The United Kingdom

The example of the United Kingdom, with one of the oldest nuclear licens­ing authorities, is relevant because radiation risks have not been singled out from the many other risks to which workers, the public and the environment are subjected.

The main legislation for governing the safety of nuclear installations in the UK consists of the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 (HSW Act), the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (NIA65) and the Ionizing Radiation Regulations 1999 (IRR99). The organizational scheme is peculiar in the sense that radiation protection is embedded into the protection of health and safety of workers and members of the public against all types of aggres­sions, while in most other countries radiation is singled out as a very distinct and rather hazardous agent.

Within this context, the UK has created a chain of institutions. The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) was established by the HSW Act. Its primary function is to make arrangements to secure the health, safety and welfare of persons at work, and the public, in the way that undertakings are conducted. This includes proposing new laws and standards, conducting research, providing information and advice. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the corporate body appointed to enforce health and safety law under the general direction of the HSC. The HSE is the licensing authority for nuclear installations and regulates the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of any nuclear installation for which a nuclear site license is required under the Nuclear Installations Act. Such installations include nuclear power stations. The Nuclear Safety Directorate (NSD) is a directorate within the HSE. Its mission is to secure effective control of health, safety and radioactive waste management at nuclear sites for the protection of the public and workers, and to further public confi­dence in the nuclear regulatory system. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) forms the major part of the NSD. It is to the NII that the day-to-day exercise of the HSE’s licensing function is delegated. The

Government has announced its intention to create a more integrated, focused, independent and accountable nuclear regulatory body. The pro­posal is to create an Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) as a stand-alone statutory corporation outside the HSE.

Any organization that proposes a nuclear installation falling within the scope of NIA65 must apply for a nuclear site license. NIA65 also states that a license can be granted only to a corporate body and that it is not transfer­able. It follows that the licensee must be a company, which is also a user of the site. It is important that no doubt exists about the identity of the cor­porate body, which has legal responsibility for the safe operation of an installation and absolute liability for injury to persons or damage to prop­erty. Where a new site is to be licensed or where an existing site is to be used for additional activities, the applicant must submit a safety case[111] to the HSE for assessment. That submission must include:

• A reference design (an initial statement of design and the safety criteria to be applied)

• A preliminary safety report (intended to show, in principle, the means by which the reference design can meet the applicant’s safety criteria)

• A preconstruction safety report (a more comprehensive statement on safety analysis)

• Proposal for research and development work in support of the safety case

• Proposals for quality assurance (the means for ensuring that design, manufacture, inspection and construction are carried out reliably to the required standard)

• A contract design (the design intended for construction).

Under the UK licensing process, an operator must obtain a number of permissions before construction or operation of any nuclear installation, including nuclear power stations. The whole process starts with a generic design assessment (GDA), which allows a new power station design to be assessed before an application is made for the permissions required to build that design at a particular site. This allows early resolution of design issues arising from the assessment to be taken into account. Guidance has been provided by the HSE on how to handle the GDA (HSE, 2007a, 2007b, 2008a, 2008b).

Requests for a GDA normally originate from a reactor vendor. However, requests may also be initiated by vendor-operator partnerships. Con­sequently, the term ‘Requesting Party’ is used to identify the organization seeking the GDA and to distinguish it from a nuclear site license applicant. The regulators consider that it is important for potential site operators/ licensees to be engaged in the GDA process, as ultimately they will be required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the design before receiving permission to construct and operate a nuclear power station. The operator may also wish to be part of the design process to allow the design to be adapted to its particular needs. The generic design assessment process, referred to as ‘Phase 1’ in the HSE manuals, is in four stages and takes approximately 3.5 years to complete.

Добавить комментарий

Ваш e-mail не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *