Time to act: integrating safety, security and safeguards into the design of innovative reactors

Increased international cooperation, harmonization of legal and regulatory aspects and a holistic approach to safety, security and safeguards in the design of small modular reactors (SMRs) were among the main issues discussed at a recent

Increased international cooperation, harmonization of legal and regulatory aspects and a holistic approach to safety, security and safeguards in the design of small modular reactors (SMRs) were among the main issues discussed at a recent IAEA technical meeting.

“With many SMRs still at an early stage of design, there is a unique opportunity to comprehensively integrate the three elements of safety, security and safeguards – the so-called 3S concept – into the design of innovative reactors. “, said Lydie Evrard, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, in her opening remarks.

The potential challenges and synergies between the three areas were at the center of events organized by the IAEA, which included a webinar organized in early February and a technical meeting on safety, security and safeguards (3S) in the design of SMR. which took place in June. During these meetings, the benefits of addressing the interfaces and creating synergies between safety, security and safeguards from the early design stage of advanced reactors, such as SMRs, were highlighted.

More than 100 participants from 29 countries and two international organizations attended the technical meeting from June 1 to 3, to discuss their experiences and ideas and share various perspectives on 3S by design, such as regulatory approaches, considerations industries, designer challenges, and research and development. considerations.

“This meeting is at the forefront of introducing 3S by design concepts to regulators,” said Cynthia Jones, Ph.D., senior technical advisor for nuclear security at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “It is also important that the IAEA opens up this subject to designers and new applicants, so that they know that the IAEA can be a source of information that they can also go to for advice on the steps necessary for international safeguards.”