The European Commission has adopted an amended proposal for the directive on the safety of nuclear installations
On Wednesday 26th November 2008, the European Commission adopted an amended proposal for the directive establishing a regulatory framework for nuclear safety.
This new directive defines obligations and principles relating to the safety of nuclear installations within the European Union, whilst also strengthening the role of National Safety Authorities.
The general objective of the proposition is to improve nuclear safety within the European Union.
It also aims to strengthen the role of national bodies controlling nuclear safety, their independence, and the resources which allow them to complete their task effectively.
It will establish the principles of nuclear safety within community law, thereby giving the European Union its own arrangements in this matter. At the moment, Member States of the European Union are, in effect, only Parties to the IAEA's Convention on Nuclear Safety.
The text of the new directive rests on the fundamental safety principles of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS).
Different stages and proceedings preceded the drawing-up of this new directive. The idea of establishing a community framework for nuclear safety and management of waste and spent fuel appeared in the Commission's Green Paper entitled “Towards a European Strategy for the Security of Energy Supply,” published in 2000. Some initial proposals were rejected by the Council of Ministers in 2004.
The new proposal for the directive has already begun to be examined by the Council of the European Union (“Council of Ministers”) and will rapidly be passed on to the European Parliament.
The ASN supports this initiative, which notably provides a framework for the harmonisation approach which has been led up till now by the WENRA association, bringing together Nuclear Safety Authorities from 17 European countries which have nuclear reactors.