Technical cooperation for South African and Chinese regulators

17 November 2015

The national nuclear regulators of South Africa and China have signed a bilateral technical cooperation agreement which will see them share information on regulatory activities.

The agreement was signed by Mzubanzi Bismark Tyobeka and Li Ganjie (Image: NNR)

The agreement between South Africa's National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) and China's National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) was signed in Beijing on 12 November by NNR CEO Mzubanzi Bismark Tyobeka and Li Ganjie, China's vice minister for environmental protection and bureau chief of the NNSA.

Tyobeka said that the regulators shared many areas of mutual interest, but had identified several "immediate topics" for collaboration and practical information exchange: enforcement actions pertaining to violations of regulations; licensing procedures; vendor inspections; the training of inspectors; and joint inspections and technical support cooperation in relation to the NNR's proposed Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Safety.

"We operate in a highly globalised nuclear environment, which is constantly evolving, and bilateral cooperation arrangements such as these serve as a valuable mechanism for ensuring that the NNR’s regulatory practices are in line with, or benchmarked against, the best current standards and practices," Tyobeka said.

The NNR is responsible for granting nuclear authorisations and exercising regulatory control related to safety over the siting, design, construction, operation and decommissioning and closure of nuclear installations in South Africa. The country already has two operating nuclear reactors at the Koeberg power plant, as well as the Safari 1 research reactor. The country plans to build a further 9600 MWe of nuclear capacity and has signed intergovernmental agreements with several vendor countries, including China, although it has yet formally to launch the procurement process.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News