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.
There are currently many sources of information available to the regulator pertaining to safety at any given nuclear facility, such as inspection reports, operating experience reports, research results, periodic safety reviews, probabilistic safety analysis (PSA) results, insights from IAEA reviews and other similar information. A major challenge for the regulator is to systematically collect and analyse this information in order to arrive at an integrated assessment of the level of safety of the particular facility and then to make a judgement about its acceptability. In order to assist member countries in addressing this challenging question, the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has sponsored this report.
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.