OECD Nuclear Energy Agency International Workshop on

    Regulatory Approaches and the Characteristics of an Effective Regulator

    Hosted by The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), Stockholm, Sweden,
    28-30 October 2013


    Developed a common language and understanding of regulatory approaches and characteristics of an effective regulator to provide guidance that would enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of regulatory bodies.


    As seen in CNRA work on improving nuclear regulation (see NEA Regulatory Guidance booklets volumes 1-14), nuclear regulators use a number of different approaches in the supervision of nuclear power reactors. In the early 2000s SKI (now part of SSM) sponsored a study of these approaches that summarized interviews with over thirty experts from Canada, Finland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2011, SSM commissioned a study to conduct a survey on experts to follow up on the findings from the previous study. Nuclear regulators from five countries – Sweden, Spain, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom – participated in the survey. In all, fifty-four questionnaires were returned between February and July of 2012. The questionnaires asked experts to give their personal opinions about the approaches and its effects.

    For the 2011/2012 study, seven approaches to the supervision of commercial nuclear power facilities were evaluated by the experts who responded to the questionnaire:

    • prescriptive
    • facility-based
    • outcome-based
    • risk- or hazard-based
    • process-based
    • self-assessment-based
    • education- or influence-based

    Experts were asked about the use of different approaches in two specific cases and in the "usual" case. They were also asked to comment on the set of approaches used in each case – including, for example, whether there was a change in the approaches used and what made the set of approaches more or less effective.

    In addition, the CNRA at its June 2012 meeting held an in-depth Special Topical Discussion on the Characteristics of an Effective Regulator and suggested further development of the topic. At its next meeting in December 2012, CNRA agreed that a Regulatory Guidance Report – a Green Booklet – should be developed on the topic. CNRA asked that there be good coordination and appropriate feedback between the work on Regulatory Approaches and the development of the Characteristics of an Effective Regulator Green Booklet – as there are connections and possible synergies between the two topics.

    Following nominations from the CNRA member countries to support the development of a green booklet, a CNRA Senior-Level Task Group (STG) was established with the role of producing a Green Booklet on the Characteristics of an Effective Regulator. The first STG meeting was held in April 2013 where the outline of the booklet was discussed as well as an in-depth discussion on the principles, fundamentals and ingredients that make up an effective regulator. Coordination with the work on regulatory approaches was assisted by some commonality of membership; and the STG agreed that further coordination and synergy would be enhanced by holding this joint OECD/NEA CNRA Workshop on Regulatory Approaches and the Characteristics of an Effective Regulator. At this workshop, the developments and emergent thinking on the Green Booklet were presented, together with discussions on how the latest developments and inputs from this workshop could be incorporated into the Green Booklet.


    The workshop included presentations of the findings of the Regulatory Approaches and Characteristics of an Effective Regulator and held discussions on:

    • regulatory approaches and their definitions;
    • pros and cons of different approaches;
    • how approaches can be combined into regulatory strategies;
    • how the approaches can contribute to the effectiveness of the regulatory body;
    • the development of the NEA Regulatory Guidance Report – the Green Booklet – on the Characteristics of an Effective Regulator;
    • coordination, input and appropriate feedback between the work on Regulatory Approaches and the development of the Effective Regulator Green Booklet;
    • consideration of the further work in completing the Guidance Report.

    Preliminary Workshop Programme

    The workshop started at 09:00 on Monday and ended at 13:00 on Wednesday.

    Session 1:

    SSM Study – Survey on Regulatory Strategies and Approaches for Oversight of Nuclear Power Plant Safety

    • Overall presentation of the study
    • Presentation from participating countries – lessons learned
    • Workshop discussions on regulatory approaches

    Session 2:

    CNRA Green Booklet – Characteristics of an Effective Regulator

    • Overall presentation of the Green Booklet draft
    • Presentation on the Fundamentals, Ingredients and Recommendations
    • Workshop and panel discussion on the Characteristics of an Effective Regulator.

    Session 3:

    Conclusion and Results from the Workshop

    • Outcomes from each session
    • Way forward on Regulatory Approaches and the Characteristics of an Effective Regulator


    All correspondence with regard to the meeting should be addressed to the workshop secretariat:

    Ms. Nancy Salgado
    OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
    Le Seine Saint-Germain
    12 boulevard des Îles
    92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux,

    Ms. Anna Franzén
    Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten (Swedish Radiation Safety Authority)
    SE-171 16 Stockholm

    Last reviewed: 24 September 2013