Safety Assessment

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ETSON members work together to enhance nuclear safety

The basic objective of nuclear safety assessment is to determine whether the documentation submitted by the operator demonstrates that a certain nuclear activity complies with the stipulated safety objectives and requirements. Safety assessment is a key support to achieve and maintain a high level of safety in licensing, operation and decommissioning.

The operator of a nuclear installation is the one who is primarily responsible for the safety of his installation. Consequently, he has to perform his own safety analysis and gather data in order to demonstrate that his installation complies with the applicable safety objectives and regulatory requirements. Justifications are presented by the operator to demonstrate the safe design, construction, operation, and shut-down state of the installation. These justifications are assessed by the authorised expert advising the safety authority in order to appraise their validity and exhaustiveness as well as the efficacy of safety provisions made by the operator and their conformity to regulatory requirements.

The quality of an assessment depends on the professional competence, independence and integrity of the experts and on the assessment process itself, for which transparency and justification are required. Co-operation among ETSON members has shown that beyond the national and international standards and recommendations, ETSON organisations have a very similar approach and way of working to ensure an independent, objective and technically strong evaluation of the safety of nuclear installations.

ETSON members have developed a  “Safety Assessment Guide” (SAG) which provides recommendation to expert bodies on reviewing and assessing the safety questions raised in nuclear activities. The goal of this SAG is to set down the harmonised principles applied within ETSON organisations to ensure that, whatever the technical analysis should be, safety assessments are performed by each ETSON member according to the same principles and can therefore be used with the same confidence by the people concerned.

In this way, ETSON contributes to the promotion of a harmonisation of nuclear safety practices.

This main SAG is to be completed by several “Technical Safety Assessment Guides” (TSAG) specialised in different domains.

To download the (Technical) Safety Assessment Guides visit: http://www.etson.eu/reports-and-publications