The IRRS (Integrated Regulatory Review Service) follow-up mission in Greece was concluded today, November 24, 2017. The review concerned the national radiation protection and nuclear safety system, including the Greek Atomic Energy Commission (EEAE), as the regulatory authority. Specifically, the progress made in addressing the recommendations of the initial mission of the year 2012 was on the spotlight of the review.
According to the findings of the experts, almost all recommendations and suggestions of the initial review have been addressed. The progress made is summarized mainly in the following points:
- the update of the legal and regulatory framework in compliance with the latest international safety standards;
- the development and implementation of an integrated management system, emphasizing on safety culture;
- the development and implementation of a graded approach throughout the regulatory oversight;
- the enhancement of the national regulatory framework for the management of radioactive waste;
- the development of compliance assurance programme for transport of radioactive materials;
- the implementation of a "one-stop shop" authorization process that includes the monitoring of the justification for diagnostic examinations and doses optimization, which benefits the protection of patients.
The experts' team has also concluded in a new good practice and a new recommendation. The former concerns research activities implemented by EEAE in the field of radiation protection of patients and the latter the amendment of a specific part of legislation related to sanctions.
The exit meeting was attended by the General Secretary for Research and Technology, Dr. M. Kyprianidou who stated that "the peer review of EEAE as a regulatory authority has been successfully completed. I would like to congratulate all the participants. The country adopts, constantly updates and implements a modern regulatory framework in the field of radiation safety. This is an additional important step in the constant effort of the public bodies for a modern, technologically advanced and scientifically informed State, which guarantees the safety of the country and the citizens".
EEAE Chairman Christos Housiadas said that "the outcome of the follow-up mission confirms the significant progress achieved in the last years in radiation safety in Greece. We welcome the findings as a basis for decision-making towards further improvement of our national regulatory framework. Compliance with the international standards is a win-win situation which benefits the national and the global safety systems.”
The final mission report will be delivered in about three months and will be made public by EEAE.
The IRRS peer review
International peer reviews of the regulatory framework are used at European and international level in order to strengthen the global nuclear and radiological safety regime, as well as the harmonization with the current safety standards. Although not of mandatory nature initially, international peer reviews constitute now a conventional obligation of EU member states under Directives 2009/71/Euratom and 2011/70/Euratom. The process of the Greek peer review started in 2009 and Greece was the first non-nuclear EU Member State which was submitted to this review.
Click here to see the IAEA press release.