Regulatory Practices of the South African National Nuclear Regulator IAEA WORKSHOP ON NATIONAL NUCLEAR REGULATORY PORTALS Bonn, Germany Presented by: Boikanyo L. Ntuane, Pr.Sci.Nat. Principal Specialist: Nuclear Security & Radiation Protection 4-6 JULY 2011 SCOPE OF PRESENTATION • General background information on NNR • Mandate, objects, organisational structure • Areas regulated by the NNR • Brief overview of NNR regulatory practices • Cooperation- national and international • Conclusion MANDATE OF NNR • The National Nuclear Regulator Act ( Act No 47 of 1999) (NNRA) established the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR). • The NNRA came into force on 24 February 2000. • The promulgation of the NNRA, which deals exclusively with the regulation of the nuclear industry, provides for the separation of the promotional and Regulatory functions in the nuclear industry in South Africa. • The promotional aspects of nuclear activities in South Africa are legislated by the Nuclear Energy Act (Act No 46 of 1999) MANDATE Cont … • The establishment, objects and functions of the NNR are clearly encapsulated in Chapter 2 of the NNR Act. • The mandate and authority of the NNR are conferred through section 5 and 7 of the NNRA. OBJECTS OF NNR Section 5 of the NNR Act • Provide for the protection to persons property and the environment against nuclear damage. • Exercise regulatory control over nuclear installations, vessels propelled by nuclear power or having radioactive material on board and actions through the granting of nuclear authorisations. • Provide assurance of compliance of conditions of nuclear authorisations through compliance inspections. • Fulfil national obligations in respect of international instruments. • Ensure that provisions for an emergency plan are in place. AREAS REGULATED BY THE NNR (within section 2 of the NNR Act) Nuclear Power Reactors Eskom Koeberg Nuclear Power Station (KNPS) twin 900MWe generating power station located on the West Coast +/- 40 Kms North of Cape Town •Operational Since 1984 AREAS REGULATED BY THE NNR (within section 2 of the NNR Act) Nuclear Power Reactors • Prospective new nuclear power reactor technologies •Eskom informed the NNR that they are exploring the feasibility of constructing new nuclear light water reactor power plants •A Licensing Liaison Committee (N1 LLC) has been established between Eskom and NNR to facilitate early scoping discussions for future licensing frameworks AREAS REGULATED BY THE NNR • South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) •Pelindaba Site –Located West of Pretoria •Research reactor, other industrial applications •Various Stores and Waste Management Facilities •Pelstore •Thabana Pipe Store •Effluent treatment facility •Vaalputs National Waste Repository- Located in the Northern Cape AREAS REGULATED BY THE NNR Cont… • Mining and Minerals Processing •Currently 140 authorisations issued (NORM, Mineral processing, Processing of contaminated scrap, fertiliser production) • Vessels •Either propelled by nuclear power or, •Carrying on board radioactive material Areas not regulated by NNR (exclusions Section 2(2) of the Act) • Exposure to cosmic radiation or potassium-40 in the body. • Any radioactive material or action not amenable to regulatory control. • Group IV hazardous substances as defined in the Hazardous Substances Act. • Group III hazardous substances in term of the Hazardous Substances Act Brief overview of the NNR regulatory practices • Safety standards • Application for a nuclear authorisation – Public participation • Safety assessment • Authorisation and conditions of authorisation • Compliance assurance SAFETY STANDARDS REGULATORY PRACTICES • Safety standards and regulatory practices adopted by NNR are in line with international nuclear safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) as well as other international norms and standards such as INSAG,USNRC 10 CFR 50 , ASME Standards , IEEE standards etc • Principle radiation protection and nuclear safety requirements – Based on risk criteria and Radiation dose limits for • Workers and • Members of the Public.. SAFETY STANDARDS REGULATORY PRACTICES • Nuclear safety requirements, amongst other, encapsulate the following: – Defense in depth principle – The ALARA principle – International Norms and Standards – Good engineering Practice – Safety culture – Accident management – Quality management Application for a nuclear authorisation • In terms of section 20 of the NNR Act the following nuclear authorisations must be applied for prior to engaging in any nuclear activities to which the NNR Act applies (section 2) – Nuclear Installation Licence – Nuclear Vessel Licence – Certificate of Registration – Certificate of Exemption Application for a nuclear authorisation • In terms of section 21 and 22 of the NNR Act a formal application is made for a nuclear authorisation in the prescribed format to the CEO of the NNR. • The NNR Act makes provisions for the public to make representations related to the application to the NNR Board – Mandatory for nuclear installation and vessel licences – Discretionary for certificate of registration or exemption SAFETY ASSESSMENT The applicant for a nuclear authorisation must submit a safety case to the NNR, which include a comprehensive safety assessment of the facility/action which must demonstrate compliance to the NNR safety standards. For complex projects e.g. Nuclear Power Plants a multi stage licensing process e.g siting, design, construction/manufacture, fuel on site, commissioning/testing etc..is adopted Each stage supported by a safety case SAFETY ASSESSMENT During the entire process the NNR consider all relevant aspects of the application and may direct the applicant to furnish such information as the NNR may require in reaching a decision on the granting or refusal of a Nuclear Authorization and the conditions subject to which such Authorization is to be granted Based on the outcome of the safety assessment and review of the documented safety case presented to the NNR a nuclear authorisation is granted with specific conditions, or refused.. An important point to remember is that the concerns that may be raised by the public ( as indicated in a previous slide) are taken into consideration as an integral part of the NNR regulatory review of the application to enable the Board decision to approve the granting (or refusal) of the authorisation by the Chief Executive Officer. Nuclear authorisation • Legal document • Conditions may be imposed by the CEO – Ensure that the facility/action is operated within the boundaries of the safety case – Protection of persons, property and environment – Limitations on operations pertaining to safety management processes and systems CONDITIONS OF AUTHORISATIION • Although nuclear authorisations may be different from nuclear installations and vessels licences to certificates of registration or exemption typical conditions of authorisations include: •A valid facility description •Modification control procedure •Maintain a valid and updated safety assessment. •Establishment and compliance with operating technical specifications CONDITIONS OF AUTHORISATIION •Maintenance and inspection program •Operational radiation protection program •Waste management program •Transport of radioactive material •Nuclear security/Physical security •Emergency plan where applicable •Routine reporting •Occurrence reporting •Quality Management program COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE The nuclear authorisation holder implements a monitoring and inspection programme at the nuclear facility/action, which is regularly assessed by the NNR, to ensure compliance with the conditions of the nuclear installation licence Implementation of an independent compliance inspection programme by NNR-typically cover all conditions of authorisation by means of: Audits Inspections Occurrences investigation Emergency exercises (for nuclear installations) COOPERATION National Cooperation as required by Section 6 of the NNR Act- Cooperative Agreements • Legislative imperative – Where there is overlap in mandate with other relevant organs of state • DOH • DEAT • DME (MHSI, Min dev, Electricity & Nuclear) • DOL • DWAF • DOT (SAMSA, CAA, RSR, …) • Other national cooperation – WRC, SAPS, NIA COOPERATION Cont .. International Cooperation • IAEA Safety Standards Committees • IAEA Conventions e.g Convention on Nuclear Safety, Joint Convention on Radioactive Waste managemnent and Spent Fuel Management • IAEA –AFRA initiative • Regulator to Regulator • Bilaterals agreements – Sharing of technical information – Capacity building • Current: USNRC, France, Slovenia, Australia, Belgium, UK • Under review: Argentina • Initiated: China, Korea COOPERATION Cont .. International Cooperation • Multinational Design Evaluation Programme –MDEP (initiated by the USNRC) for new nuclear power reactor designs • NERS regulatory forum – under the IAEA secretariat – Regulators with small nuclear programs • Technical Support Organisations (TSO) – For technical and safety reviews Conclusion •The Safety Standards and Regulatory Practices adopted by the NNR are well established, proven and internationally recognised •The NNR is facing some challenges in terms of internal capacity which is being aggravated by a tremendous increase in the national and international demand on nuclear skills while supply has remained stagnant both locally and internationally, making such skills very expensive to attract and retain. Conclusion •Within the context of a potential resurgence in demand for nuclear power, as well as an increase in uranium mining - the challenge to effectively regulate the nuclear industry will intensify significantly in the medium to long-term. This will involve taking concrete steps to effectively address the internal capacity constraints currently facing the NNR as well as developing and integrating business processes to achieve optimal effectiveness and efficiency.
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