National regulations

Regardless of the extensive work performed at an international level, the main responsibility for safety of spent fuel and RAW management remains with the operator/licensee and the control/oversight with the nationally des­ignated regulatory authority. The safe development, operation and closure (siting, design, construction, operation and decommissioning or closure and subsequent control) of facilities is to a large extent dependent on an ade­quate regulatory framework and its effective implementation in practice. The regulatory framework will take into account the specificity of the country, interfaces between operators and regulators, and also other stakeholders.

In general three legal and regulatory approaches have been adopted, namely:

• prescriptive regulations — with very detailed and specific safety require­ments (e. g., Russian Federation and the USA);

• non-prescriptive regulations — with goal oriented safety requirements (e. g., UK);

• a combination of the two above (e. g., Czech Republic, Bulgaria, etc.). In addition specific provisions may apply in a country, e. g.:

• categorisation of spent fuel as a radioactive waste or resource;

• application of the clearance concept (e. g., that is excluded in France);

• issuance of licences, permissions or both;

• issuance of one licence for the whole life cycle of the facility or multiple licences for each stage of the facility development (siting, design, con­struction, commissioning, operation, closure and decommissioning/ closure and institutional control).

All of the above aspects depend on the national policy and strategy adopted for radioactive waste management and nuclear development, the legal and regulatory framework within the country, past and current practices, finan­cial mechanisms in the long term and the capacity to perform the required oversight of the facilities at present and in the future.

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