EU international assistance work on nuclear safety
For many years, the EU has provided financial and human resources to help improve nuclear safety in countries outside the EU. This has focused mainly on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and on the Former Soviet Union. The TACIS instrument that facilitated assistance to the former Soviet Union, and the PHARE nuclear safety programme which included many countries that are now EU Member States, came to an end in 2006, although some residual work is still under way. TACIS has since been replaced by the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Co-operation. This instrument finances measures to promote high levels of nuclear safety in third countries. It is not restricted to the former Soviet Union.
Other groups that contribute to EU nuclear safety initiatives include:
Eurosafe is a global and European initiative aimed at the convergence of nuclear safety practices in Europe. It pools the ideas of various European safety organisations and communicates these to a wide audience.
The European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) is a platform for a broad discussion on transparency issues as well as the opportunities and risks of nuclear energy. ENEF gathers relevant stakeholders in the nuclear field: EU Member State governments, European institutions, including the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee, the nuclear industry, electricity consumers and civil society.
The Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) is not an EU body. It was established in 1999 by those Western European states (including Switzerland) which operate nuclear power plants to develop a common approach to nuclear safety and regulation. In 2003, the new and applicant members of the EU from Central and Eastern Europe, and in 2009, non-nuclear EU countries were invited to observe WENRA plenary and working group meetings.
Two WENRA subgroups are working on harmonisation using IAEA Standards as a basis for their work. The first group has produced WENRA Reactor Safety Reference Levels and the WENRA Safety Objectives for potential new nuclear power plants. The second group has produced the WENRA Waste and Spent Fuel Storage Safety Reference Levels report.