EU regulatory experts supported the Ministry for Emergency Situations (MES), including the Department on Nuclear and Radiation Safety (Gosatomnadzor). MES also included the following subordinated institutes and teams, involved in this project:
- Institute for Retraining and Professional Development (IRPD),
- Research Institute of Fire Safety and Emergencies (RIFSE),
- Gomel Engineering Institute (GEI),
- Command Engineering Institute (CEI), and
- Republican Special Response Team (RSRT).
The overall objective of the cooperation, of which this project was part, is the transfer of European regulatory methodology and practices to the nuclear safety authorities of Belarus especially related institutional and technical cooperation with Gosatomnadzor to develop its capabilities on the basis of transferred European safety principles and practices. Its wider objective is to strengthen the national nuclear safety and radiation protection regulatory system in Belarus.
The specific objectives to enhance and to strengthen the competences and practices of the project were:
- Development and establishment of a regulatory strategy, a corresponding action plan and cooperation plan, especially in the field of capacity building for the enhancement of the NRA, including an overview of the present situation in Belarus,
- Development of a legislative framework in the field of nuclear safety,
- Licensing support in the field of nuclear safety for the development of the regulatory body and its functions,
- Organising and performing training of the regulatory authority personnel,
- Training of the staff of educational institutions of MES,
- Procurement of equipment in the field of radiation safety and emergency preparedness,
- Participation of experts of MES/Gosatomnadzor in international conferences.
The activities performed and results achieved in each of the technical tasks can be summarised as follows:
Task 1: Gosatomnadzor was supported to achieve their strategic objectives in a more effective and timely manner.
As a result of the Task 1 activities, the finalised document "Strategy, Action Plan and Cooperation Plan of Capacity Building to Enhance Gosatomnadzor of the Ministry for Emergency Situations" (dated 05 March2012) was issued. The strategy provides a clear orientation for staff development in the period 2012-2016 and further to 2020 with a corresponding action plan and cooperation plan (2012-2016).
Task 2: The activities supported the beneficiary in the further development of its regulatory organisation and regulations in Belarus. Three workshops have been performed along the GAN working process. These workshops were organised in parallel to Task 3 activities in order to provide better cooperation and overview on legislation and regulatory practices. The work started with external reviews by EU expert organisations where nuclear legislation and technical regulations as well as the regulatory organisation in Belarus were reviewed. In the second phase, GAN performed its own self-assessment work on the basis of comments of the consultant. GAN developed a regulatory strategy and corresponding action plans for further development of the regulatory organisation and regulations in the third phase (activities mainly performed in Task 1). During the project, a process to develop safety related regulations for nuclear power plants in Belarus have been strengthened.
Task 3: Technical support was provided to the beneficiary in reviewing the current status and further developing the licensing process of the first Belarusian NPP to be constructed as well as in reviewing and assessment activities of safety related documentation (PSAR) for the new NPP. In parallel with Task 2 activities, six workshops were organised based on the agreed work plan and upon request by the beneficiary due to urgent actual needs of Gosatomnadzor.
Task 4: Technical support to the beneficiary to ensure a quality and efficient fulfilment of Gosatomnadzor duties was provided. One meeting to develop a training plan for the professional development of Gosatomnadzor was organised. Seven training sessions to strengthen the capabilities of the regulatory authority personnel as well as of the staff of its main TSO in the areas of quality assurance of equipment and systems design and manufacture in the space of the licensing process, accident analysis with the use of computer codes as well as regulatory role in NPP projects were successfully performed. Finally a technical report was drafted.
Task 5: Technical support was given to the beneficiary to improve its capacities in accident assessment and emergency preparedness taking into account the wishes and needs of Belarusian specialists. International experience and practice in nuclear safety features was transferred to the beneficiary by performing two workshops including practical sessions. Training material was provided.
Task 6: Technical support was provided to the beneficiary for the procurement of modern radiation measurement devices under a separate contract (BE-RA-06E) following standard EC procurement rules. The technical specifications to the procurement were provided according to the requirements. Since none of the submitted tenders were compliant with the criteria of the tender evaluation, the tender procedure has been unsuccessful. As no equipment had been procured, a second technical workshop aimed at assistance during commissioning and first provisional acceptance was cancelled.
Task 7: Assistance was given to the beneficiary in order to enhance comprehensive knowledge about international activities in the nuclear regulatory area. The participation of eight Belarusian experts in four different conferences was organised. The conferences also provided an opportunity for fruitful discussions with Western experts in this area. The Belarusian experts received conference materials and publications.
With a view on the planning of an Belarusian NPP this INSC project represented a new phase of the transfer of European regulatory methodology and practices to the nuclear safety authorities of Belarus especially related institutional and technical cooperation with Gosatomnadzor to develop its capabilities on the basis of transferred European safety principles and practices. Further support activities are recommended and strongly needed.