CIS nations to form nuclear regulatory association

28 October 2020

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) plans to establish an association of nuclear energy regulators and organisations that provide scientific and technical support. A draft memorandum on this was approved at the 21st meeting of the CIS commission on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which was held via video link yesterday. The meeting was chaired by the head of the commission, Belarus' Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

Participants in the 21st meeting of the CIS commission on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy held yesterday (Image: Belarusian Ministry of Energy)

The CIS is a regional intergovernmental organisation of nine members, plus two founding non-member, post-Soviet republics in Eurasia. One of its members, Belarus, proposed the new initiative. Belarus is building its first nuclear power plant, in Ostrovets.

The Belarusian Energy Ministry said the new association is expected to promote cooperation in the regulation of nuclear and radiation safety in the CIS, to provide expert support in improving the system of regulation and legislation, and to strengthen ties between organisations that provide scientific and technical support.

"The initiative is very important, especially for the newcomer countries that are implementing their first nuclear programmes," Mikhadyuk said. "There are such associations in Europe and they have proved their worth, including in the international arena. This format of cooperation within the CIS will help us expand the partnership and coordinate the work of the regulators," he added.

Olga Lugovskaya, head of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor), added that the association will provide an opportunity to exchange experience more effectively, including in terms of the development of regulatory requirements in nuclear and radiation safety, the inspections of nuclear power plant sites, and safety tests. Issues regarding regulation of radioactive waste management, training of personnel for regulators and others are also important, she said.

According to the Energy Ministry statement, the commission considered the results of the CIS framework programme for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy -  Cooperation Atom-CIS - and the interstate target programme, Reclamation of territories affected by uranium mining.

The commission also reviewed the work of CIS members on the management of used nuclear fuel, radioactive waste and decommissioning of nuclear and radiation-hazardous facilities. The ministry said the commission's international working groups have drafted documents on its further activities - The CIS framework programme for cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy until 2030 and The plan of measures to implement this framework cooperation programme for the period of 2021-2025. It is expected that these documents will be adopted by the Council of Heads of State to the CIS at its meeting next month.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News