The overall objectives of the project were to support the IAEA in implementing its Action Plan on Nuclear Safety and to provide assistance to INSC beneficiaries for improving global nuclear safety. The Action also contributed to the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), launched in May 2010 during the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. PUI aimed to help making peaceful uses of nuclear energy available to all in the fields of human health, food security, nuclear power infrastructure development, water resource management, and nuclear safety.
The project provided funding for 23 projects, grouped under six thematic areas (A-F) as follows:
- A.Enhancement of Design and Operational Safety Review Services for NPPs
- B.Improving Safety for Lifecycle Management of Spent Fuel, Radioactive Waste and Decommissioning, to provide for Protection of the Public, Workers and the Environment, which focuses on technical support to regulators and the safety during lifecycle management of radioactive waste from the front and back ends of the nuclear fuel cycle.
- C.Lessons Learned from Fukushima for the Regulators, Enhancement of Regulatory Oversight and Strengthening of an Effective Compliance Assurance Regime in Transport of Radioactive Material
- D.Emergency Preparedness and Response
- E.Addressing Radioactive Waste Management
- F.Strengthening Regulatory Bodies and Improving Implementation of Safety Standards
Projects in areas A-C were managed by the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security (NS) and in areas D-F by the Department of Technical Cooperation (TC).
A few examples of deliverables and achievements are listed below (non-exhaustive list).
Enhancing the operational safety review services for nuclear power plants:
- Strengthened IAEA OSART services with the new OSART Guidelines edition 2015 and an internet based OSART collaboration platform that considered feedback from operational experience, revision of IAEA Safety Standards and lessons learned from the Fukushima event;
- Improved operational safety of nuclear power plants in the IAEA MSs and EU neighbouring countries demonstrated by high percentage (97%) of implementation of IAEA recommendations and suggestions issued by the OSART teams;
- Enhanced capacity building by development of suite of training materials related to OSART methodology for new OSART reviewers;
- Facilitated knowledge-sharing through the internet-based OSART collaborative platform; and
- Refurbished OSMIR database containing OSART mission’s results.
Practical intervention techniques to reduce public doses at uranium mining and milling legacy sites, Africa regions:
- A comprehensive and high quality package of training materials was developed, containing a syllabus, lectures, lecture notes, model workshop agendas and practical exercises; the material is complemented by a TECDOC.
Strengthening of an effective compliance assurance regime in transport of radioactive material in the European Southern neighbourhood region (Mediterranean Sea) and associated shipping states:
- Through the Mediterranean Transport Safety Network (MedNet) created in October 2015, members have regular contacts which have enhanced the cooperation and exchanges of views and best practices related to transport safety across the region. The members of MedNet are conscious of the necessity to strengthen cooperation with neighbouring regions, which led to their proposal to IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Department for an interregional project with Africa, Asia and Europe regions.
- The support of EACA (European Association of Competent Authorities for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material) and their cooperation with MedNet have been a significant contribution to the success of MedNet;
- A specific MedNet website has been developed, providing a venue for dialogue between the members and information dissemination to the public. The website is hosted under the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN);
- Several Member States completed their national plans of action based on the results of their self-assessment and peer-review exercises.
Strengthening and Harmonizing National Capabilities for Response to Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies in Africa:
- Emergency preparedness and response review (EPREV) missions carried out in five participating Member States (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and United Republic of Tanzania) have resulted in national action plans developed with specific recommendations for improvement.
Strengthening Education and Training Infrastructure, and Building Competence in Radiation Safety in Africa:
- Through the EU funding, 40 trainees attended the five-month group fellowship training of the postgraduate education course (PGEC) in radiation protection for French speaking countries in Africa. They are currently working as radiation protection officers in national regulatory authorities.
The EU funds have contributed to a number of IAEA projects in several thematic area. Direct beneficiaries of the project are regulatory authorities, operating organizations, and technical support organizations in recipient member states. End beneficiaries are the population of the participating and neighbouring countries at large as well as itinerant workers in NPP stress tests.
The joint implementation of projects addressing Member States urgent needs and requirements in the areas of nuclear safety in particular in the light of lessons learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi accident have helped to avoid duplication and overlaps in EU and IAEA activities and have created synergies between both programmes.