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40 Years of Nuclear Supervision

19 июля 2023
Company's news

July 19, 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the state body regulating nuclear and radiation safety in the Russian Federation.

The nuclear and radiation safety state supervision was established under the Ministry of Medium Machine Building of the USSR in the 1960s.

On October 22, 1970, the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted a decree “On the Organization of State Supervision of Engineering and Nuclear Safety during Construction and Operation of Nuclear Power Plants, Experimental and Research Nuclear Reactors and Installations”. According to the decree, the supervisory functions were assigned to the 3rd Main Directorate under the Ministry of Health of the USSR, Gosgortechnadzor of the USSR (Mining and Technical Supervision Authority), and Minsredmash of the USSR (Ministry of Medium Machine Building).

In 1972, a special Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety Control of Minsredmash of the USSR was established.

In accordance with the adopted program of NPP construction, the pace of NPP construction and commissioning in the 1980s predetermined the need to establish an independent state body for nuclear radiation safety supervision.

On July 19, 1983 the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR “On the Establishment of the USSR State Committee for Supervision of Safe Work in Nuclear Industry” (Gosatomenergonadzor of the USSR) was issued. The Committee was created on the basis of the Department for Supervision in Nuclear Industry of Gosgortechnadzor of the USSR, as well as divisions of the State Nuclear Safety Inspection of the USSR Ministry of Medium Machine Building of the USSR and the State Control and Acceptance Inspection under the Ministry of Medium Machine Building of the USSR.

Gosatomenergonadzor of the USSR conducted its activities to supervise over the safe conduct of work at nuclear facilities, including nuclear power plants of any purpose (nuclear power plants, nuclear heat and power plants, nuclear heat supply plants and others), experimental, research and material science nuclear reactors, and, as far as nuclear safety is concerned, including nuclear installations of ships and other vessels of civil purposes. It was also responsible for the organization and implementation of systematic and effective state supervision of safe work in the nuclear industry aimed at preventing accidents at nuclear  facilities, identifying and analyzing causes of those accidents and at implementing necessary preventive measures, improving the reliability and safety of the equipment and systems of nuclear facilities controlled by the Committee.

The main tasks of Gosatomenergonadzor of the USSR were:

  • supervision of compliance by ministries, agencies, enterprises, organizations, institutions and officials with the established rules, regulations and instructions on nuclear and engineering safety during design, construction, installation, operation and decommissioning of
    nuclear facilities; during design and manufacturing of equipment, devices and systems therefor, and during the storage and transportation of nuclear fuel and radioactive waste at these facilities, as well as during the design, engineering and manufacture of equipment, tools and systems for nuclear facilities which are constructed abroad with the technical assistance of the Soviet Union;
  • control of how ministries and agencies develop regulatory and technical documentation based on the requirements of scientific and technical progress, to ensure safety of nuclear facilities;
  • supervision of quality assurance in the process of manufacturing of controlled equipment for all nuclear facilities, as well as special technical acceptance of NPP equipment, including equipment manufactured in co-operation at enterprises of CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) countries and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for nuclear power plants constructed in the USSR and abroad with the technical assistance of the Soviet Union;
  • control over the quality of construction of nuclear facilities and installation of equipment there;
  • control over the development and implementation of measures to prevent accidents at nuclear facilities and the readiness of enterprises and organizations to eliminate their consequences;
  • control of ensuring that there is accounting of nuclear fissile materials at nuclear facilities.

Later, in 1989 the Union-Republican Gospromatomnadzor of the USSR was formed on the basis of Gosatomenergonadzor of the USSR.

On December 31, 1991, the State Committee for Nuclear and Radiation Safety Supervision under the President of the Russian Federation (Gosatomnadzor of the RSFSR, later Russia) was established.

An important stage in the regulation of nuclear and radiation safety in Russia was the enactment of Federal Law No. 170-FZ “On the Use of Atomic Energy” in 1995. It is aimed at protecting the health and life of people, protecting the environment, and property in the course of use of atomic energy, and it was developed to promote nuclear science and technology and to strengthen the international safety regime in the field of atomic energy use.

On April 22, 2002, a decree of the Government of the Russian Federation approved the Regulation on the Federal Nuclear and Radiation Safety Supervision of Russia.

On March 9, 2004, a Decree of the President of the Russian Federation renamed the Federal Nuclear and Radiation Safety Supervision Service of Russia and the latter became the Federal Nuclear Supervision Service, subordinated to the Ministry of Industry and Energy.

By Decree No. 649 of the President of the Russian Federation dated May 20, 2004,
the Federal Industrial Supervision Service and Federal Nuclear Supervision Service were transformed into the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service of Russia (Rostechnadzor). It reports directly to the Government of the Russian Federation and works independently of the executive authorities responsible for managing the use of atomic energy.

The Provision on the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service approved by RF Government Decree No. 401 of July 30, 2004, establishes the status of Rostechnadzor as an authorized body for the state regulation of safety in the field of use of atomic energy.

Today, three departments of Rostechnadzor Headquarters and six interregional territorial departments for nuclear and radiation safety supervision, as well as technical support organizations of Rostechnadzor, i.e. SEC NRS and JSC “VO “Safety”, exercise safety regulation at:

  • 48 units of 11 NPPs;
  • 63 research reactor installations, including the world’s largest research reactors, PIK and MBIR, currently under construction;
  • over 1 500 enterprises involved in designing systems, engineering and manufacturing of equipment for NPPs;
  • 12 industrial reactors;
  • 21 nuclear installations for nuclear material processing;
  • 16 nuclear installations for R&D with the use of nuclear material;
  • 39 storage facilities for nuclear material, spent nuclear fuel, and radioactive waste;
  • 13 nuclear propelled vessels and 4 nuclear and process maintenance vessels;
  • 470 operators of radwaste storage facilities;
  • 50 enterprises transporting radioactive material;

about 2 500 operators of radionuclide sources.

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