A nuclear safety cooperation project between Norway and Romania has been completed. The aim of the three-year collaboration was to enhance the capabilities of Romania's nuclear regulator.

The project involved the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), Romania's National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control (CNCAN) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The project, which began in late 2013, had a budget of €4.2 million ($4.4 million), of which 85% was covered by Norway and 15% by Romania. NRPA cooperated with Romania in a similar project under European Economic Area cooperation in 2009-2011.

NRPA noted that Romania faced strict requirements for improved nuclear security after it joined the European Union in 2007. "The partnership's goal has been to bring security at the country's nuclear power plants to a higher European level," it said.

The main objective of the project was to improve the competence of CNCAN in eight specific areas through the exchange of experience, best practices and capacity building. The areas included: nuclear safety; integrated management systems and knowledge management; oversight/inspections; safety of the transport of radioactive materials; emergency preparedness; control of radiation sources; decommissioning and radioactive waste management; and, safeguards.

NRPA said the IAEA's involvement "guarantees the implementation of project activities in accordance with international standards and with the participation of international experts with special expertise in these areas".

The IAEA has assisted the Romanian regulator in updating multiple regulations, standards, methods and procedures, and the development of new documentation. All the new and revised documents take into account the latest IAEA and Western European Nuclear Regulators Association guidelines. Since the project started, 30 new regulations, methodologies, procedures and guidelines have been developed in Romania. In addition, 16 regulations, methodologies, procedures and guidelines have been updated.

NRPA's Ingar Amundsen said, "This has been an extensive project where we've wanted to make a difference for nuclear safety authorities in Romania. Norway also has everything to gain from this kind of preventive nuclear safety cooperation with a European country."

A conference was held in Bucharest between 28 February and 1 March for the partners to discuss the results of the collaboration. They also discussed the challenges and lessons learned during the implementation of the project.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Date: Friday, 03 March 2017
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Norway-helps-improve-Romania-s-nuclear-safety