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. In the past, nuclear incidents provided the main impetus for regulatory change. Today, economic factors, deregulation, technological advancements, government oversight and the general requirements for openness and accountability are leading regulatory bodies to review their effectiveness. In addition, seeking to enhance the present level of nuclear safety by continuously improving the effectiveness of regulatory bodies is seen as one of the ways to strengthen public confidence in the regulatory systems.
This report covers the basic concepts underlying nuclear regulatory effectiveness, advances being made and future requirements. The intended audience is primarily nuclear safety regulators, but government authorities, nuclear power plant operators and the general public may also be interested.