EU strikes deal on nuclear safety directive

The EU has agreed on new laws to tighten up safety standards and improve supervision of nuclear facilities. The new Directive builds on lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster and […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The EU has agreed on new laws to tighten up safety standards and improve supervision of nuclear facilities.

The new Directive builds on lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster and the nuclear stress tests and is based on the latest international standards. A legally binding “safety objective” is set in the regulatory framework for nuclear installations in Europe for the first time, according to the European Commission.

It will cover all existing and new nuclear installations across Europe and includes the requirement for greater transparency and the need to provide better public information on the safety record of nuclear sites. It will also introduce a system of European peer reviews to be carried out every six years.

The amendment of the 2009 Nuclear Safety Directive – which has been approved by the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council of the European Union (COREPER) – was proposed by the Commission in the wake of the nuclear accident in Fukushima.

European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said: “Nuclear safety is paramount to all European citizens. We need to put all our efforts into making sure that the highest safety standards are followed in every single nuclear power plant across the EU.

“The new Nuclear Safety Directive, once formally adopted, will help ensure continuous improvement of the safety of our nuclear installations.”