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Rostechnadzor and French Nuclear Safety Authority Agree to Strengthen Cooperation for Nuclear and Radiation Safety

On September 16, Alexey Ferapontov, Acting Chairman of Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service (Rostechnadzor), had a meeting with Pierre-Franck Chevet, President of the Nuclear Safety Authority of France (ASN). The meeting took place on the margins of the 57th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Alexey Ferapontov expressed his positive appreciation of the cooperation between the two authorities for the last few year. "Earlier in June this year, in the framework of the workshop we had in Paris to discuss the implementation of regulatory, technical and organizational actions developed on the basis of the stress tests to improve the safety of the Russian and French nuclear plants, we agreed an updated list of topics of mutual interest for our further cooperation, which includes issues of strictly bilateral nature, such as inspections of research nuclear installations performed by the regulators, and issues that need clarification and comprehensive consideration with possible involvement of the operating organizations, for example, discussion of the requirements to design seismic margins for the nuclear plants," he noted.

"In addition, I know about the interest in discussing the stress tests of the nuclear fuel cycle facilities in Russia and France," Ferapontov said.

According to him, Rostechnadzor will conduct an inspection with the participation of ASN staff during November 11 to 14 this year at Radon, a radwaste management facility, as a continuation of practical exchange of inspection experience at nuclear energy facilities of Russia and France. At present, the parties prepare for the inspection.

"We believe that sharing information in the format of joint inspections allows a better understanding of the nuclear safety regulatory process in Russia and France by both parties. The outcome of our joint comprehensive audits and emergency exercises at the Russian and French nuclear plants in 2012 are a proof," Ferapontov emphasized.

"Russia will chair the G8 next year. When the major events of the Russian presidency were defined, we suggested as the ASN and us had agreed that we conduct a three-day international workshop under the IAEA umbrella for lessons learnt after the IAEA IRRS missions to be held in October 2014 in Moscow. We will be glad to see you and your staff members in Russia as participants of that important event," the acting chairman concluded.

Cooperation between Rostechnadzor and the ASN is realized within the interagency agreement on information exchange and cooperation in the field of safety regulation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy.