The forum was created in 2015 to share regulatory knowledge and experience among members and other stakeholders. Its purpose is to identify challenges that may emerge from regulating SMRs.
The forum said its output will help regulatory bodies from IAEA member states understand and implement any potential changes needed to their requirements and regulatory practices.
According to the IAEA, SMRs are advanced reactors that produce electricity of up to 300 MW per module, which is less than current power generation reactors. Many SMRs can be made in factories and transported by truck or rail.
“The establishment of regulatory controls for this relatively new type of reactor requires focused and consistent attention,” the IAEA said. “The forum enhances nuclear safety by identifying and resolving common safety issues that may challenge regulatory reviews associated with SMRs and by facilitating robust and thorough regulatory decisions.”
The forum was initially created as a pilot project that was conducted from March 2015 to May 2017. That project studied how emergency planning zones and the principles of graded approach and defence-in-depth should be applied to SMRs.
In November 2017, forum members established new working groups to discuss licensing Issues; design and safety analysis; and manufacturing, commissioning and operations.