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ANVS-FANC carry out first joint inspection

Today, the first joint inspection by the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority (ANVS) and the Belgian Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) took place at the Belgian nuclear power plant at Doel. Such joint inspections are carried out within the scope of wider cooperation between the ANVS and the FANC.

For both the ANVS and the FANC, safety is paramount, which is why they are continuously seeking to improve their inspectors’ skills and capabilities. One way in which this is done is by participating, as observers, in inspections carried out by fellow authorities from other countries. This gives inspectors from both authorities an opportunity to compare notes about methods and to exchange details of lessons learned in practical situations. Joint inspections enable the visiting inspectors to examine the technical facility with their own expert eyes, and to gain an impression of the inspection methods used. The inspection is evaluated – retrospectively – and insights are shared. This is subject to the guidelines issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concerning what needs to be inspected, using which method.

The inspection at the Doel nuclear power station was carried out in response to the implementation of various improvement measures from the European stress test. The ANVS considers that the FANC conducted the inspection in accordance with the internationally applicable guidelines. Following the inspection, the inspectors involved agreed that this form of cooperation is indeed an effective way of further developing their inspection skills.

Given that the ANVS has no formal powers in Belgium, no separate Dutch inspection report was drawn up. Mutual inspections contribute to the continuous improvement of nuclear safety and radiation protection.