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Mark Foy's mission to Bangladesh concludes

The Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR) Chief Executive and Chief Nuclear Inspector, Mark Foy, has returned to the UK after leading a 13 day integrated regulatory review mission (IRRS) to Bangladesh.

Mark was joined in Asia by other nuclear safety experts from across the world to review Bangladesh’s regulatory framework for safety against the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety standards.

The mission also afforded an opportunity for the exchange of information and experience between the IRRS team members and their Bangladeshi counterparts.

While in Bangladesh the team visited different nuclear sites across the country including the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project site at Ishwardi, located 200km west of the capital Dhaka. When complete, it will be the country’s first operating nuclear reactor.

The team also visited the BAEC TRIGA Research Reactor, the central radioactive waste processing and storage facility at BAERA, the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Science, the Square Hospital of radiotherapy, and Bangladesh Industrial X-Ray.

The IRRS team identified several areas of good performance by the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) including the use of expert committees to seek technical advice to help to inform regulatory decision making associated with the nuclear power plant.

They also offered recommendations to further enhance and improve the regulatory framework for the effective oversight of facilities and activities.

Mark said: “As a country with ambitions for a significant nuclear power programme, it is important that the government of Bangladesh and BAERA work together to deliver the improvements required.

“On behalf of the IRRS mission team, I would also like to thank BAERA and all the other parties participating in the mission for their support and cooperation throughout. The reviews of regulatory, technical and policy issues were conducted in a constructive and open manner.”

Joining Mark in Bangladesh were technical regulatory experts from Canada, Egypt, France, India, Japan, Malta, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain and the United States.

The full report will be published on the IAEA website in due course.