The Ibero-American Forum of Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Authorities (FORO) is an association of regulatory authorities founded in 1997 with the aim of achieving and maintaining high levels of radiological and nuclear safety in the region. At present (December 2020), the authorities of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Spain and Uruguay are members of FORO.
Since the launch of its Technical Programme, 14 projects have been successfully carried out with the participation of more than 100 experts from the region at a cost of more than one million euros. All the products of FORO are public and downloaded in its web, La RED (www.foroiberam.org). In addition, most of the results are being published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the form of joint technical documents (TecDoc), and have been presented at the most important international conferences in the regulatory sector.
The FORO Technical Programme has been recognised by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the International Radiological Protection Association (IRPA), the Pan American (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO), and other international and regional organisations and associations.
ORGANISATION OF FORO AND TECHNICAL PROGRAMME
FORO is governed by a Statute, updated in 2015, which establishes the structure of its management bodies and their competencies. The governing body is the Plenary, made up of the heads of the member bodies.
In addition to the Plenary, the Statute establishes a Technical Executive Committee (CTE) whose main objective is to monitor the technical programme, and a Secretariat with institutional functions, which manages the administration of the association and supports the Plenary and the CTE in their tasks.
Considering the areas of interest established in the Statute and prioritised in the Strategic Plan 2017-2022, FORO develops its Technical Programme of regulatory interest based on the principles of innovation, equity, effectiveness, efficiency, rigour, consistency and sustainability.
COLLABORATION WITH THE IAEA AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS
The International Atomic Energy Agency is the reference organisation for FORO and is considered a strategic partner in the mutual interest of achieving high levels of radiation protection and nuclear safety. But in addition, FORO collaborates with the WHO, SEGIB, IRPA, ICRP and other regional associations or networks such as GNSSN, ETSON, WENRA and HERCA.
Through this cooperation FORO verifies that its projects are innovative, collects information to make its technical programme more efficient, and disseminates its results to other countries in the region and in other regions of the world.
LA RED, FORO NETWORK
FORO manages a collaborative platform, La RED, where all the results of its technical programme and the most relevant information of the association are uploaded, such as news, milestones, basic documentation of the association and links of interest, being its access free. But, in addition, a documentary collection has been created with the most relevant regulatory regulations of all the member bodies, and a search engine to identify texts that deal with some topic of interest to help the region’s regulators when drafting their own regulations or using existing knowledge for regulation.
TECHNICAL PROGRAMME RESULTS
Fourteen projects have been completed to date, covering practically all the areas of interest defined by FORO, especially in the fields of nuclear safety, radiation protection in medical and industrial facilities, control of radioactive sources, emergency management and knowledge management and capabilities of the regulators.
For its technical programme, FORO seeks to promote the review and updating of the regulatory function under a risk-based approach.
THE FUTURE OF FORO
FORO aims to continue to be a promoter in Ibero-America of achieving and maintaining the highest levels of safety in the member countries and, by extension, throughout the region, creating a fruitful environment for strengthening regulatory institutions through the exchange of information and experiences, as well as by working on issues of mutual interest in the areas of nuclear, radiological and physical security.
The follow-up of the implementation of the results of its projects in the member bodies or in regulated organisations, the promotion of the harmonisation of inspection procedures and methodologies and of practices and of the safety culture are the most relevant challenges defined in the Strategic Plan for the achievement of the objectives of FORO.