The fundamental objective of all nuclear safety regulatory bodies is to ensure that nuclear utilities operate their plants at all times in an acceptably safe manner. In meeting this objective, the regulatory body should strive to ensure that its regulatory decisions are technically sound, consistent from case to case, and timely. In addition, the regulator must be aware that its decisions and the circumstances surrounding those decisions can affect how its stakeholders, such as government policy makers, the industry it regulates, and the public, view it as an effective and credible regulator. In order to maintain the confidence of those stakeholders, the regulator should make sure that its decisions are transparent, have a clear basis in law and regulations, and are seen by impartial observers to be fair to all parties.
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.