IAEA reviews India’s nuclear regulatory framework

Senior international nuclear safety experts concluded a 12-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review India’s regulatory framework for safety of nuclear power plants (NPPs).

In its preliminary findings, the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team noted that the Republic of India has forecast that nuclear power generation in India will increase significantly over the next decade. This poses challenges to the country, as it must maintain sufficient regulatory oversight of both operating nuclear power plants and those under construction.

The Indian Government had invited the review, which included interviews and discussions with regulatory staff and site visits to observe inspections. The mission team compared the Indian regulatory framework for nuclear safety with IAEA safety standards. S.S. Bajaj, Chairman of the India Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), who received the IRRS draft report at the conclusion of the mission, said: “The acknowledgement of the effectiveness of India’s safety regulation in the outcome of this IRRS mission has renewed AERB’s resolve and commitment for ensuring a high level of safety in the facilities and activities. AERB is committed to pursuing the improvements suggested by the mission towards further strengthening the regulatory framework.”

The mission identified several good practices and provided recommendations and suggestions for improvement. The final mission report will be provided to the Indian Government in about three months.

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