Swedish Radiation Safety Authority contributes to raising the level of nuclear safety and radiation protection internationally

In 2016, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority ran 44 projects for the purpose of raising the level of nuclear safety and improving radiation protection regimes in Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Belarus and Moldova. These projects, part of an assignment from the Swedish Government, have resulted in a reduced level of risk posed to Sweden from a potential release of radioactive material.

A radiological accident involving a release of radioactive material in a nearby country could have a detrimental impact on people in Sweden. For this reason, improving radiation protection regimes and reducing the risk of releases, incidents and terrorist acts involving nuclear and radioactive materials are in the best interests of Sweden and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority. The Authority's Office for International Relations recently reported on its contributions in 2016 to improved nuclear safety and radiation protection regimes in Eastern and Central Europe. A total of 44 projects were in progress during the year. Work in these projects is based on a Government decision, with funding provided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Energy, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the European Union.

Encompassing a multitude of issues and areas in the fields of nuclear safety and radiation protection, the projects focus on aspects such as initiatives for management of radiation sources and radioactive waste in Ukraine, combatting illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials in the Black Sea region, safety improvement work at nuclear power plants in the Russian Federation, and measures to raise the level of reactor safety and security at Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

"The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority supports local projects that focus on development of fora for safety issues and physical protection. This has resulted in broader competence in the areas contributing to a raised level of safety and security when operating nuclear power plants," says Lars van Dassen, director of the Office for International Relations at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

Initiatives were also completed in the Russian Federation and Moldova in the areas of radiation protection and emergency preparedness. One of the major achievements of this work is the useful contact routes that are now established.

"The main risk posed to Sweden is either an accident or a large-scale event in the nuclear power sector in the vicinity of Sweden," Mr van Dassen explains. "This creates a need for well established and extensive contact routes between the Nordic countries and the Russian Federation’s emergency preparedness system. In 2016, the Authority participated in a Russian emergency preparedness exercise. Within three years, a joint emergency preparedness exercise is planned to be held between the Nordic countries and the Russian Federation."

For more information, please contact: Lars van Dassen, Director, Office for International Relations, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, Tel. +46 8 799 41 94, or the Authority's press officer on +46 8 799 40 20.