IAEA establishes or adopts standards of safety for protection of health and minimization of danger to life and property, as well as to provide for the application of these standards.
The publications by means of which the IAEA establishes standards are issued in the IAEA Safety Standards Series. This series covers nuclear safety, radiation safety, transport safety and waste safety, and also general safety (i.e., all these areas of safety).
The IAEA Safety Standards publication series comprise three categories.
The Safety Fundamentals SF-1 establishes the fundamental safety objective: “to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.” It sets forth 10 safety principles that provide the bases for the IAEA’s safety standards and its safety–related programmes.
An integrated and consistent set of Safety Requirements establish the needs that must be met to ensure the protection of people and the environment, both now and in the future. The requirements are governed by the objective and principles of the Safety Fundamentals. If the requirements are not met, measures must be taken to reach or restore the required level of safety. The format and style of the requirements facilitate their use for the establishment, in a harmonized manner, of a national regulatory framework. The safety requirements use ‘shall’ statements with statements of associated conditions to be met. Many requirements are not addressed to a specific party, the implication being that the appropriate parties are responsible for fulfilling them.
Safety Guides provide recommendations and guidance on how to comply with the safety requirements, indicating an international consensus that it is necessary to take the measures recommended (or equivalent alternative measures). The Safety Guides present international good practices, and increasingly they reflect best practices, to help users striving to achieve high levels of safety. The recommendations provided in Safety Guides are expressed as ‘should’ statements.