On November 22, 2022, within the framework of the XII International Forum ATOMEXPO 2022 in Sochi, a round table discussion was held on the topic "Harmonization of the Licensing Process: Utopia or Reality". It was organized by Rostechnadzor and JSC Rusatom Service as the industry coordinating center for ROSATOM nuclear infrastructure activities and Secretary of the Governing Council of Interagency Project between Rostechnadzor and ROSATOM.
The speakers of the event were Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Industrial Safety of the Republic of Uzbekistan Dr. Ibragim Tashkentbayev, Director of Moscow Center of World Association of Nuclear Operators Dr. Vasiliy Aksenov, President of Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Türkiye Dr. Zafer Demircan, Vice-President of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority Mr. László Juhász, Chairman of the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Safety Regulatory Authority Dr. Samy Shaaban Ata-Allah Soliman, Chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority Dr. Muzammel Haque, Deputy Chairman of Rostechnadzor A.V. Ferapontov, Deputy Director for Nuclear Infrastructure of Rusatom Service JSC Dr. Yulia Chernyakhovskaya. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Olga Lugovskaya, Head of the Department for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus.
Within the framework of the round table, the speakers discussed key issues of developing a national regulatory system for safe use of nuclear energy and licensing process as an integral part of nuclear infrastructure development in general and of a nuclear project implementation. In particular, aspects of the licensing process that encourage the international community to develop new initiatives to harmonize the licensing process and requirements, both from the perspective of operating organizations and regulators, were highlighted.
Opening the round table, Dr. Olga Lugovskaya noted: "One of the priorities for establishing a regulatory infrastructure according to IAEA requirements in a country that has decided to implement its first nuclear power programme is the development of safety requirements. Undoubtedly, a newcomer country relies on the experience and documents of the supplying country in this area. It is necessary to build an effective dialogue between representatives of regulatory authorities, operating organizations, and vendors of nuclear technology”.
Regulatory authorities’ representatives discussed the use of international IAEA safety standards and the requirements of the Association of West European Regulatory Authorities WENRA during the formation of the national regulatory framework and licensing of NPP construction projects. The speakers stressed the importance of building a requirements management system based on international recommendations to simplify the licensing process.
In turn, Director of the WANO Moscow Center Dr. Vasiliy Aksenov outlined the problematic issues facing operating organizations: “In NPP projects, it is important to take into account international operating experience and best practices, approaches of WANO as an aggregator of world practical experience in the safe operation of NPPs. Our experience shows the necessity and expediency of implementing projects for the construction and commissioning of power units exactly according to the norms and rules that were in force at the time of licenses issuance for construction and commissioning, regardless of subsequent changes in requirements of the national legislation. All subsequent changes to bring them in line with the new requirements should be made after the power unit goes into commercial operation. Otherwise, significant uncertainty arises on the part of investors, the customer and the contractor with regards to the projects’ schedule and financing.”
"An open dialogue on lessons learned and best practices in the development of the regulatory framework, educational system, regulatory body, operating organization, involved authorities, financing instruments - all this will help countries to optimally pursue their path in the world of nuclear technology,” added Yulia Chernyakhovskaya.
Aleksey Ferapontov, Deputy Chairman of the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service of Russia (Rostechnadzor) shared his experience as a representative of a regulator of the technology vendor: “Today, effective initiatives are being implemented on international platforms aimed at assisting countries in developing a regulatory framework and developing requirements for nuclear technologies. One of them is Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) in the framework of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. This programme could be the basis for development of a working group for RITM-200."
The event became an effective platform for sharing experience in the creation and development of safety regulatory infrastructure in the use of nuclear energy, preparation of licensing documentation and licensing of new large and small capacity NPP projects.
Rusatom Service JSC is a member of the Electric Power division of ROSATOM. The company provides services to energy facilities in various sectors of the energy industry. The company operates in almost every country with operating VVER NPP outside Russia.
The geography of Rusatom Service JSC projects covers more than 15 countries around the world: from Europe to Asia. The references of Rusatom Service JSC include comprehensive projects for life extension, maintenance and repair, supply of equipment and spares, nuclear infrastructure, advisory services and training.
As part of the Robotics business line, the company offers services for the design and manufacture of robotic systems and other non-standard equipment for nuclear industry enterprises and beyond.
ROSATOM represented by Rusatom Service JSC offers its foreign partners a comprehensive solution for the development of nuclear infrastructure and competencies with the support of the entire Russian nuclear industry. Rostechnadzor provides comprehensive support to foreign regulators in the development of the regulatory system.