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Embarking Countries ​on Nuclear Power Programmes


IAEA mechanisms in establishing an independent and competent Regulatory Body in support of the development of a nuclear safety infrastructure for a nuclear power programme


Many countries without nuclear power plants are expressing interest for nuclear power. Safety is one of the prerequisites for such development. Newcomers should, therefore, timely launch a comprehensive process in order to develop a suitable nuclear safety infrastructure and ensure that their nuclear power programme fully complies with international safety standards.


Crucial to the long term success of a nuclear energy programme is the establishment of an independent and competent regulatory body. The confidence of the public and the international community depends to a large extent on effective regulation. The need for a competent and effective regulatory body must, therefore, be understood and given highest priority. 


Requests for assistance for strengthening the regulatory capabilities of countries embarking on nuclear power have significantly increased and the means to provide this assistance has become more distributed through a variety of delivery mechanisms:

  • The IAEA Safety Guide SSG-16 provides a road map for applying the IAEA Safety Standards during the three phases of a nuclear power programme development. The Safety packages based on SSG-16, outline 11 Thematic Modules, following and merging the 20 elements outlined in the guide. Each module can be applied through training workshops.  A comprehensive catalogue of workshops, including their scope and syllabus has been developed and has been included as part of the safety package for Module 1- Legal Governmental and Regulatory Framework for Safety. The workshops are in different stages of development.
  • The IRIS (Integrated Review of Infrastructure for Safety) tool has been developed specifically to support self-assessmnet of national infrastructure for safety against the IAEA safety guide SSG-16. Through regional or national workshops, countries may receive training on how to best conduct the self-assessment using IRIS and are further supported by the IAEA to realize the actual self-assessment.
  • Networks such as the Regulatory Cooperation Forum support embarking countries to develop effectively independent and robust nuclear safety regulators. The forum brings together provider countries (IAEA Member States with advanced nuclear power programmes) and observers (International Organizations) with receiving countries (IAEA Member States committed to developing a nuclear power programme) for a unique exchange of experience in developing a nuclear power programme.
  • The European Commission and the IAEA cooperate through extra-budgetary projects in the field of Nuclear Safety. In this regard, project 2013/313-757 on Identifying Safety and Regulatory Implications from the Fukushima Daiichi Accident on IAEA Safety Standards and Safety Services directly supports embarking countries. Former project 2010/244-291 strengthened regulatory capabilities for countries embarking on nuclear power. For further information, please also visit EC INSC.
  • The IAEA's Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) missions are designed to assist Member States, at their request, in assessing the status of their national infrastructure for the introduction of a national nuclear power programme.
  • National, Regional, and Interregional Technical Cooperation projects enable the IAEA to assist in the development and review of Member States' nuclear safety infrastructure development.  Through the engagement in safety networks such as the Asian Nuclear Safety Network, embarking countries are further offered assistance in their embarkation into nuclear power.