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Joint Press Conference of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency about the IRRS Mission


The Joint Press Conference of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority and the International Atomic Energy Authority about the outcome of the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) Mission on the Hungarian nuclear regulatory infrastructure for safety and security attracted significant media interest.

The leader of the IRRS Mission, Mr. Michael R. Johnson, Deputy Executive Director of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) opened the Joint Press Conference and pointed out that the main task of the Mission was to compare the Hungarian nuclear regulatory regime with the IAEA standards. The Report of the IRRS Mission summarizes the results of the review, it contains recommendations and suggestions and outlines best practices. Mr. Johnson stressed: based on the review it can be stated that Hungary is strongly committed to nuclear safety.

Mr. Grzegorz Rzentkowski, Director of the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security (IAEA) appreciated that Hungary itself had initiated the review, and the execution of some recommendations and suggestions of the Report is already in process. At the same time he drew attention to the fact that „ensuring nuclear safety is a never ending task”: the requirements are getting stricter, and there is continuous technical development in this field. The probability of an accident is always there, we have to make efforts to avoid it. In the case of an accident we have to minimise the impacts on humans and the environment. Transparency and information to the public are also general requirements.

In his presentation, Mr. Gyula Fichtinger, Director General of HAEA stressed that missions do not evaluate the nuclear regulatory infrastructure, they support the authorities by recommendations about which areas need improvement. The Report does not aim to compare the Hungarian system to that of other countries. Referring to the preparatory phase of the IRRS Mission, which started in 2013, Mr. Fichtinger emphasized that it had taken several man-years. He also mentioned that the review was comprehensive, but compliance with IAEA recommendations of 2014 was not part of it. Based on the review mission Report Hungary will finalize its Action Plan that will be implemented in the following years.

As most questions referred to it, the IAEA Director in connection with transparency said that the Hungarian regulatory infrastructure and legislation are capable of ensuring nuclear safety and the requirement of transparency prevails at the authorities reviewed. To download IAEA’s press release in Hungarian and in English, please click here.