EU and Mongolia complete nuclear safety project
The European Union (EU), together with its Mongolian partners, has successfully implemented a joint project aimed at enhancing and strengthening the nuclear safety and safeguards regulatory framework in Mongolia in accordance with the highest standards of safety and best international practice adopted in the EU.
This €1.1 million project was financed through the EU’s Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC). Within its framework, implemented in close cooperation with the Executive Office of the Nuclear Energy Commission, extensive knowledge transfer, including on-the-job training in the EU, exchanges of methods, know-how and best practices took place over a period of 32 months in the following areas:
- Strengthen regulatory framework and infrastructure to ensure the safety and security of radioactive sources;
- Assessment of national arrangements and infrastructure for radioactive waste management;
- Establish a long-term safe management plan for a damaged irradiator;
- Establish national system for accounting and control of nuclear materials;
- Development of regulatory framework for management of naturally occurring radioactive materials;
- Developed radiation emergency preparedness and response plan.
Mr Traian Laurentiu HRISTEA, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Mongolia, highlighted: “The European Union is a close partner to Mongolia in a wide number of development cooperation areas including in the promotion of the application of best international standards and practice for nuclear safety and safeguards. We hope this knowledge transfer between the EU and Mongolia as facilitated by the project will contribute to more effective regulatory framework development and implementation in Mongolia."
Mr. G. MANLAIJAV, Secretary of the Nuclear Energy Commission and Head of the Executive Office, said: “Nuclear Energy Commission, which has the responsibility for coordination and formulation of activities related to nuclear and radiation issues in Mongolia, must always increase its capacity to the world level. The cooperation project funded by the European Union and implemented by RISKAUDIT and its consortium partners over 32 months is very beneficial for Mongolia, specifically to adopt several aspects of regulation implemented in the European Union, covering technical aspects related to nuclear safety, as well as the managerial aspects such as the management systems and human resource development."
The project was implemented by a consortium of Paris-based RISKAUDIT as consortium leader, German companies WISUTEC and GRS, and the Ministry of Health of Luxembourg.
Following the Chornobyl accident in 1986, the EU launched a nuclear safety programme under the TACIS (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States) which, between 1991 and 2006, allocated some €1.3 billion to nuclear safety and security projects.
From 2007 to 2013, the EU expanded its nuclear safety assistance to third countries under the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation with a total budget allocation of €524 million. In June 2014, the strategy for the implementation of Phase 2 of the INSC (2014-2020) was agreed, committing an extra €225 million for nuclear safety projects.
Cooperation with Mongolia began in 2011, and to date, about €2.1 million has been committed for Mongolia under the INSC. Further cooperation with Mongolia is planned at regional level in the area of monitoring capacities of Mongolian laboratories.
Establishing effective cooperation between Mongolian and European regulatory authorities is contributing to the development of a common understanding in implementing requirements, standards and international best practice in nuclear safety.
In the completed project “Regulatory Regime for Nuclear Safety and Enhancing Radiation Safety and Nuclear Safeguards in Mongolia”, approximately 20 highly experienced EU and Mongolian technical and scientific experts were involved to assist the regulatory authority in the development of regulations, technical guidelines on radioactive waste management, safeguards, search and identification of orphan radioactive sources, management of naturally occurring radioactive materials, emergency preparedness and response, and other areas.
In order to optimise know-how transfer to the Mongolian organisations, several training courses were organised, both in Ulaanbaatar and abroad, including Hungary, Germany, Luxembourg, and France.
Specifically, the following results have been achieved under the project in close collaboration of the European and Mongolian experts:
- Development of draft regulations, as well as guidelines to support the implementation of the regulations. The drafts will be made publicly available for review and comment by NEC at their website.
- Development of human resources at NEC and General Agency for Specialized Inspection (GASI), and improvement of the knowledge and skills required to effectively implement the regulatory framework;
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