The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff attended the inauguration of the new office of the Georgian Agency for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (ANRS) on July 17, 2018. The project to rehabilitate a 3000 sq ft office space in a historical building in downtown Tbilisi was conducted in 2017. Twenty five (25) ANRS staff moved in and established regulatory operations in January 2018. The project was funded by the US NRC with oversight and advisory support from Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and AdSTM, Inc. The visit was hosted by Vasil Gedevanishvili (Head of ANRS) and Nodar Kereselidze – (Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture). The US delegation was headed by Commissioner Stephen G. Burns, supported by Jason Zorn (Chief of Staff), Steven Baggett (Technical Assistant for Materials ), Mugeh Afshar-Tous (Branch Chief in the Office of International Programs (OIP)) and Barry Miller (International Relations Officer in OIP), Peter Kohut of BNL and Sergey Katsenelenbogen of AdSTM, Inc.
Participants discussed the achievements and cooperation between NRC and ANRS (and its predecessor organizations) under the Radiation Sources Regulatory Partnership program from 2004 to 2018. These included completion of a country-wide inventory of radioactive sources during 2004-2007, relocation of disused Category 3, 4, and 5 sources to an interim storage facility in Mtskheta, development of the 2012 Main Nuclear Law, a major effort to license activities of the material facilities, establishment of inspection protocols, and the development of a number of rules and regulations. In February 2018, an Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission commended ANRS for making great progress in developing a well-functioning regulatory regime in Georgia. The NRC intends to provide additional support to address the most significant IRRS recommendations.