The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) started a peer review mission in Japan to assess its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety. The IAEA's Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission will take place between Jan. 11-22. The news was reported by World Nuclear News.

At the request of Japanese authorities, the 24-member team is to meet with staff of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), observe regulatory activities and visit nuclear-related sites.

Philippe Jamet, commissioner of the French Nuclear Safety Authority.Philippe Jamet, commissioner of the French Nuclear Safety Authority. IRRS missions are designed to strengthen the effectiveness of the national radiation safety regulatory infrastructure, while recognizing the responsibility of each member state to ensure nuclear and radiation safety. The missions compare regulatory technical and policy issues with IAEA safety standards and, where appropriate, good practices elsewhere, IEA says.

The regulatory review process also draws directly upon the wide-ranging international experience and expertise of the regulatory review team members. The review results in a report that identifies good practices and provides recommendations and suggestions for improvements. The team will deliver a draft report to the NRA on the last day of the mission. The final report will be delivered about three months after the mission's conclusion.

The team is being led by Philippe Jamet, commissioner of the French Nuclear Safety Authority. The team coordinator is Gustavo Caruso, director of the IAEA Office of Safety and Security Coordination. A follow-up IRRS mission will be carried out no more than four years later to review progress in implementing the suggestions and recommendations of the initial IRRS mission.