​Design Safety (DS)/Generic Reactor Safety (GRS) Reviews

The objective of the Design Safety Review (DSR), performed at the request of a Member State organization, is to evaluate the completeness and comprehensiveness of a reactor's safety documentation by an international team of senior experts.

The DSR is based on IAEA Fundamental Safety Principles (SF-1), Safety Requirements for Safety Assessment for Facilities and Activities (GS-R Part 4), and Safety of Nuclear Power Plants: Design
(SSR-2/1). These Safety Requirements are high level standards addressing broadly the safety issues for nuclear installations and activities. The GS-R Part 4 requirements are generic and technology independent, therefore they are applicable at different stages of design evolution as well as to operating plants. The depth of the review and selection of requirements also depends on the design maturity and available documentation.

The design safety review is done using one of two available modules, depending on the design stage. For the pre-licensing stage, the review is done using the Generic Reactor Safety Review (GRSR) module, while during the licensed stages the review is done using the DSR module.




The aims of the DSR/GRSR are:

  • To provide advice regarding the design’s ability to meet the IAEA Fundamental Safety Principles

  • To determine whether the safety requirements are being addressed in the design safety case and identify any that have been omitted

  • For those requirements that are addressed, form a view on whether they are being addressed in a way that is consistent with the spirit of the IAEA requirements

  • For the safety requirements that are not being addressed or are partially addressed, form a view on their relative significance and highlight their importance to safety.

As a response to renewed interest in the development of nuclear energy capacity across the globe, vendors are designing new reactors, with innovative systems, to meet the growing demand for safety and more economical nuclear power generation.

A specific model of DSR, the Generic Reactor Safety Review (GRSR), provides for the review of safety cases (completely or partially developed) of new designs that are not at the licensing stage yet. This review is focused on checking the status of the documentation for completeness and comprehensiveness against the IAEA Safety Standards. 

The GRSR provides for an early harmonized appraisal of safety cases made by vendors as a basis for an individual evaluation or the licensing process, which remains a sovereign activity of the Member States. Consequently, such safety evaluations, conducted against selected sets of Safety Standards, contribute to more effective management of subsequent activities within a global framework consistent with a harmonized approach to safety worldwide.

It should be noted that the IAEA Safety Standards applied in the DSR and GRSR, at the fundamental and requirements level, are generic and apply to all nuclear installations. Therefore, it is neither intended nor possible to cover or substitute licensing activity, or to constitute any kind of design certification.



Status of Reviews:
Member State
Chashma 2 NPP: PSAR Chapters 11 & 12 (PAK/9/030)
• Khmelnitski 2
• Rivne 1, 2, 3 & 4
• South Ukraine 1, 2 & 3
• Zaporozhe 1-6
• Khmelnitski 1
Follow-up mission to Kozloduy NPP: “Programme for modernization of Units 5 & 6" (BUL/4/013)
Follow-up mission: “Assess the resolution of IAEA safety issues at the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant” (ARM/9/020P)
​Netherlands ​2013 ​Review of the Safety Requirements for Nuclear Reactors: Fundamental Safety Requirements for the Netherlands
​Lithuania ​2014 ​Review of New Regulatory Documents for Nuclear Power Plant Design and Probabilistic Safety Assessment


Note: Most GRSR Reports are proprietary information and are not available for distribution.

Reactor type/Requesting organization/Country
Completed March 2008
AP1000 (Westinghouse)/NII-HSC/UK1
ATMEA1 (Conceptual)/AREVA-MHI/France2
Completed June 2008
Completed January 2009
Completed August 2009
APR1000/KEPCO Research Institute/Korea
Completed August 2010
AES 2006/Rosenergoatom Concern OJSC/Russia3
Completed January 2013
ACPR 1000+ (Conceptual Design)/China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., LTD/China
Completed May 2013
VVER-TOI/Rosenergoatom Concern OJSC/Russia
Completed December 2014
ACP1000/China National Nuclear Corporation/China
Completed January 2015
​ACP100/China National Nuclear Corporation/China ​Started July 2015
​CAP1400/Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute/China ​Started July 2015
1 Utilized GS-R Part 4 only
2 First review to include NSR-1
3 First review to include SSR-2/1 (replaced NSR-1)