ETSON members share common objectives, requirements and values.
ETSON aims to develop and promote best practices in nuclear safety assessment
ETSON benefits from the experience of its members in matters of nuclear safety assessment in order to contribute to the harmonisation of nuclear safety practices. ETSON also intend to foster the dialogue between the European TSO Network and the European Nuclear Safety Authorities, as well as other European Union Institutions, the IAEA and other international organisations.
Nuclear safety assessment requires a high level of proficiency in operating experience feedback as well as up-to-date methodologies. The need for increased co-operation and reinforced sharing of experience in the field of nuclear safety expertise emboldened the competent organisations with nuclear safety expertise to develop appropriate approaches to safety issues as part of their assessments and research activities.
The members of ETSON assign the following objectives to the Association:
- Form a suitable forum for voluntary exchanges on analyses and R&D in the field of nuclear safety by sharing experiences and exchanging technical and scientific opinions,
- Contribute to fostering the convergence of technical nuclear safety practices within the European Union and beyond,
- Further the planning of nuclear safety research programmes and facilitate their implementation,
- Facilitate the application of the European directive on the nuclear safety,
- Work together in safety assessment and research projects.
ETSON members fulfil a list of specific requirements
ETSON members are Technical Safety Organisations (TSO). According to ETSON definition:
- A TSO is a public or a private non profit organisation.
- A TSO performs safety assessments with a global regulatory vision, on a regular basis and with a broad scope.
- A TSO delivers services supporting its national nuclear regulatory authorities in the field of nuclear safety, and/or waste management and/or radiation protection.
- A TSO develops and maintains a high level of competence in its field of safety assessment (knowledge, expertise, long standing experience, global overview, ethics, references).
- A TSO has a value charter and makes sure it is implemented at all levels in the organisation. The charter promotes values such as: honesty, impartiality, proactivity and initiative, consistency in the safety approach, respect for all stakeholders.
- A TSO is an independent organisation. This means that it is able to form and express its technical judgment independently from external interest.
- A TSO maintains an adequate training and knowledge management programme for its staff.
- A TSO maintains R&D programmes allowing the development of new knowledge and techniques in support of its missions, and an independence of judgement from licensees.
- Code of ethics: if a TSO delivers services to a domestic or foreign licensee or vendor, it does so in full transparency with respect to the licensee's nuclear safety authority, and is able to demonstrate that conflicts of interest are avoided.
With respect to these requirements, each Member of ETSON has to obey rules imposed by national law and/or by the domestic regulatory authorities and may adopt complementary rules on a voluntary basis.
ETSON members share 5 values which underpin a code of conduct and ethics
To ensure and prove its independence the expertise body shall not undertake work likely to compromise its neutrality or likely to lead it to assess its own work. Particularly, persons conducting independent assessment should not have participated in the work being assessed. The expertise body shall have rules enabling it to steer clear and/or suspend any assessment or expertise subject to internal or external commercial, financial or other pressures or influences, liable to call the quality of its work into question. The responsibilities of the personnel involved in the assessment or who may influence the assessment shall be precisely defined in order to prevent any conflicts of interest.
In applying the Aarhus Convention, ETSON members shall inform the public on nuclear risks and publish the nuclear safety assessments in respect with industrial privacy. ETSON members shall inform the corresponding safety authorities when they work with a designer or operator.
In performing assessment and/or related expertise activities, traceability is a requirement. Consequently, the expertise body shall identify the intermediate and final products of the assessment and their status by suitable means throughout the conducting of the assessment.
These elements as well as the results of the evaluations and of any necessary actions arising from the evaluation shall be recorded and maintained for an appropriate period in compliance with legal and regulatory obligations.
ETSON safety assessment practices must be independant from the identity, nature and nationality of the client organisation.
The expert’s competence and personal qualities contribute considerably to the quality and the reliability of the assessment and of its result. Depending on his/her role for an assessment and on the type of expertise body, the expert’s competence includes technical competency in the expertise subject areas as well as managing a team of experts and drawing up an assessment report. Moreover, the expert shall be trustworthy, fair, sincere, honest, discrete, open-minded, while remaining critical and independent. He/she shall be capable of understanding, observing, analysing, discerning, persevering and taking different opinions and points of view into consideration.
ETSON members shall use their technical knowledge in order to answer to the requirements on nuclear safety assessment and to foresee the forthcoming needs in this field.
ETSON members have a duty to alert their client when a risk in nuclear safety is seen in the framework of their activities.