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EU Policy Briefing │ September 2011NUCLEAR ENERGY POLICY AT EU LEVEL – A STRATEGIC LOOK-AHEADThe main strategic lines of t...
EU Policy Briefing │ September 2011          Nuclear Energy Policy at EU Level – a Strategic Look-Ahead │ page 2  radioact...
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Nuclear Energy Policy at EU-A Strategic Look-Ahead

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Nuclear Energy Policy at EU-A Strategic Look-Ahead

  1. 1. EU Policy Briefing │ September 2011NUCLEAR ENERGY POLICY AT EU LEVEL – A STRATEGIC LOOK-AHEADThe main strategic lines of the EU’s nuclear energy policy for the next few years The EU has always seen nuclear energy as a necessary evil. Post-Fukushima, the Commission continues to support including nuclear in the energy mix but has become more cautious about safety and is emphasising that the decision to include nuclear in the mix lies with Member States. The main EU response to Fukushima was to launch an EU-wide assessment of all plants. Safety requirements will become more stringent and costs will rise. A silver lining for producers is that financial resources may also increase, particularly in the areas of research and training.EU-Wide Stress Tests to Determine Whether Safety Directive Will be RevisedAfter Fukushima the Commission brought forward the review of the implementation of the nuclearsafety Directive by Member States which had been due in 2014. Now, from June 2011, all 143 nuclearplants in the EU are being re-assessed for safety through so-called stress-tests.Plants will be assessed for their readiness with respect to: natural disasters including earthquakes,flooding, extreme cold/heat, storms and tornados; man-made failures and actions such as aircraftcrashes and explosions close to nuclear power plants; and terrorist attacks.The results of the stress tests are expected to be made public at the end of 2011 and will be decisive indetermining whether the Directive governing nuclear plant safety should be revised now instead of in2014 as had been foreseen before Fukushima.Review and Consolidation of Existing Legislation on Ionising RadiationThe EU is preparing to consolidate all legislation governing Basic Safety Standards for workers and thegeneral public against ionizing radiation to bring EU rules into line with those of new InternationalCommission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommendations.This revision of the Basic Safety Standards would also require Member States to ensure the appropriateeducation, training and information for training in the medical field, of workers in general, emergencyworkers and workers potentially exposed to orphan sources of radiation. It would also includerequirements for Radiation Protection Experts (RPE) and Officers (RPO) by replacing the currentconcept of Qualified Expert (QE).Transport and Disposal of Radioactive WasteThe Commission recently proposed a unified registration system in the EU, to replace the existingseparate national ones. All carriers transporting radioactive materials within the EU, from the EU tothird countries and vice versa are covered by the new proposal which however does not apply tocarriers transporting radioactive materials by air and sea. Meanwhile Member States have until mid-2013 to transpose (into national law) the recently adopted Directive on the disposal of spent fuel andEU Issue Tracker • regulatory horizon-scanning and monitoring • www.euissuetracker.com
  2. 2. EU Policy Briefing │ September 2011 Nuclear Energy Policy at EU Level – a Strategic Look-Ahead │ page 2 radioactive waste from nuclear power plants as well as from medicine or research. A novelty of the new rules is to allow for the export of radioactive waste to third countries, under very strict conditions. The Financial Perspective The EU makes financial contributions particularly toward decommissioning of nuclear installations and for the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. The Commission is currently working on updating the Nuclear Illustrative Programme to stimulate investment in more efficient and low-carbon energy infrastructure. Funding is expected to be prioritised toward investments in the safety of existing power plants rather than building new power plants, but the Commission is not opposed to new plants. The Commission is concerned about a potential lack of properly qualified staff for operating nuclear plants. As a result of this concern, some funding may be channelled into research and training. A study into perspectives for the availability of properly trained staff in sufficient numbers was done this year but was inconclusive; a further one is planned for 2013. Expected Timeline - Key Policy Initiatives and Instruments: in 2013 Report on Training 2nd Situation Report on Expected in education and training. Late 2011 Expected in November 2011 Roadmap Towards a 2050 Energy Policy Possible Required Long-term objectives in 2012 in 2013 Updated NuclearIllustrative Programme for the energy sector in sustainability, security of Revision of Nuclear Transposition: SpentProduction targets and Safety Directive. Fuel & Radioactive Waste. required investments. supply, and competitiveness. Depends on outcome Member States must of Nuclear Installation transpose the Directive Safety Review. into national law. 2012 2013 2014 Expected in Expected in Expected in late 2012 December 2011 December 2011 Late 2014 Registration for carriers or in 2015 Outcome of the EU Action Plan on CBRN of radioactive materials. Nuclear Installation Security Single centralised EU Basic Safety Safety Review. A review of the EU system for registration Standards. Detailed assessment of strategy for chemical, and authorisation. Transposition intosecurity standards of EU biological, radiological national law by nuclear plants. and nuclear risks. Member States. EU Issue Tracker • regulatory horizon-scanning and monitoring • www.euissuetracker.com