Nuclear regulatory authority
Since May 2015 the Minister of Infrastructure and Environment is responsible for the Nuclear Energy Act, in consultation with other ministries for activities which fall within their particular sphere of competence. Within the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS) is charged (by mandate) with policy development, drafting of legislation, licensing, supervision (assessment, inspection, enforcement), emergency preparedness, national and international cooperation (including regulatory research) and public communication. The ANVS has to protect the people and the environment covering the areas of nuclear safety, radiation safety (installations and activities), security and safeguards and includes also waste and transport safety.
The Government of the Netherlands has decided that the ANVS will become an Independent Administrative Organization by law in the future, subject to final decision in parliament. More information about the ANVS can be found at www.anvs.nl.
There is one nuclear power plant in operation (NPP Borssele, 1973, PWR, 1365 MWth), one plant under decommissioning (at the safe enclosure stage), two research reactors HFR Petten (45 MW) and University of Delft (2 MW), an enrichment company (Urenco) and a centralized storage facility for waste (COVRA).
Radioactive waste and spent fuel management
As a consequence of this relatively small nuclear program, both the total quantities of spent fuel and radioactive waste, which have to be managed, as well as the proportion of high-level and long-lived waste are modest. Most of the radioactive waste management activities are therefore centralized in one waste management organization, the facilities of the Central Organization for Radioactive Waste (COVRA), which are located at one site in Borsele, in the South-Western part of the Netherlands. In this way as much benefit as possible is taken from the economy of scale. COVRA has facilities for the interim storage of conditioned low-, intermediate- and high-level waste. The latter category includes spent fuel of research reactors, waste from molybdenum production and waste from reprocessing of spent fuel of NPPs. COVRA also manages radioactive waste from non-nuclear origin. The COVRA buildings have been designed in such a way that, if necessary, the interim storage period may last for at least 100 years.
Main legal instruments
The Nuclear Energy Act (Kernenergiewet, Kew) is the main legal instrument. It regulates the use of nuclear energy and radioactive techniques and lays down rules for the protection of the public and workers against the associated risks. Based on this act, the most important decrees in relation to the safety aspects of nuclear installations are: the Nuclear Installations, Fissionable Materials and Ores Decree (Bkse); the Radiation Protection Decree (Bs); and the Transport of Fissionable Materials, Ores and Radioactive Substances Decree (Bvser).
Other important laws to which nuclear installations are subject are The Environmental Protection Act (Wet,Milieubeheer, Wm); and the General Administrative Act (Algemene wet bestuursrecht, Awb).
More information can be found in the National Report to the Convention on Nuclear Safety.
Last updated on 15 July 2015