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Regulations on Long Term Operation of Nuclear Installations in Place

March 31, 2021

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

Regulations on the Long Term Operation of Nuclear Installations are in place.

The mineral resources and energy department published the Regulations in Government Gazette 44394 in terms of the National Nuclear Regulator Act.

The Regulations were published for comment in Gazette 43456 in June 2020.

They are designed to set up the requirements for the Long Term Operation of nuclear installations beyond an established timeframe defined in the respective nuclear installation licence or current licensing basis.

The Regulations apply to nuclear installation licence holders who want to apply for the Long Term Operation of nuclear installations.

“Long Term Operation” is defined as the “operation of the nuclear installation beyond an established time-frame set forth by, for example, the licence term, design, standards, licence or regulations, which have been justified by safety assessment, with consideration given to life limiting processes or features of structures, systems, and components”.

The Regulations focus on the lodging of applications, requirements of safety case for Long Term Operation, factors to be considered for Long Term Operation, requirements for programme for Long Term Operation, licensing stages and offences and penalties.

Applications need to be supported by a safety case to demonstrate continued safe operation of the nuclear installation for the period of Long Term Operation and must be submitted within the specified timelines.

Included in the safety case for Long Term Operation is that licensees must demonstrate “availability of financial and human resources as well as knowledge management” for the period of Long Term Operation.

Licensees must ensure that an “effective ageing management programme is developed, implemented and maintained to ensure that required safety functions of structures, systems and components are fulfilled over the entire operating lifetime of the nuclear installation”.

Licensees are also expected to conduct systematic periodic safety reviews of the nuclear installation throughout its operational lifetime, “taking into account the actual status of the facility, including the consequences of the cumulative effects of ageing and modifications to the facility, the operating experience and significant new safety information from relevant sources”.

The Regulations came into effect on the date of publication.