Norway / Government Should Establish National Nuclear Safety Strategy, Says IAEA

By David Dalton
28 June 2019

Government Should Establish National Nuclear Safety Strategy, Says IAEA
The Jeep II research reactor, which is scheduled for permanent shutdown. Photo courtesy IFE.

Norway is committed to strengthening its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety, but the government should establish a comprehensive national policy and strategy for safety, an International Atomic Energy Agency team of experts said.

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service team, which today concluded a two-week mission to review the regulatory safety framework in Norway, also called on the government to establish a national policy and strategy for spent fuel and radioactive waste management, including decommissioning.

It said the the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA) should finalise the development of an “integrated management system” across the entire organisation.

Norway has never had a commercial nuclear reactor, but operates two research reactors for the production of medical isotopes and research purposes, but the decommissioning of both units is expected to begin in the near future.

In April Norway’s Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) said it had decided to permanently shut down the Jeep-II research reactor – the country’s last operating reactor. IFE said “extensive and costly improvements” were needed to keep Jeep-II, at Kjeller, about 25km northeast of Oslo, in operation.

In June 2018 IFE decided to permanently close the Halden research reactor, saying the business risks associated with keeping it operational were too great.

The country has a disposal facility for low- and medium-level radioactive waste from radioactive sources used in industry, medicine, and for waste generated by the research reactors. The IAEA said Norway also plans new medical irradiation facilities at hospitals in Oslo and Bergen.

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