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WENRA statement

2010.12.01

The Western European Nuclear Regulators’ Association, WENRA, has published a statement in which it sets new, stricter safety objectives for new nuclear power plants. By improving the design of power plants on the basis of operating experience and technical developments, the Association wants to ensure that nuclear power plants that will be built in Europe in future years will be even safer than those currently in operation. Members of WENRA emphasise that in designing new nuclear power plants, it is important to take into account operating experience feedback of current plants, the lessons learned from accidents and the development of nuclear power technology and safety assessments. WENRA strives to actively promote that more demanding safety objectives will also be taken into account in the standards published by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The statement is based on the report published by WENRA in January 2010 and the comments which various interest groups have provided in the report. Established in 1999 with the participation of the European countries and Switzerland, the WENRA’s objective is to harmonise the safety of European nuclear power plants at the very least to the basic level that has been jointly agreed on. It also aims to promote the continuous improvement of safety at both current and future nuclear power plants. Among the objectives of WENRA safety of radioactive waste, decommissioning and final disposal plays an important role. The harmonisation of requirements in this field is an ongoing process. The Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority takes part in the acitivity of WENRA. Mr. Iván Lux, Deputy Director General represents HAEA in the Association. The statement can be read in full on WENRA’s website at www.wenra.org.

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Proposal for a Council directive on the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste

2010.11.10

The European Commission has proposed a "Directive on the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste" to the European Council and Parlaement on 3 November 2010. All Member States have radioactive waste. It is generated by many beneficial activities, such as electricity production in nuclear power plants and a range of radioisotope applications in medicine, industry, agriculture, research and education. The operation of nuclear reactors also generates spent fuel. Depending on the characteristics of the waste (i.e. radionuclide content) specific management and final disposal of all existing and future radioactive waste and spent fuel are required to protect humans and the environment against dangers arising from ionizing radiation. In 2003 the Commission already proposed two directives (called as „nuclear package”) on the safety of nuclear installations and on the safety of radioactive waste and spent fuel. The Council did not adopted these at that time, however called the Commission for a EU-wide consultation. In response to this request, the Commision consulted widely through different EU-wide initiatives when drafting the revised proposal. As a result of the consultations, the Commission proposed the directive on the safety of nuclear installations at first, which was agreed on by the Council working group called Working Party on Atomic Questions (WPAQ) and finally adopted by the European Council in 2009. Secondly, the Commission proposed a Directive on the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste in November 2010. During the Belgian Presidency, the WPAQ starts the negotiation on this issue from 10 November. The aim of the Hungarian Presidency is to close this file and adopt the new directive. Proposal for a COUNCIL DIRECTIVE on the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste

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