The European Union member States propose a revision of the Nuclear Safety Directive

Published on 08/07/2014 • 10:20 am

Press release

ASN is very pleased with the agreement reached on Wednesday 11th June between the permanent representatives of the 28 member States of the European Union on the proposed revision of the directive establishing a community framework for the safety of nuclear installations The proposal is still to be formally adopted by the Council of the European Union Ministers at a meeting scheduled for 8th July 2014.

Despite a schedule that was constrained by the end of the legislature, the European Union member States managed to make substantial improvements to the first "nuclear safety" directive adopted in 2009. Particularly noteworthy among these are:

  • the concepts used in the directive which are convergent with those of the IAEA (incident, accident, nuclear installation design-basis accident, etc.);
  • the highlighting of the principles of "defence in depth" (different levels of protection aiming to prevent an accident or mitigate its consequences) and "safety culture". This is an important step forward that takes into consideration past nuclear accidents;
  • the clarification of responsibilities in the oversight of the safety of nuclear installations;
  • the safety objectives for nuclear installations which stem directly from the baseline safety requirements used by WENRA, the Western European Nuclear Regulators' Association;
  • a re-assessment of the safety of each nuclear installation at least once every ten years;
  • the organising, every 6 years, of reviews by the European counterparts on specific safety themes, conducted in the spirit of the stress tests;
  • the obligation for nuclear installation licensees and the nuclear safety authorities to inform the local populations and the stakeholders.

During the negotiations concerning the directive, ASN supported France's position in favour of these measures which significantly consolidate the European community framework for oversight of the safety of nuclear installations.

ASN press contact:

Estelle Cauvin, Communication Officer -  01 46 16 41 57 -

Date of last update : 01/06/2017