Meeting between the French Nuclear Safety Authority and the Belgian Nuclear Control Agency
The French-Belgian Nuclear Safety Steering Committee held its annual meeting on 27 January 2011 in Brussels.
The meeting was chaired jointly by Willy De Roovere, Director General of AFCN, the Belgian Nuclear Control Agency, and André-Claude Lacoste, Chairman of ASN, the French Nuclear Safety Authority.
This annual meeting, held alternately in Belgium and France, provides an opportunity for the representatives of the two organisations to exchange information on nuclear facility safety and radiation protection and to take stock of their many collaborative activities aimed at promoting safety.
Working groups meet regularly to address specific issues in this field. Cross-inspections are also organised in both countries, encompassing all activities related to nuclear safety and radiation protection, including nuclear power plants, radiotherapy centres and veterinary clinics.
Both organisations expressed satisfaction at the welcome extended to three AFCN inspectors by ASN's Douai and Châlons-en-Champagne regional divisions, located respectively in the north and northeast of France. During their three-week visit, the AFCN inspectors were able to discover the methods and practices of their French counterparts. ASN and AFCN wish to go on with these personnel exchange initiatives which help to standardise methods across borders and consolidate good practice.
ASN visited the nuclear medicine department of Saint-Luc Hospital in Brussels, at AFCN's initiative.
During the visit, the two organisations restated their commitment to regulating “small-scale” nuclear activities, such as the use of ionising radiation for medical purposes. They agreed that more effort was needed to justify and optimise medical applications of ionising radiation, to ensure that patients could take advantage of the undeniable benefits offered by these techniques, while avoiding unnecessary radiation exposure.
The two organisation intend to pursue this active cooperation in the future.