The concept of improving nuclear safety versus maintaining it has been discussed at a number of nuclear regulators meetings in recent years. National reports have indicated that there are philosophical differences between NEA member countries about whether their regulatory approaches require licensees to continuously improve nuclear safety or to continuously maintain it. It has been concluded that, while the actual level of safety achieved in all member countries is probably much the same, this is difficult to prove in a quantitative way. In practice, all regulatory approaches require improvements to be made to correct deficiencies and when otherwise warranted.
Based on contributions from members of the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA), this publication provides an overview of current nuclear regulatory philosophies and approaches, as well as insights into a selection of public perception issues. This publication's intended audience is primarily nuclear safety regulators, but government authorities, nuclear power plant operators and the general public may also be interested.