State-owned entity National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) will host its second nuclear regulatory information conference at the Indaba Hotel & Conference Centre, Johannesburg, from May 16 to 18.
The key themes for this year’s conference are the energy mix; safety and security culture; lessons learned from megaprojects; skills development; harmonisation of regulatory frameworks; ageing management – which addresses ageing infrastructure, detecting associated reductions in safety margins and corrective actions before loss of integrity or functional capability occurs; small modular reactors; stakeholder engagement; and regulatory implications and the relevance of revised dose limits to limit radiation exposure to the eye for workers and the public.
NNR corporate communications and stakeholder relations manager Gino Moonsamy tells Engineering News that the main purpose of the conference is to bring together a variety of industry experts and role-players who will share different perspectives, and debate and discuss common solutions for the nuclear energy industry.
“The conference is also an interactive platform for the NNR to share regulatory information, trends and international best practices with its stakeholders. The programme is packed with a variety of nuclear industry perspectives and is geared to stimulate discussion among nuclear professionals, industry role-players, government officials, associations, authorisation holders, the media, nongovernmental organisations and interested stakeholders. We also expect university students and learners to attend and participate in the dialogue,” adds Moonsamy.
He hopes the conference will create continuity from the inaugural conference held in 2016 and result in new relationships being formed and the strengthening of national and international collaboration networks in nuclear safety. “The information shared at the conference will also improve transparency and strengthen existing stakeholder relationships in the sector.”
Moonsamy also mentions that the NNR is currently focusing on regulatory issues such as the oversight of State-owned power utility Eskom’s nuclear power station Koeberg’s steam generator replacement and plant life extension projects, the safety culture at South African Nuclear Energy Corporation subsidiary NTP Radioisotopes and legacy mining issues, as well as capacity building through the NNR Centre for Nuclear Safety and Security.
The conference will be held over three days and comprise keynote speeches and themed panel sessions. The sessions will be coordinated by a chairperson who will speak on broad aspects of the session’s theme. This will be followed by local and international expert panelists from various sectors who are expected to speak on specific topics relevant to the themes.
The first day will introduce the energy mix discussion, followed by two plenaries focusing on safety and security culture and lessons learned from megaprojects.
The second day will feature the keynote address by International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear safety deputy director- general Juan Carlos Lentijo, followed by a plenary on skills development. The rest of the day will comprise four panel sessions focusing on the harmonisation of regulatory frameworks, ageing management, small modular reactors and remediation.
The last day of the conference will open with a plenary on stakeholder engagement, followed by a breakaway session on regulatory implications and relevance of revised dose limits to the eye.
Conference speakers will include experts from local and international organisations. Some of the international participants will be from countries such as Canada, France, Italy, South Korea, the US, United Arab Emirates and the UK.