NEA policy papers

This page contains a selection of NEA policy papers on various aspects of nuclear energy production and use for peaceful purposes, covering the following subjects:

General interest papers

The Supply of Medical Radioisotopes: Results from the Second Self-assessment of the Global 99Mo/99mTc Supply Chain (2014)
This report presents the findings of the second self-assessment of the global 99Mo/99mTc supply chain. The report evaluates progress made by 99Mo/99mTc producers with the implementation of the HLG-MR policy principles, with a focus on the principles of full-cost recovery, outage reserve capacity, the role of governments in the 99Mo/99mTc market, and conversion to low-enriched uranium targets. It also makes a comparison with the results from the first self-assessment in 2012. Further, the report discusses the current state of the 99Mo/99mTc market and identifies major issues that prevent the market from achieving long-term sustainability.

Nuclear Energy in Perspective: The Path to a Reliable Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (2011)
Medical imaging techniques using technetium-99m account for roughly 80% of all nuclear medicine procedures, representing over 30 million examinations worldwide every year. Disruptions in the supply chain of these medical isotopes – which have half-lives of 66 hours for molybdenum-99 (99Mo) and 6 hours for technetium-99m (99mTc), and thus must be produced continually – can lead to cancellations or delays in important medical testing services. Unfortunately, supply reliability has declined over the past decade, due to unexpected or extended shutdowns at the few ageing, 99Mo‑producing, research reactors and processing facilities. These shutdowns have created global supply shortages.

Nuclear Energy in Perspective: Nuclear energy and addressing climate change (2009)
The need to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in an effort to tackle climate change has become a major driver of energy policy. Indeed, many believe that an "energy revolution" is needed to decarbonise energy supply, which is heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

Nuclear safety and regulation

Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA)

The Characteristics of an Effective Nuclear Regulator (2014)
Both national and international organisations agree that the fundamental objective of all nuclear safety regulatory bodies – the regulator's prime purpose – is to ensure that nuclear licensees operate their facilities at all times in a safe manner. Much has been written about ways to improve regulatory processes or to improve the effectiveness of a regulatory body, including in previous OECD/NEA regulatory guidance booklets. But until now, none have focused on the characteristics of an effective nuclear safety regulator. Effective organisations are those that have good leadership and are able to transform strategic direction into operational programmes. Effectiveness is about how well the organisation is achieving its fundamental purpose – in the case of a nuclear safety regulator, ensuring that licensees operate their facilities and discharge their obligations in a safe manner.

Challenges in Long-term Operation of Nuclear Power Plants (2012)  Français
Nuclear power reactors have become a major source of electricity supply in many countries and, based on the experience of safe and reliable operation, many operators have sought and received authorisation for long-term operation beyond the period assumed in the plant’s design. Acceptance of a nuclear power plant for long-term operation must be based on evidence that the plant will operate safely over the extended period of service. This requires an assessment of the current and projected condition of the plant and, in particular, of the systems that perform fundamental safety functions, to ensure that these systems will continue to perform their safety functions during the extended operating period. Programmes for long-term operation must be informed by operating experience and must also consider and assess environmental impacts.

Nuclear Regulatory Organisations, the Internet and Social Media: The What, How and Why of Their Use as Communication Tools (2014)

Improving Nuclear Regulation (2011)
NEA Regulatory Guidance Booklets, Volumes 1-14

A common theme throughout the series of NEA regulatory guidance reports, or "green booklets", is the premise that the fundamental objective of all nuclear safety regulatory bodies is to ensure that nuclear facilities are continuously maintained and operated in an acceptably safe manner. In meeting this objective the regulator must bear in mind that it is the operator that has responsibility for safely operating the nuclear facility; the role of the regulator is to assess and to provide assurance regarding the operator's activities in terms of assuming that responsibility. The full series of these reports was brought together in one edition for the first time in 2009 and was widely found to be a useful resource. This second edition comprises 14 volumes, including the latest on The Nuclear Regulator's Role in Assessing Licensee Oversight of Vendor and Other Contracted Services. The reports address various challenges that could apply throughout the lifetime of a nuclear facility, including design, siting, manufacturing, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance and decommissioning. The compilation is intended to serve as a knowledge management tool both for current regulators and the new nuclear professionals and organisations entering the regulatory field.

The Nuclear Regulator's Role in Assessing Licensee Oversight of Vendor and Other Contracted Services (2011)
Contracted services are an integral part of the design, construction and operation of a nuclear facility. Changes in the nuclear industry sector, including varied availability of nuclear expertise, the expansion of the international supply market and the introduction of new technologies, have tended to increase licensees’ use of contracted services. These changes have created challenges for licensees and regulators related to the retention of nuclear expertise, the effective management of the interfaces between the licensees and contractors, and the oversight of contractor manufacturing quality in the context of greater multinational diversity. The regulatory body must address these challenges to provide assurance that the licensees maintain their responsibility for the safety of the facilities, regardless of who provides goods and services or where the activities involved in the supply chain take place. This report is intended to assist regulatory bodies in assessing their current practices for the regulatory oversight of licensees’ use of contractors, and adapting them where necessary to meet the evolving situation.

The Regulatory Goal of Assuring Nuclear Safety (2008)  Français
The fundamental objective of all nuclear safety regulatory bodies is to ensure that nuclear facilities are operated, as well as decommissioned, in an acceptably safe manner. However, in meeting this objective the regulator must keep in mind that it is the operator that has responsibility for safely operating a nuclear facility; the role of the regulator is to oversee the operator's activities as related to assuming that responsibility. The primary focus of the report is on how the regulatory body can systematically collect and make an integrated analysis of all the relevant safety information available to it and arrive at a sound judgement on the acceptability of the level of safety of the facilities that it regulates. It therefore follows that the target audience for this report is primarily nuclear regulators, although the information and ideas may also be of interest to nuclear operators, other nuclear industry organisations and segments of civil society.

Learning from Nuclear Regulatory Self-assessment (2006)
International Peer Review of the CSN Report on Lessons Learnt from the Essential Service Water System Degradation Event at the Vandellós Nuclear Power Plant
Nuclear regulatory self-assessment together with the benchmarking of regulatory practices against those of other countries operating nuclear power plants are key elements in maintaining a high level of nuclear safety. In that light, the Spanish Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN) formally asked the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) to establish an international peer review team to assess the CSN report on the lessons learnt as a result of the 2004 Vandellós II event involving essential service water system degradation

RegulatoryChallenges in Using Nuclear Operating Experience (2006) Français
This report focuses on how regulatory bodies can ensure that operating experience is used effectively to promote the safety of nuclear power plants. While directed at nuclear power plants, the principles in this report may apply to other nuclear facilities as well.

Nuclear Regulatory Decision Making (2005) Français
Based on the work of a Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) expert group, this report discusses some of the basic principles and criteria that a regulatory body should consider in making decisions and describes the elements of an integrated framework for regulatory decision making.

Direct Indicators of Nuclear Regulatory Efficiency and Effectiveness (2004) Français
Pilot Project Results
A task group was established by the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) to develop a set of direct performance indicators of regulatory efficiency and effectiveness. This report describes the pilot project carried out by the task group to test the indicators developed, and makes some general observations about the usefulness of individual indicators as well as recommendations for future activities. While primarily directed at nuclear safety regulators, the report may also be of interest to government authorities, nuclear power plant operators and the general public.

Nuclear Regulatory Review of Licensee Self-assessment (LSA) (2003) Français
Licensee self-assessment (LSA) by nuclear power plant operators is described as all the activities that a licensee performs in order to identify opportunities for improvements. An LSA is part of an organisation's holistic management system, which must include other process elements. Particularly important elements are: a process for choosing which identified potential improvements should be implemented and a process of project management for implementing the improvements chosen. Nuclear regulators expect the licensee to run an effective LSA programme, which reflects the licensee's "priority to safety".

The Regulatory Challenges of Decommissioning Nuclear Reactors (2003) Français
The purpose of this report is to describe the broad range of safety, environmental, organisational, human factors and public policy issues that may arise during the decommissioning of nuclear reactors and that the regulatory body should be prepared to deal with in the framework of its national regulatory system. The intended audience is primarily nuclear regulators, although the information and ideas may also be of interest to government authorities, environmental regulators, nuclear operating organisations, technical expert organisations and the general public.

Improving Versus Maintaining Nuclear Safety (2002) Français
The concept of improving nuclear safety versus maintaining it has been discussed at a number of nuclear regulators meetings in recent years. National reports have indicated that there are philosophical differences between NEA member countries about whether their regulatory approaches require licensees to continuously improve nuclear safety or to continuously maintain it. It has been concluded that, while the actual level of safety achieved in all member countries is probably much the same, this is difficult to prove in a quantitative way. In practice, all regulatory approaches require improvements to be made to correct deficiencies and when otherwise warranted.

The Nuclear Regulatory Challenge of Judging Safety Backfits (2002) Français
A frequently voiced demand by nuclear operators is the need for regulatory stability – that is, a stable set of regulatory safety requirements that the operator must meet and that are not changed frequently by the regulator. In other words, there is a growing pressure on regulators to reduce the number of safety backfits. This pressure will present a challenge to the regulator, which is the topic of this report.

Assuring Future Nuclear Safety Competencies (2001) Français
Maintaining nuclear safety competencies in nuclear regulatory authorities and the nuclear industry will be one of the most critical challenges to effective regulation of nuclear power in the coming decades. The challenge arises partly from the age profile of staff in the regulatory bodies, which could result in the loss of much of the present nuclear safety knowledge base due to retirements over the next decade or so, and partly from a decline in the numbers of students graduating from courses in nuclear science and engineering and becoming available for recruitment to fill the vacancies left by retirements.

Improving Nuclear Regulatory Effectiveness (2001) Français
Ensuring that nuclear installations are operated and maintained in such a way that their impact on public health and safety is as low as reasonably practicable has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of nuclear regulation. The organisations, structures and processes of regulatory authorities have evolved over the past 50 or so years. Major changes have been made following events such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. As in the past, events such as the recent criticality incident at Tokai-mura will provide impetus for further reviews and changes. However, factors other than events are beginning to have an impact on how regulatory authorities will need to function.

Nuclear Regulatory Challenges Arising from Competition in Electricity Markets (2001) Français
In recent years a world-wide trend has been developing to introduce competition in electricity markets (commonly referred to as economic deregulation). While not all countries or their various jurisdictions have fully introduced market competition, the trend is gathering momentum and virtually all nuclear operating companies are feeling competitive pressures to reduce operating costs and to increase electricity production.

Regulatory Response Strategies for Safety Culture Problems (2000) Français
This report places emphasis upon those situations where there are signs of actual safety performance problems, which may or may not be reflected in declining operational performance. Thus, the purpose of this report is to explore possible regulatory response strategies for dealing with declining safety performance when the outward manifestations of that performance suggest that there may be fundamental safety culture problems. This report also discusses the resumption of normal surveillance after enhanced regulatory attention and intervention.

The Role of the Nuclear Regulator in Promoting and Evaluating Safety Culture (1999) Français
It has become clear that safety culture involves everyone whose attitude may influence nuclear safety, not only the utility operators but also the regulatory body. The aim of this document is to focus on the dual role of the regulatory body in both (a) promoting safety culture, through its own example and through encouragement given to operators, and (b) evaluating the safety culture of licensees through performance- or process-based inspections and other methods.

Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI)

CSNI Technical Opinion Papers

No. 16: Defence in Depth of Electrical Systems (2013)

No. 15: Ageing Management of Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facilities (2012)

No. 14: Nuclear Licensee Organisational Structures, Resources and Competencies: Determining their Suitability (2011)

No. 13: LOCA Criteria Basis and Test Methodology (2011)

No. 12: Research on Human Factors in New Nuclear Plant Technology (2009)

No. 11: Better Nuclear Plant Maintenance: Improving Human and Organisational Performance (2009)

No. 10: The Role of Human and Organisational Factors in Nuclear Power Plant Modifications (2009)

No. 9: Level-2 PSA for Nuclear Power Plants (2007)

Nos. 7-8: Living PSA and its Use in the Nuclear Safety Decision-making Process / Development and Use of Risk Monitors at Nuclear Power Plants  (2005)

No. 6: PSA-based Event Analysis (2004)

No. 5: Managing and Regulating Organisational Change in Nuclear Installations (2004)

No. 4: Human Reliability Analysis in Probabilistic Safety Assessment for Nuclear Power Plants (2004)

No. 3: Recurring Events (2003)

Nos. 1-2: Fire Probabilistic Safety Assessment for Nuclear Power Plants / Seismic Probabilistic Safety Assessment for Nuclear Facilities (2002)

Regulatory and Industry Co-operation on Nuclear Safety Research (2003) Français
Challenges and Opportunities
Regulator-industry co-operation in nuclear safety research has potential advantages as well as disadvantages. This report provides research managers in industry, regulatory organisations and research centres with information on current practices in collaborative safety research in OECD member countries. It identifies means of establishing effective industry-regulator collaboration and provides indications on how to overcome difficulties that can arise. It also advises on possible areas of concern. The report addresses in particular the issue of regulator independence, means to preserve it and ways to demonstrate it to the public while undertaking collaboration with industry.

Collective statements

CSNI Collective Statement on Support Facilities for Existing and Advanced Reactors / Déclaration collective du CSIN sur les installations de recherche pour les réacteurs actuels et avancés (2008)

Collective Statement Concerning Nuclear Safety Research (2004) Français
Capabilities and Expertise in Support of Efficient and Effective Regulation of Nuclear Power Plants

Collective Statement Concerning Nuclear Safety Research (2003) Français
Good Practice and Closure Criteria

Collective Statement on the Role of Research in a Nuclear Regulatory Context (2001) Français
In the present context of deregulation and privatisation of the nuclear industry, maintaining an adequate level of nuclear safety research is a primary concern for nuclear regulators, researchers and nuclear power plant licensees, as well as for government officials and the public. While these different stakeholders may have common concerns and interests, there may also be differences. At the international level, it is important to understand that divisions exist both within and among countries, not only in national cultures but also in the way regulators, researchers and licensees view the role of research.

Radioactive waste management

International Structure for Decommissioning Costing (ISDC) of Nuclear Installations (2012)
Cost estimation for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities can vary considerably in format, content and practice both within and across countries. These differences may have legitimate reasons but make the process of reviewing estimates complicated and the estimates themselves difficult to defend. Hence, the joint initiative of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission (EC) was undertaken to propose a standard itemisation of decommissioning costs either directly for the production of cost estimates or for mapping estimates onto a standard, common structure for purposes of comparison. This report updates the earlier itemisation published in 1999 and takes into account experience accumulated thus far. The revised cost itemisation structure has sought to ensure that all costs within the planned scope of a decommissioning project may be reflected. The report also provides general guidance on developing a decommissioning cost estimate, including detailed advice on using the structure.

Decommissioning Considerations for New Nuclear Power Plants (2010)
Applying Decommissioning Experience to the Design and Operation of New Plants (2010)  Français
Experience from decommissioning projects suggests that the decommissioning of nuclear power plants could be made easier if this aspect received greater consideration at the design stage and during operation of the plants. Better forward planning for decommissioning results in lower worker doses and reduced costs. When appropriate design measures are not taken at an early stage, their introduction later in the project becomes increasingly difficult. Hence, their early consideration may lead to smoother and more effective decommissioning operations. This report provides an overview of key decommissioning issues which are useful to consider when designing new nuclear power plants.

Cost Estimation for Decommissioning: An International Overview of Cost Elements, Estimation Practices and Reporting Requirements (2010)
Towards Greater Harmonisation of Decommissioning Cost Estimates (2010)  Français
It is now common practice for decommissioning plans and associated cost estimates to be prepared for all nuclear installations. Specific requirements are generally set out in regulations which have their basis in national legislation. These estimates are important for ensuring that the necessary funds are being collected to cover the actual costs of decommissioning the facility. Important considerations in ensuring accurate cost estimates include: methodological accuracy and consistency, avoiding changes in project scope, good characterisation, consistent regulatory requirements, the plant operator, the approach to setting contingency levels, and risk management. Current good practices also include the use of a standardised list of activities, a strong quality assurance programme, use of a dedicated decommissioning core group, and involvement of regulators and stakeholders in the planning of decommissioning.

More than Just Concrete Realities: The Symbolic Dimension of Radioactive Waste Management (2010)  Français
Key concepts of radioactive waste management, such as safety, risk, reversibility and retrievability, carry different meanings for the technical community and for non-technical stakeholders. Similarly, socio-economic concepts, including community, landscape and benefit packages, are interpreted differently by diverse societal groups. Opinions and attitudes are not simply a faithful reflection of decision making, actual events and communicated messages; perceptions and interpretations of events and objects also play a role. This report presents key issues and examples in order to build awareness of the importance of symbols and symbolism in communicating about perceptions and interpretations. It adds to the recognition that dialogue amongst stakeholders is shaped by dimensions of meaning that reach beyond dictionary definitions and are grounded in tradition and social conventions. A better understanding of these less obvious or conspicuous realities should help find additional ways of creating constructive relationships amongst stakeholders.

Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities. "It can and has been done." (2009-2010)  Français Italiano Deutsch Svenska
Considerable international experience gained over the last 20 years demonstrates that nuclear facilities can be safely dismantled and decommissioned once a decision is made to cease operations and permanently shut them down. This brochure looks at decommissioning across a spectrum of nuclear facilities and shows worldwide examples of sucessful projects.

Moving Forward with Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste. A Collective Statement by the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (2008) Français
The NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) has underscored the environmental and ethical basis for geological disposal as well as its technical feasibility in a number of previous collective statements. In the intervening period there have been advances and evolving views regarding the appropriate methodologies, policies, and decision-making processes. In addition much further practical experience has accumulated regarding the development of geological repositories. The RWMC expresses herewith, in a concise form, its collective views on why geological disposal remains an appropriate waste management choice for the disposal of the most hazardous and long-lived radioactive wastes, on the current status of geological disposal, on challenges and opportunities for implementation, and expectations for further developments.

Stakeholder Involvement in Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities (2007) Français
International Lessons Learnt
Significant numbers of nuclear facilities will need to be decommissioned in the coming decades. In this context, NEA member countries are placing increasing emphasis on the involvement of stakeholders in the associated decision procedures. This study reviews decommissioning experience with a view to identifying stakeholder concerns and best practice in addressing them. The lessons learnt about the end of the facility life cycle can also contribute to better foresight in siting and building new facilities. This report will be of interest to all major players in the field of decommissioning, in particular policy makers, implementers, regulators and representatives of local host communities.

Fostering a Durable Relationship between a Waste Management Facility and its Host Community (2007)  Français
Adding Value through Design and Process
Any long-term radioactive waste management project is likely to last decades to centuries.  It requires a physical site and will impact in a great variety of ways on the surrounding community over that whole period.  The societal durability of an agreed solution is essential to success.  This report identifies a number of design elements (including functional, cultural and physical features) that favour a durable relationship between the facility and its host community by improving prospects for quality of life across generations.

Selecting Strategies for the Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities  Français
A Status Report
This status report is based on the viewpoints and materials presented at a seminar held in Tarragona, Spain on 1-4 September 2003 as well as the experience of the NEA Working Party on Decommissioning and Dismantling (WPDD). It identifies, reviews and analyses factors influencing decommissioning strategies and addresses the challenges associated with balancing these factors in the process of strategy selection.

Releasing the Sites of Nuclear Installations: A Status Report (2006)  Français
A Status Report
Releasing the site of a nuclear installation from radiological control is usually one of the last steps of decommissioning. To date, site release has been practised in a limited number of cases only as most decommissioning projects have not yet advanced to a state where the release of the site is imminent or because the site will continue to be used for nuclear activities. Therefore, for a number of decommissioning projects where planning for site release will soon start, this status report provides useful considerations based on NEA member country experience and expert advice.

The Regulatory Function and Radioactive Waste Management (2005) Français
International Overview
This overview presents an easily accessible synopsis of the regulatory control of radioactive waste management in 15 NEA member countries. It covers the management of radioactive waste from all types of nuclear installations, such as nuclear power plants, research reactors and nuclear fuel cycle facilities. It also addresses medical, research and industrial sources as well as defence-related sources where relevant.

Achieving the Goals of the Decommissioning Safety Case (2005)  Français
A Status Report
This status report, drawn from the activities of the OECD/NEA Working Party on Decommissioning and Dismantling (WPDD), will be helpful to individuals and organisations involved in the preparation of a decommissioning safety case.

Learning and Adapting to Societal Requirements for Radioactive Waste Management (2004)
Key Findings and Experience of the Forum on Stakeholder Confidences
This report presents a synthesis of the key findings and experience of the NEA Forum on Stakeholder Confidence regarding the governance of long-term radioactive waste management. Most of the main findings are of relevance to all public policy-making processes, not only to radioactive waste management. In this sense, the report reads as a primer on the concrete governance challenges facing complex, collective decision making.

Stepwise Approach to Decision Making for Long-term Radioactive Waste Management (2004)
Experience, Issues and Guiding Principles
This review of stepwise decision making for long-term RWM pinpoints its current status, highlights its societal dimension and identifies implementation issues from both the point of view of social research and RWM practitioners. There is convergence between these two perspectives, and general guiding principles and action goals are proposed as a basis for further discussion and development of the stepwise decision-making concept.

Post-closure Safety Case for Geological Repositories (2004) Français
Nature and purpose
Disposal of long-lived radioactive waste in engineered facilities deep underground is being widely investigated worldwide in order to protect humans and the environment both now and in the future. This report defines and analyses the purpose and general contents of the post-closure safety cases for such facilities. The aim is to provide a point of reference for people involved in the development of safety cases and those with responsibility for, or interest in, decision making in radioactive waste management.

The Handling of Timescales in Assessing Post-closure Safety (2004) Français
Lessons Learnt from the April 2002 Workshop in Paris, France
A workshop entitled "The Handling of Timescales in Assessing Post-closure Safety" of deep geological repositories for radioactive waste was organised by the NEA in April 2002. This report presents the main lessons learnt from the workshop discussions and is intended to help promote the better understanding of issues related to the handling of timescales in a safety case.

The Regulator's Evolving Role and Image in Radioactive Waste Management (2003)  Français
Lessons Learnt within the NEA Forum on Stakeholder Confidence
Of all the institutional actors in the field of long-term radioactive waste management (RWM), it is perhaps the regulatory authorities that have restyled their roles most significantly. Modern societal demands on risk governance and widespread adoption of stepwise deicison-making processes have influenced the image and role of regulators. Legal instruments both reflect and encourage a new set of behaviours and a new understanding on how regulators may best serve the public interest.

The Decommissioning and Dismantling of Nuclear Facilities (2002) Français
Status, Approaches, Challenges
This report, intended for a broad readership, provides a concise overview of the decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear facilities and associated issues in NEA Member countries. It draws upon a database of fact sheets produced to a standard format by individual Member countries that is accessible online from the NEA website.

Reversibility and Retrievability in Geologic Disposal of Radioactive Waste (2001)  Français Svenska
One of the key topics in the area of “Overall Waste Management Approaches” in radioactive waste management and geologic disposal programmes is the reversibility of decisions in waste disposal programmes and the potential for retrieval (retrievability) of disposed waste from a geologic repository.

The Role of Underground Laboratories in Nuclear Waste Disposal Programmes (2001)  Français
This report explains what underground research laboratories (URLs) are, the different types, their locations, the types of research and development that are carried out, their value to national programmes, questions to be considered when deciding when to construct a URL, and the opportunities and benefits of international co-operation in URLs.

Confidence in the Long-term Safety of Geological Repositories: Its Development and Communication (1999)
This report is aimed at practitioners of safety assessment and at technical specialists wishing to become versed in the subject. In its current form, it is intended to improve communication among these specialists by clarifying the concepts related to the development of confidence, and by placing the various measures that are employed to evaluate, enhance and communicate confidence in the technical aspects of safety in a clear, logical framework. These measures are increasingly embodied in actual procedures applied in today’s safety assessments, and can be incorporated in a common framework, despite differences in approaches, practices and constraints both within and between repository projects.

Progress Towards Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste: Where Do We Stand? (1999)  Français
Radioactive wastes of all kinds need to be managed responsibly to ensure public safety and protection of the environment, as well as security from malicious intervention, now and in the future. The most challenging task involves management of the long-lived waste that must be isolated from the human environment for many thousands of years. The preferred option for eventual disposal is emplacement in repositories deep underground in well-chosen geologic media.

The Environmental and Ethical Basis of Geological Disposal of Long-lived Radioactive Wastes (1995) Français
The safe disposal of radioactive wastes, and specifically the need to protect humans and the environment in the far future, is given particular attention in all countries engaged in nuclear power generation. It is also a concern in many other countries making use of radioactive materials for medical, industrial or research purposes. As for many environmental protection situations linked to industrial development, including the management of hazardous chemical materials, the safe disposal of radioactive wastes requires consideration of a broad range of scientific and technical factors relating to potential impacts on the biosphere, as well as basic ethical principles that reflect the expectations of society.

Radiological protection

Strategic Aspects of Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Management (2010)

The collective experience of the NEA Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM), and in particular, the experience from the International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX) series, has shown that it is important to plan and to implement emergency response actions based on a guiding strategic vision. Within this context, Strategic Aspects of Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Management presents a framework of strategic planning elements to be considered by national emergency management authorities when establishing or enhancing processes for decision making, and when developing or implementing protection strategies. The focus is on nuclear or radiological emergency situations leading to complex preparedness and response conditions, involving multiple jurisdictions and significant international interfaces.

The report is aimed at national emergency management authorities, international organisations and those who are seeking to improve the effectiveness of emergency management. Its goal is to provide insights into decision-making processes within existing emergency planning arrangements. It also highlights common areas of good practice in decision making. Specific areas for improvement, identified during the INEX-3 consequence management exercise, are included, particularly in support of decision making for countermeasures for consequence management and the transition to recovery.

Science and Values in Radiological Protection (2009)
Summary of the CRPPH Workshops held in Helsinki (2008) and Vaux-de-Cernay (2009)

Decisions regarding radiological protection are informed by science, including its uncertainties, influenced by stakeholder concerns, driven by prevailing circumstances, and broadly based on values and judgments. However, the processes by which protection decisions are taken do not always sufficiently articulate the scientific and value-judgment elements on which decisions are based. To assist decision makers at all levels to further clarify the various aspects of their decisions, and to assist scientists and regulators in better understanding each other’s contributions to radiological protection decisions, the NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) has held two workshops addressing science and values in radiological protection. This report summarises the discussions and conclusions of the first two workshops in this innovative series, and suggests the way forward in preparing the discussions at the third science and values workshop.

Scientific Issues and Emerging Challenges for Radiological Protection 日本語 (2007)

Scientific knowledge is constantly evolving as more advanced technologies become available and more in-depth research is carried out. Given the potential implications that new findings could have on policy decisions, in 1998 the NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) performed a survey of state-of-the-art research in radiological protection science. This study suggested that, while the current system of radiological protection was well-underpinned by scientific understanding, growing knowledge in several areas could seriously impact policy and regulation. Ten years later, the CRPPH has again performed a survey of state-of-the-art research which reiterates and clarifies its earlier conclusions.

This report summarises the results of this latest CRPPH assessment of radiological protection science. Specifically, it explains that knowledge of non-targeted and delayed effects, as well as of individual sensitivity, have been significantly refined over the past ten years. Although at this point there is still no scientific certainty in these areas, based on the most recent studies and results, the report strongly suggests that policy makers and regulatory authorities should consider possible impacts that could arise from research in the next few years. Further, the report identifies research areas that should be supported to more definitively answer scientific questions having the most direct impacts on policy choices.

Strategy for Developing and Conducting Nuclear Emergency Exercises (2007)  Français

Emergency situations demand that actions be taken by the responsible organisations at the local, national and international levels to mitigate their impact on people and the environment. In order to be able to deliver an effective emergency response in both the short and long term, it is necessary to make and maintain adequate plans and arrangements. Prudence dictates that these be prepared in advance of an emergency situation, contain appropriate elements for preparedness, response and assistance, and take adequate account of international interfaces. The successful management of an emergency, along with the effectiveness of the response arrangements, will be facilitated through the use of well-planned tests and exercises.

Drawing on the collective experience of the OECD/NEA Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters and its International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX) series, this report aims to assist national and international emergency authorities in developing their own exercise-specific strategy by providing insights on exercise justification, design, conduct and evaluation. The focus is on providing an understanding, basis and strategy for the decision to exercise rather than detailed guidance on how to exercise.

Exercising is one tool for enhancing performance, testing plans and identifying areas for improvement; however, it is an important and resource-intensive tool. Therefore, the objective of this report is to provide a summary of strategic considerations for improving the value of planning, conducting and evaluating exercises and following up on lessons identified. This strategy may also find applicability in developing approaches for other types of non-nuclear emergency exercises.

Optimisation in Operational Radiological Protection (2005)
A Report by the Working Group on Operational Radiological Protection of the Information System on Occupational Exposure
This report is a compilation of practical examples of good practice in optimisation. It is intended to assist nuclear power plants in providing the most appropriate protection for the public and workers, and to highlight for the ICRP concepts that should be reflected in its new recommendations.

The Future Policy for Radiological Protection (2004)  Français
A Stakeholder Dialogue on the Implications of the ICRP Proposals - Summary Report, Lanzarote Spain, 2-4 April 2003
At the end of the 1990s, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) launched a process for establishing new recommendations, which are expected to serve as guidelines for national systems of radiological protection. Currently the ICRP's proposed recommendations are being subjected to extensive stakeholder comment and modifications. The NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) has been actively involved in this process. Part of the Committee's work has been to undertake collaborative efforts with the ICRP through, for example, the organisation of broad stakeholder fora. The second forum, held in Lanzarote, Spain in April 2003, addressed the latest concepts and approaches in the ICRP proposed recommendations for a system of radiological protection. During this meeting, the ICRP listened to the views of various stakeholder groups, including radiological protection regulators, environmental protection ministries, the nuclear power industry and NGOs. As a result, the ICRP modified its proposals to better reflect stakeholder needs and wishes. This report presents the outcomes of the discussions, examining what the ICRP proposed and how its proposals have been affected and modified as a result of stakeholder input.

Effluent Release Options from Nuclear Installations (2003)  Français
Technical Background and Regulatory Aspects
This report provides basic technical information on different options for managing and regulating radioactive effluent releases from nuclear installations during normal operation. It should contribute to national and international discussions in this area and be of particular interest to both nuclear regulatory authorities and nuclear power plant operators.

Possible Implications of Draft ICRP Recommendations (2003)
The NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) has, since its inception, worked to develop and improve international norms in the area of radiological protection of the public, workers and the environment. International radiological protection norms continue to evolve, with significant new steps having been taken by the International Radiological Protection Commission (ICRP). Since the issuance of its 1990 recommendations, which form the basis of the international system of radiological protection, the ICRP has continued to add to them. The sum of these recommendations has become overly complicated and at times incoherent. In 1999 the ICRP therefore began to re-evaluate its recommendations with the aim of consolidation, simplification and clarification. New ICRP recommendations are due to be published in 2005.

A New Approach to Authorisation in the Field of Radiological Protection (2003)
The Road Test Report
The NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) has been very active in developing its own suggestions as to how the system of radiological protection should evolve to better meet the needs of policy makers, regulators and practitioners. One of those suggestions is that a generic concept of "regulatory authorisation" of certain levels and types of exposure to radiation should replace the current and somewhat complicated concepts of exclusion, exemption and clearance. It has also been suggested that by characterising emerging sources and exposures in a screening process leading into the authorisation process, regulatory authorities could develop a better feeling for the type and scale of stakeholder involvement that would be necessary to reach a widely accepted approach to radiological protection.

Radiological Protection of the Environment (2003)  Français
Summary Report of the Issues
The system of radiological protection is currently being revised in order to make it simpler, clearer and more responsive to stakeholder needs. During this evolution process, particular attention is being given to the development of an explicit system for the radiological protection of the environment. It was in this context that the NEA organised, in close collaboration with the International Commission on Radiological Protection, a forum on radiological protection of the environment.This report summarises the key issues discussed at the forum. They include sustainable development, identification of what to protect, the definition of detriment, the necessary level of regulation, an integrated approach to protection, the use of similar approaches for humans and the environment, practical foundations for a system of environmental protection, and consequences in terms of training.

The Way Forward in Radiological Protection  (2002) Français
Virtually all national and international radiation protection regulations and standards are based on the recommendations published by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). New recommendations, to replace those issued in 1990, are in the process of being developed for issuance in 2005, and it is in the interest of all NEA member countries to ensure that these recommendations meet the needs of national regulatory organisations and practitioners. Since revisions began at the ICRP in 1999, the NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) has been leading discussions regarding what, in the old recommendations, could be improved or changed to make any new recommendations more functional. Based on a preliminary two-year study to identify those areas that should be improved, this report suggests specific improvements that would render the new system easier to understand and apply, and that should be considered for inclusion in the new ICRP recommendations.

Policy Issues in Radiological Protection Decision Making (2001) Français
Contemporary society has become increasingly interested in participating in public decision making on health, safety and environmental protection issues. As governments have tried to better understand society’s interests, and to better integrate societal needs in decision-making processes, it has become possible to begin identifying common policy issues and lessons. Trends in the nuclear industry mirror those observed for broader governance questions, and public interest in some issues can be extremely high. Within the radiological protection community, these stakeholder issues have moved steadily to the forefront of policy discussions, and clearly form key elements in decisions regarding the development and implementation of radiological protection policy.

A Critical Review of the System of Radiation Protection (2000) Français
The NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) has for several years devoted a significant portion of its programme of work to various issues concerning the foundations of the “System of Radiation Protection”, as laid out in ICRP Publication 60. This has included work in the areas of general guidance, radioactive materials in consumer products, intervention levels, potential exposure, dose constraints and biological effects. The CRPPH has focused its work in these areas on interpretation of the conceptual aspects of the system, and on guidance for the practical and operational implementation.

Developments in Radiation Health Science and their Impact on Radiation Protection (1998) Français
The current report includes a synthesis of the current scientific debate about the use of the linear, no-threshold (LNT) dose effect hypothesis as a practical model for the regulation of radiation protection. It identifies key elements of science on which there is common agreement, areas of uncertainty or debate, and the potential practical implications of various possible developments in scientific knowledge.

Radiation Protection Today and Tomorrow (1994)
This document is the expression of the collective opinion by the CRPPH about the status of radiation protection today and developments which might affect its status in the foreseeable future. It is an outgrowth of the 1993 NEA workshop "Radiation Protection on the Threshold of the 21st Century" and draws upon the papers presented there. The assessment does not dwell on accomplishments, which are considerable. Rather, it focuses on issues and speculates about the future, because a primary purpose is to provide guidance to the CRPPH on a programme for the future whose goal is to enhance radiation protection.

Last reviewed: 30 March 2015