Workshop on Lessons Learned from the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) Mission to France

22-23 March 2007
Paris, France

Note Verbal
IRRS Workshop Background Information: (MS Word)
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Meeting Venue:
Hôtel Méridien Etoile
81 boulevard Gouvion Saint-Cyr
75017 Paris
Tel.: + 33 1 40 68 34 34
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Nearest metro station: Porte Maillot, on line 1 (Vincennes to Neuilly/ La Défense)


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The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) is intended to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of Member States regulatory infrastructure in nuclear, radiation, radioactive waste and transport safety whilst recognizing the ultimate responsibility of each State to ensure the safety of nuclear facilities, the protection against ionizing radiation, the safety and security of radioactive sources, the safe management of radioactive waste, and the safe transport of radioactive material. This is to be accomplished with consideration of regulatory technical and policy issues and with comparisons against IAEA regulatory safety standards.

The IRRS concept was developed at the Nuclear Safety and Security Department and then discussed at the third review meeting of the Contracting Parties of the Convention on Nuclear Safety in 2005. The meeting acknowledged the importance of the IAEA Regulatory Peer reviews now recognized as a good opportunity to exchange professional experience and to share lessons learned and good practices. These IAEA peer review benefits were further discussed at the International Conference on “Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems” in Moscow in 2006, at which note was taken of the value of the IRRS support for the development of the global nuclear safety regime, by providing for the sharing of good regulatory practices and policies for the development and harmonization of safety standards, and by supporting the application of the continuous improvement process. All findings coming, inter alia, from the Convention on Nuclear Safety review meetings and from the Moscow conference are inputs for the IRRS. The IRRS utilizes a modular approach which allows for more flexibility and is thus better suited to meet the needs of the Member States.

The results of the IRRS missions will also be used as feedback for the improvement of existing standards and guidance, the development of new ones, and to establish a knowledge base in the context of an integrated safety approach. The IRRS missions will, at last, be used to set up a network of experts from regulatory authorities. Through its IRRS, the IAEA assists Member States in strengthening an effective and sustainable national regulatory infrastructure thus contributing towards achieving a strong and effective global safety and security regime .

At the request of the Government authorities of France, an international team of twenty four experts visited the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), the French regulatory authority, in November 2006 to conduct the first full scope Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission. Before the French IRRS mission, in 2006 the IAEA carried out an IRRS in Romania (IRRT and RASIA follow-up) and a reduced scope IRRS in the UK.

The purpose of the French IRRS mission was to facilitate regulatory improvements in France as well as other Member States from the knowledge gained and experiences shared by ASN and the reviewers through the evaluation of the effectiveness of the French regulatory authority, its regulatory framework and regulatory activities in all the facilities and practices regulated by ASN. The regulated facilities and practices included nuclear power plants, research reactors, fuel cycle facilities, medical practices, industrial and research activities, waste facilities, decommissioning, remediation and transport. In addition to the usual IRRS scope, ASN requested that this IRRS mission cover ASN public information practices.

The IRRS mission team consisted of sixteen experts from Member States (including several senior regulators), two observers, six from the IAEA and an IAEA administrative assistant. The IRRS team carried out the review of the ASN in all relevant areas: legislative and governmental responsibilities; authority, responsibilities and functions of the regulatory body; organization of the regulatory body; authorization process; review and assessment; inspection and enforcement; development of regulations and guides; emergency preparedness; management system; transport (TranSAS follow-up) and public information.