Directive 2009/71/EURATOM establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations and its amendment, Directive 2014/87/Euratom
Worldwide, the nuclear safety of nuclear installations is governed by national legislation and the international conventions. Within the EU, this is being supplemented by an EU Directive. The Directive 2009/71/EURATOM establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations, adopted by the Council of the European Union on 25 June 2009, provides binding legal force to the main international nuclear safety principles. The content of the Directive takes into account expert input from ENSREG as well as the Euratom Scientific Expert Group that advises the European Commission.
The objective of the Directive is to maintain and promote the continuous improvement of nuclear safety. Member States shall provide for appropriate national arrangements for a high level of nuclear safety to protect workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation from nuclear installations.
The Directive comprises provisions relating to the establishment of a national legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear safety of nuclear installations, to the organisation, duties and responsibilities of the competent regulatory authorities, to the obligations of the licence holders, to the education and training of all parties’ staff, and to the provision of information to the public. In terms of the organisation of the competent regulatory authorities, it constitutes the separation principle which indicates that the competent regulatory authorities must be functionally separate from any other body or organisation concerned with the promotion or utilisation of nuclear energy. In addition, Member States shall arrange at least every ten years for periodic self-assessments of their national framework and competent regulatory authorities and invite an international peer review of relevant segments of their national framework and/or authorities. Outcomes of any peer review shall be reported to the Member States and the Commission.
This Directive entered into force on 22 July 2009 and all EU Member States should have brought into force their laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with it by 22 July 2011. Member States' first reports on the implementation of the Directive shall be submitted to the Commission by 22 July 2014.
ENSREG has elaborated guidelines regarding Member States reports as required under Article 9.1. of Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom of 25 June 2009 establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations.
Following the Fukushima Daiichi accident in 2011, the European Council called on the Commission to review the existing legal and regulatory framework for the safety of nuclear installations and propose any improvements that may be necessary.
In 2013, following a request by the European Commission, ENSREG set up an ad hoc working group to examine the European Commission proposal of a revised Nuclear Safety Directive and to establish an ENSREG summary position.
Based on the work of this ad hoc working group, ENSREG adopted in 2013 alltogether four documents:
In July 2014, an amendment to the 2009 Nuclear Safety Directive was adopted. The amending Directive 2014/87/Euratom takes account of a review of the EU framework on nuclear safety in the light of the Fukushima accident in 2011 and the findings of the EU stess tests exercise. A consolidated version of the Amended Nuclear Safety Directive has been published.
The amended Directive, which came into force in August 2014 and which has to be transposed into Member States' legislation by 2017, reinforces the provisions of the existing Directive, such as:
- strengthening the role and independence of the national regulatory authority
- introducing a high-level EU-wide nuclear safety objective, emphasising accident prevention and the avoidance of significant radioactive releases
- setting up a European system of regular topical peer reviews
- increasing transparency on nuclear safety matters (information and cooperation obligations and involvement of the public)
- providing for regular safety reassessments of nuclear installations
- enhancing accident management and on-site emergency preparedness and response arrangements and procedures
- promoting nuclear safety culture in the workplace
More details of the amended Directive and the new provisions can be found here.