Nuclear regulatory authority
The Greek Atomic Energy Commission (EEAE) is the competent regulatory authority for the control, regulation and supervision in the fields of nuclear energy, nuclear technology, radiological and nuclear safety and radiation protection. The EEAE mission is the protection of the public, workers and the environment from ionising and artificially produced non-ionising radiation. Moreover, its participation in the ‘General Civil Protection Plan’ entails responsibilities for the prevention, preparedness and response to radiological emergencies. EEAE also participates in the ‘National Emergency Plan for Nuclear, Radiological, Biological and Chemical Threats’ (CBRN).
There is one research reactor (GRR-1) in extended shutdown and two subcritical assemblies, one dismantled and one in operation.
Radioactive waste and spent fuel management
A national policy and a national programme for the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste is in place since 2015.
Greece has no nuclear power plants. Spent fuel management is relevant only with the operation of the research reactor (GRR-1) at the National Centre for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos’ (NCSR ‘D’). GRR-1 is licensed for extended shutdown and the irradiated fuel was repatriated to the supplier country (USA) in February 2019.
Radioactive waste in Greece originates from medicine, research and industry, including waste from the past operation of GRR-1 (regeneration bed resins, irradiated objects, etc.). The gross majority of the radioactive waste in Greece is Very Short-Lived Waste (VSLW), Very Low Level Waste (VLLW) and Low Level Waste (LLW). Very little amount of Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) may potentially be produced from the decommissioning of the GRR-1. HLW does not exist.
Greece does not have a disposal facility. The technical option envisaged for the future disposal facility is that of an engineered near surface disposal facility. There is an interim storage facility of radioactive waste, which operates under the Institute of Nuclear and Radiological Sciences & Technology, Energy & Safety (INRSTES) of the National Centre for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos’ (NCSR’D’). Radioactive waste, disused radioactive sources and other radioactive materials (e.g. lightning rods) from activities countrywide are temporarily stored on site or in the interim storage facility. Finally, materials including Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) result from some industrial activities, while tens of tonnes of soil contaminated with NORM originated from phosphoric fertilizer industry are managed by landfill deposition.
Recycling of radioactive sources and radioactive materials is the preferred option for final management. As from 1990, prior to import of any radioactive source, a legal written declaration from the source manufacturer for accepting back the source after its useful life, is necessary, as well as a legal written declaration from the source user for undertaking all financial and administrative provisions to export the source back to the manufacturer. For liquid VSLW, the decay and clearance is the implemented management option, according to the clearance levels. Facilities operating delay tanks are hospitals / clinics for nuclear medicine therapies and NCSR ‘D’ for the liquids originated in GRR-1 in the past.
Main legal instruments
- Presidential Decree 60/2012 (Government Gazette No.111/A/03.05.2012) ‘Establishing a National framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations’
- Ministerial Decision P/112/305 (Government Gazette No. 2877/B/26.10.2012) ‘Basic requirements - principles of nuclear safety and regulatory supervision of nuclear research reactors’
- Ministerial Decision 91175/31.05.2017 (Government Gazette No. 1991/B/09.06.2017) ‘Amendment of the Decision no. P/112/305/2012 (Β΄ 2877/26.10.2012) 'Main requirements – principles of nuclear safety and regulatory control of research reactors' ‘
- Ministerial Decision 84631/2020 (Government Gazette No. 3389/Β/13.08.2020) ‘Amendment of the Decision no. P/112/305/2012 (Β΄ 2877) 'Main requirements – principles of nuclear safety and regulatory control of research reactors' as amended by Decision no. 91175/2017 (B΄ 1991) transposing Council Directive 2014/87/Euratom of 8 July 2014 amending Directive 2009/71/Euratom establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations (L 219 / 25.7. 2014)’
Spent fuel and radioactive waste management
- Presidential Decree 91/2017 (Government Gazette No. 130/A/01.09.2017) ‘Legislative, regulatory and organizational framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste and amendment of the Presidential Decree 122/2013’
- Ministerial Decision P/112/214196/30.12.2015 (Government Gazette No. 2941/B/31.12.2015) ‘National programme for the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste’
- Ministerial Decision 131207/13/20.8.2015 (Government Gazette No. 858/B/27.08.2015), ‘National policy on the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste’
- Presidential Decree 122/2013 (Government Gazette No. 177/A/12.08.2013) ‘Transposition of Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste’
- Presidential Decree 101/2018 (Government Gazette No. 194/Α/20.11.2018) ‘Adaptation of Greek legislation to Council Directive 2013/59 / Euratom of December 5, 2013 laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionizing radiation, and repealing Directives 89/618/Euratom 90/641/Euratom, 96/29/Euratom, 97/43/Euratom and 2003/122 / (EE L13 / 17.1.2014) - Establishment of radiation protection regulations’
- Ministerial Decision 45872/26.03.2019 (Government Gazette No. 1103/Β/03.04.2019) ‘Procedures for the regulatory control of practices of ionizing radiation – approval and recognition of services and experts’
Detailed information about nuclear safety, radioactive waste and spent fuel management, as well as all relevant national legislation is available at the EEAE website: www.eeae.gr
Last updated in August 2020