Download the French Nuclear Safety Authority Opinion concerning the proposed revision of the European directive on nuclear safety
PLENARY SESSION Press release – Energy − 19-11-2013
EU financial aid to help Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia to complete the decommissioning of the Kozloduy, Ignalina and Bohunice nuclear power plants in the next EU budget period (2014-2020) was approved by MEPs on Tuesday. These power plants are “too dated and could not be cost-effectively upgraded to meet the minimum required safety standards” says rapporteur Giles Chichester (ECR, UK).
The new regulation will extend EU financial support given to Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia in order to complete the decommissioning of their nuclear power plants (Kozloduy units 1 to 4, Ignalina units 1 and 2 and Bohunice V1 units 1 and 2). The term “decommissioning” covers all the activities taking place after reactors are shut down: removal and the final disposal of spent fuel elements, decontamination, dismantling and/or demolition of the nuclear installations, disposal of remaining radioactive waste materials, and environmental restoration of contaminated sites.
Budget and conditions
To qualify for the €860 million* total aid available (€260 million for Kozloduy, €400 million for Ignalina, and €200 million for Bohunice), the three countries will need to meet certain conditions, including fully transposing the Nuclear Safety Directive into their national laws and submitting detailed decommissioning plans to the European Commission. MEPs suggest that these plans should include information on the anticipated projects, specific milestones and “co-financing proportions including details on how this national funding will be secured in the long term”.
“It should be ensured by the Commission that the conditions for an effective, efficient and economical use of EU funds is in place. Objectives must be aligned with the budget made available and to the establishment of meaningful performance indicators, which can subsequently be monitored and reported on as necessary for the programme implementation as a whole”, stresses Parliament’s rapporteur Giles Chichester.
MEPs propose that the Commission should review the performance of the three decommissioning programmes and assess their progress by the end of 2017. If the Commission decides to review the total budget for the decommissioning programmes, it should not jeopardise safety standards at the nuclear power plants, say MEPs.
The resolution was approved by 554 votes to 17, with 72 abstentions.
* The agreed budget is 860 million (in 2011 figures), which will be adjusted to inflation during the programme. The most recent adjustments put the figure at €969 million (€293 million for Kozloduy, €451 million for Ignalina and €225 million for Bohunice).
You can download the synthesis report about the “public attitudes to Nuclear Power and climate change in Britain two years after the Fukushima accident” produced by the UK Energy Research centre in January 2014.
Following the December 2012 MEPs call from different political parties on December 2012, “Nuclear transparency Watch” (NTW), the European network for civil society vigilance on nuclear safety and transparency has been created on November 7th and is chaired by MEP Michèle RIVASI.
The ambition of NTW is now to engage and contribute to all aspects of nuclear safety in order to provide an essential counter-expertise in this domain as well as in the protection of human health and environment.
Today, NTW gathers many Civil Society Organisations together with local elected representatives and MEPs, from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxemburg, Ukraine, Sweden and Slovenia.
Documents of the first meeting og the EP&R group gathering the 7th November 2013 :
Off-Site Nuclear Emergency Preparedness &Response – Greenpeace
The “Call for a Nuclear Transparency Watch” :
4th December 2012, Brussels
This text is proposed for signature to the elected officials after the NTW meeting on the 4th December 2012,
European Parliament, Brussels.
The Fukushima accident has raised all over the world, the societal awareness of the risks and catastrophic potential entailed by civil nuclear activities and of the imperative necessity to reach and maintain a high level of nuclear safety. There is now a wide range of public and governmental attitudes towards the role of nuclear power. However, vigilance on nuclear safety will remain a topical issue whatever is the position of each Member State vis-à-vis nuclear energy, even in the countries which have decided to phase out for they will have to undertake decommissioning activities over many decades and radioactive waste management on the long term.
In other Member States, a possible decrease of the share of nuclear electricity production could have a significant impact on nuclear safety and environmental protection in a context of declining industries associated with decreased human resources and increasing cost constraints. The decrease of nuclear activities does not necessarily entail, at least in the short term, the decline of nuclear risks. There is no border for nuclear accidents. Nuclear safety has a European dimension that transcends borders and involves the introduction of enhanced European cooperation. Vigilance on nuclear safety will therefore remain a key European issue in the future whatever choices will be made on the energy mix.
We, as European elected officials in charge of regulating environment, health and energy policies are aware that nuclear safety entails an actual engagement and vigilance of civil society in the follow up of the safety of nuclear activities as stated by the terms of the Aarhus Convention. Nuclear safety does not only entail a high commitment of the nuclear operators and safety authorities. As soon as favourable conditions are created, there are many examples where civil society organisations develop a counter-expertise which reports a different point of view compared to the one of industry and regulators, thus contributing to increase the quality of decisionmaking on safety. These disputes allow elected officials to hear different points of reasoning and to improve their understanding of what is at stake.
A lot is still to be done to deploy the contribution of civil society to nuclear safety in a systematic way in the context of the many European nuclear facilities. A precondition of societal vigilance is the effective public access to reliable information and expertise on nuclear safety. The vigilance of civil society is not only requested at local and national levels in the decision-making on nuclear safety. It is also needed at European level where regulators, operators, experts are increasingly developing cooperation with European institutions such as the EP and the EC, as witness the trend of regulating nuclear activities with ad-hoc European directives (on nuclear safety and radwaste management), organising the European Nuclear Energy Forum, together with other instances and initiatives such as the post-Fukushima European Stress-Tests. Whereas the industry is well organised at national and European levels, there is an observed deficit of structuration of civil society at European level that impedes its capacity to raise its voice.
As European elected officials, in order to raise the voice of civil society in the EU decision making processes on nuclear activities and on energy policies and to convey effectively the civil society views to us, to the public and to the media, we therefore call on civil society (CSOs, trade unions, academic researchers, think-tanks) to organize to create one (or more) civil society network(s) capable of :
1. raising awareness of policy makers and European society on the necessity to increase the transparency of nuclear activities,
2. developing a counter-expertise of the civil society on nuclear safety at local, national and European levels,
3. providing support to initiatives and local civil society organizations in the Member States.
As elected officials from different political families we may differ on the measures to be taken.
But we all agree on the need to maintain in the EU a high level of nuclear safety and from this perspective to increase nuclear transparency and the engagement of the civil society in the decisions regarding the nuclear industry.
As MEPs, we invite the Members of national parliaments to join our call.
The context, the NTW WG on EP&R
The question of Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response is a priority issue for NTW in the post-Fukushima context. This question has not been taken on board of the European nuclear stress tests. However, Civil Society Organisations have requested this issue to be dealt with by EU institutions during the ENSREG Public meetings (see Public Meeting, 8 May 2012, Post-Fukushima stress tests Peer Review, ENSREG, Brussels). It is now on the agenda of European and National Institutions and will be dealt with in the coming years. A review of existing Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response arrangements in the EU member states is currently being performed under the auspices of DG ENER (“Review of current off-Site nuclear emergency preparedness and response arrangements in EU member states and Neighbouring countries ENER/D1/2012-474”).
The contribution of civil society is to play a essential role in off-site management of nuclear emergency and post-emergency. An ad-hoc working group was created on Emergency Preparedness & Response (WG EP&R) with the view to carry an evaluation of existing European and national EP&R provisions and to produce conclusions by mid 2014.
The first meeting of the thematic NTW Working Group on “Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response” (EP&R WG) was held on November 7th 2013 in Brussels. The WG is gathering information and reviewing existing EP&R arrangements. It is also seeking for cooperation with experts on nuclear emergency and post-emergency management. It is foreseen that the first results of this work will be released and discussed in the framework of an Aarhus & Nuclear European Roundtable to be held in spring 2014.
The EP&R WG Objectives and Methodology
The EP&R WG will investigate
- The key stakes regarding nuclear EP&R from the point of view of civil society
- The main needs for improvements of existing EP&R provisions in Europe at the local, national and European level
- Concerning the content of EP&R arrangements (exposure standards, intervention levels, zoning, …)
- Concerning the decision-making processes for EP&R in the perspective of the Aarhus convention (in particular Article 5.1.c – see Figure 1) of the Convention)
- The strategic opportunities to push forward key changes in EP&R at the local, national and European level
The proposed process will identify country-specific or site-specific issues (identified and addressed by national investigations). It will also identify issues of European relevance for the viewpoint of civil society as well as concrete conclusions & recommendations at the European and national levels. The WG methodology will rely on interactions between
¡ National investigations led by EP&R WG members (in cooperation with other civil society organisations?) at the national and/or local levels notably through national or regional Aarhus Convention & Nuclear (ACN) roundtables (when appropriate)
¡ Investigations at the European level (seminar, meetings, hearings, …) by NTW, integrating national views
¡ Support from EP&R WG: inception seminar, methodological and strategic advice, issuing of guidelines for national investigations, participation of NTW members to ACN roundtables.
The Inception Seminar
This seminar is a non-public event of 2 days with the objectives of training EP&R WG members and to identify the most problematic aspects of the existing provisions for nuclear emergency management in Europe. It will present a review of EP&R provisions on the basis of available surveys performed at the European level, notably in the perspective of the main challenges identified in the management of the Fukushima emergency. Hearing of key actors involved in Emergency management in Europe will be performed (public authorities, DG ENER, international organisations, experts, CSOs). The seminar will frame the EP&R WG investigations at the European level, selecting key issues of European relevance. A list of key priorities will be performed in order to frame the WG investigations to be performed at national and European levels. It is also foreseen that the seminar will be an opportunity to identifying NTW countries where investigations could be initiated early 2014.
Download the EP&R inception seminar agenda.
Presentation of Nuclear Transparency Watch by Corinne Lepage, Member of the European Parliament (FR).
Report by Oda Becker
The following report presents a review of the Swedish NPPs based on national stress tests report as well as on the country stress tests report [ENSREG 2012]. The review details the main weaknesses identified by operators, national regulator and peer review team. Some of the suggested remedial measures are also listed. Important shortcomings not mentioned in the stress tests reports are also discussed. Those evaluations do not claim to be exhaustive, but it is hoped that the findings will contribute to a more complete understanding of nuclear power plant safety in Sweden.
This report sets out the common positions established by the Reactor Harmonization Working Group (RHWG) of WENRA on the selected key safety issues. The work was initiated and also a major part of the work was carried out before the TEPCO Fukushima Dai-ichi accident. Therefore, the report discusses also some considerations based on the major lessons from the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident, especially concerning the design of new nuclear power plants, and how they are covered in the new reactor safety objectives and the common positions.