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Friday, June 23, 2017

IAEA Mission Notes Enhancements in Polish Regulatory Safety Framework, Areas for Improvement

IAEA Mission Notes Enhancements in Polish Regulatory Safety Framework, Areas for Improvement

Warsaw Poland
Polish flag.
An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said Poland has significantly enhanced its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety in recent years, while noting that work remains in implementing its nuclear and radioactive waste-management programmes.
The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team concluded an eight-day follow-up mission to Warsaw today to assess the regulatory safety framework in Poland. The mission was hosted by the Government and the National Nuclear Energy Agency (PAA), which is responsible for nuclear and radiation safety regulation in the country.
Using IAEA safety standards and international best practices, IRRS missions are designed to strengthen the effectiveness of the national nuclear regulatory infrastructure, while recognizing the responsibility of each State to ensure nuclear and radiation safety.
The team found that the PAA had addressed each recommendation and suggestion made by an IRRS mission in 2013, and continues to focus on implementing a framework for effective protection of public health and safety. The team also offered the PAA three new suggestions to develop additional guidance in specific technical and management support areas.
After a thorough review, the team concluded that Poland had either fully implemented the 31 recommendations and suggestions from 2013 or made sufficient progress to establish confidence in their effective completion,” said team leader Robert Lewis, who is the Assistant for Operations at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “This very strong result is indicative of the PAA’s commitment to its nuclear safety and radiological protection mission and to the principles of learning from one another that underlie the IRRS programme.”
In 2014, the Government approved a Polish Nuclear Power Programme aimed at developing the capacity to generate 6000 MWe by 2035. Poland currently operates the MARIA research reactor and is decommissioning another research reactor, both located near the central town of Otwock. Almost 4000 facilities use radiation sources in Poland, which is planning a low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste-storage facility. Waste is currently stored at the National Radioactive Waste Repository, in the town of Różan.
“The positive results of this follow-up review provide the PAA with another confirmation of the good direction of our efforts in improving the national safety framework,” PAA President Andrzej Przybycin said. “By implementing all recommendations and suggestions from the original mission in 2013, we have improved our readiness to be one of the crucial stakeholders of the Polish Nuclear Power Programme.”
Peter Johnston, Director of the IAEA’s Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety, said: “The mission has provided valuable insights that the PAA can use in pursuing regulatory excellence. Other countries will also benefit from the progress Poland has made.”
The final mission report will be provided to the Government of Poland in about three months. Polish authorities told the IAEA they plan to make the report public.

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