The Netherlands has brought together three governmental organisations to form new single independent authority that will be responsible for regulating the nuclear sector.
The Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS) began operating on 1 January 2015. The new authority, which has 150 staff, will draft legislation, develop safety requirements, issue permits and carry out inspections. The ANVS will also be jointly responsible for emergency preparedness in the event of incidents that could result in the release of radiation.
The Dutch Government said that until the ANVS was formed, nuclear expertise and the regulatory functions of the nuclear sector had been "fragmented, and spread out over several ministries and executing organisations."
Responsibility for nuclear safety and radiation protection was previously shared between:
- The Nuclear Installations and Safety Programme Directorate of the Ministry of Economic Affairs;
- The Department for Nuclear Safety Security and Safeguards (KFD) and the Emergency Preparedness and Response unit of the Ministry of Infra structure and the Environment; and
- The Radiation Protection Team of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
In a November speech Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp said "The current system is vulnerable, due to the fragmentation of tasks, responsibilities, powers, skills and resources. Other impeding factors are low critical mass and complex and burdensome coordination."
The proposal to merge the organisations was welcomed by an IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team in November.
The Dutch government plans for ANVS to become an independent administrative authority (ZBO). However, this requires an amendment to current legislation, which is not expected to be completed until January 2016. Until then, the ANVS will be a directorate falling under the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.
Mr J. van den Heuvel will be the General Director of ANVS from 1 February 2015. He is also intended to become the chairman of the ANVS ZBO.
The Netherlands has a number of nuclear facilities, notably the Borssele nuclear plant, a facility for production of medical isotopes in Petten, a research reactor at the Delft Technical University and a uranium enrichment facility at Almelo. The medical sector also works with radiation.