The European Commission has adopted a new Communication on nuclear safety in the candidate countries and the Newly Independent States (NIS). Objectives are to improve operational safety and to enhance regulatory systems; shut down and decommission reactors that cannot be upgraded to internationally accepted levels of safety and upgrade nuclear plants of more recent design.

Agreements have been made by Lithuania, Bulgaria and Slovakia to close non-upgradable reactors. Commission policy is to concentrate on implementing the closure agreements for Ignalina (2 units out of 2), Bohunice (2 units out of 4), and Kozloduy (2 units out of 6), and on enhancing the level of nuclear safety at other units at these sites and other nuclear power plants.

In the NIS, the Commission is seeking closer cooperation with the Russian authorities and, since Russia will continue to supply an important part of its energy needs from nuclear power, the Commission is prepared to consider Euratom loans, where possible and appropriate, for significant safety upgrading investments as well as for the completion of reactors to Western safety levels in the context of an overall agreed nuclear safety and energy policy. This could include Euratom loan financing for the Kalinin 3 reactor, which could be linked to the phasing out of at least one first generation VVER 440 230 reactor.

The Commission will continue to support work at Chernobyl on the sarcophagus and for the decommissioning of units 1-3.