EC moves on nuclear 'transparency'

23 July 2007

The European Commission (EC) has decided to establish a High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management that will develop a common understanding and reinforce common approaches in the safety of nuclear installations across the 27-member economic bloc.

The high level of representation expected from countries that operate or possess nuclear installations as well as countries that have chosen not to use this form of energy, should facilitate Europe-wide cooperation and increase confidence in the levels of safety in European nuclear facilities, the EC said.

The idea is to bring together the senior regulators of the member states in charge of nuclear safety who would have to agree on priority items to tackle. A high degree of nuclear safety and the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste is one of the key concerns and specific areas of action of the group include the safety and decommissioning of nuclear installations as well as the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.

Transparency is another essential aspect of the work of the group. The High Level Group will report its agreed approaches and recommendations to the European Parliament and the Council regularly. Its decisions will also be reported on a dedicated website.

“The aim of the group is to swiftly identify relevant safety issues, ensure coherent action by the member states authorities and make recommendation on whether any course of action should be taken at EU level,” said European energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The first meeting of the High Level Group is expected to take place after the summer break.

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