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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) is a peer review service designed to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of national regulatory infrastructure for nuclear, radiation, radioactive waste and transport safety and the security of radioactive sources whilst recognizing the ultimate responsibility of each state to ensure safety in these areas. The IRRS process sets out to accomplish this expressed purpose through consideration of both technical and policy issues of a regulatory nature against IAEA safety standards and where appropriate, good practice elsewhere.

Peer exchange on technical and policy issues gives insight into the efficiency and effectiveness of the legal and governmental framework and regulatory infrastructure for safety, by focusing on issues arising from the state's self-assessment and the evaluation of technical areas and policy issues against IAEA safety standards. Through this process opportunities for improvement are explored and potential improvement strategies identified which may be shared with other states. The regulatory review process directly draws upon the wide-ranging international experience and expertise of IRRS Review Team members.

The IRRS recognizes that organizational structure and regulatory processes vary from country to country depending on national legal and administrative systems, the size and structure of the nuclear and radiation protection programme, financial resources available to the regulatory body, social customs and cultural traditions. The IRRS process allows for such variations within a single integrated review service.

The IRRS process includes performance and prescriptive approaches to varying degrees. It is performance-oriented in that it accepts various approaches to the organization and practices of a regulatory framework and regulatory body that contribute to a strong national nuclear and radiation safety regime. At the same time the review process is prescriptive in its objective comparison against IAEA standards and guidance.

During an IRRS mission, recommendations and suggestions may be offered to the host country. Recommendations are related to items of direct relevance to safety as referenced in IAEA safety requirements, while suggestions relate to items not essential to compatibility with IAEA standards, but which may enhance the effectiveness of the national nuclear and radiation safety regime and/or improve the organization or performance of the regulatory body. Good practice identified may be documented for consideration by other states.

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