Practical Application of the Graded Approach for the Safety of Research Reactors
Argonne, Illinois, USA
5 - 9 December 2011
The Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors and the IAEA’s safety standards
recommend that a graded approach with regard to the hazard potential be applied throughout
all stages of the lifetime of a research reactor, including site evaluation, design, construction,
commissioning, operation utilization, extended shutdown and decommissioning. The
methodology for applying the graded approach includes a general assessment of the potential
hazard of the reactor and classification of the items to which the safety requirements apply.
These items may be the reactor as a whole, the reactor structures, systems and components
and activities such as management and verification of safety.
Discussion at recent meetings on research reactor safety has indicated that many Member
States would benefit from training and exchange of experience in using the graded approach
when applying the IAEA’s safety standards for research reactors. A draft IAEA Safety Guide,
The Use of a Graded Approach in the Application of the Safety Requirements for Research
Reactors (DS351), is now in the final stages of approval and publication.
To meet this need, the IAEA is organizing a Workshop on Practical Application of the Graded
Approach for the Safety of Research Reactors to be held at Argonne National Laboratory,
Lemont (near Chicago), Illinois, USA, from 5 to 9 December 2011.
The purpose of this workshop is to review the recommendations of a new Safety Guide, The
Use of a Graded Approach in the Application of the Safety Requirements for Research
Reactors, to provide exercises in how the recommendations outlined in this Guide are to be
applied, and to establish a forum for the participants to exchange their experience and good
practices in the application of graded approaches. The workshop will include lectures,
participant presentations, exercises and discussions in working groups.
This workshop is intended for individuals from research reactor project implementation
organizations, research reactor operating organizations or regulatory bodies. Participants
should be familiar with the safety considerations and issues relating to the operation and
regulation of research reactors in their country.
Content of the Workshop
In order to enable the participants to enhance their capabilities on the use of a graded
approach in the application of the safety requirements for research reactors, lectures will be
given by IAEA representatives followed by discussions with participants on topics relevant to
the application of the graded approach. The relevant IAEA documents and publications
concerning research reactors will be presented, with an emphasis on the areas to which the
graded approach is suitable.
The following documents and publications will be introduced in lectures:
- The Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors;
- Safety of Research Reactors (IAEA Safety Standards Series No. NS-R-4, Vienna,
- IAEA Safety Guides on research reactors, including the new Safety Guide on
application of the graded approach.
Workshop participants will be expected to make presentations on their experiences with a
graded approach in the application of safety requirements for research reactors, as well as to
consider how application of the new Safety Guide might be beneficial in their country or