out over a 12-day period, and the team evaluated the performance and procedures of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). The team met with officials from the NRA and the Japanese government to provide recommendations and suggestions to facilitate increased safety within the nation's nuclear operations, such as recruiting experienced staff, amending national laws to give regulators the authority to perform more thorough inspections and promoting the importance of operational safety.

The IRRS team said the NRA was efficient in implementing post-Fukushima measures to develop a stronger regulatory framework, demonstrating "independence" and "transparency," but said the nation needs to "further strengthen its technical competence" ahead of scheduled restarts of nuclear plants. 

“Today, the system provides for clearer responsibilities and greater authority to the regulatory body,” Juan Carlos Lentijo, IAEA deputy director general and head of the Department for Safety and Security, said. “The NRA is on a good path to continue this crucial progress in the future. Its work must continue to ensure that the new regulatory system is applied fully, to all facilities and activities.”

The IRRS carries out regular missions internationally to improve nuclear regulation and safety standards.

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