Preparations for IAEA review of radiation protection regulation in Ireland

Date released: Feb 17 2015, 2:24 PM

At the invitation of Government, representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Dublin today to make final preparations for a formal review of Ireland’s radiation protection regulatory framework against international standards in compliance with European directives. This is an important milestone in a process which will culminate in a team of up to 14 international regulators visiting Ireland in September to carry out a structured review over 10 days. The team will be led by Dr Margot Tirmarche, a Commissioner of the French nuclear safety authority (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire). This service which is provided by the IAEA is called an Integrated Regulatory Review Service mission (IRRS) and the resulting report will be made public.

Dr Ann McGarry, Director of the Office of Radiological Protection in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said:

“The EPA plays a key role in coordinating the preparations for the mission to review the regulatory framework for radiation safety in Ireland. External peer review is an essential activity to ensure that regulatory provisions and practice are in line with international safety standards and we welcome the learning opportunity that the review will bring.”

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) is leading the project for Ireland in cooperation with the EPA’s Office of Radiological Protection (competent authority with responsibility for protection of the public) and the Department of Health (competent authority with responsibility for protection of the patient).

Today the IAEA will review with the Irish project team and lead Government departments the status of Ireland’s preparations for the review mission scheduled to take place between 31 August and 9 September 2015. An essential and intensive aspect of the preparations is a self-assessment by Ireland of its regulatory provisions against the international standards using a comprehensive computer-based questionnaire provided by the IAEA. The output of the self-assessment forms the core of the evidence that the international regulatory experts, or review team, will assess and verify in September.

The EPA has been working closely on this project with a number of bodies/agencies with responsibility for radiation protection in Ireland. These include the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government (DECLG), the Department of Health (DoH), and the Health and Service (HSE).

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