WORKSHOP on

Practical Application of the Graded Approach for the Safety of Research Reactors

Argonne, Illinois, USA
5 - 9 December 2011

Introduction

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.

PURPOSE

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.

Workshop Participants

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, 2005);
  • 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 facility.