Nuclear regulatory authority
The independent State Office for Nuclear Safety is a central administrative authority for the area of peaceful use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation. It is responsible for nuclear safety, technical safety of nuclear installations, radiation protection, nuclear security, emergency preparedness, radioactive waste and spent fuel management, decommissioning, type-approval of specified products in the field of peaceful utilization of nuclear energy and ionising radiation, shipment of radioactive waste or spent fuel; and control of non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, etc.
The Radioactive Waste Repository Authority is responsible for management of activities related to the disposal of radioactive waste (such as siting, construction, commissioning, operation and closure of radioactive waste repositories; monitoring of the impact of radioactive waste repositories on their surrounding area; institutional control of radioactive waste repositories; treatment of spent fuel into a form suitable for subsequent use or disposal after it has been declared radioactive waste; management of the fees for radioactive waste disposal, control of the reserves held by operators for future decommissioning; radioactive waste management brought into the Czech Republic from abroad which cannot be returned; ensuring the safe management of nuclear materials or other sources of ionising radiation that have been found or seized, in accordance with the decision of the office).
There are six VVER reactor units (four in Dukovany and two in Temelín) and three research reactors (two in Řež and one in Prague) in operation. There are Spent Fuel Storage Facility, Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility and Radioactive Waste Repository in Dukovany, Spent Fuel Storage Facility in Temelín and Spent Fuel and High Level Waste Storage Facility in Řež. Two other Radioactive Waste Repositories are in operation (Richard and Bratrství) and one was closed (Hostim). The project for the construction of a Deep Geological Repository is currently in the preparatory phase. The project for the construction of a new research nuclear facility (a subcritical nuclear assembly) in Prague is currently undergoing.
Radioactive waste and spent fuel management
The following repositories on the territory of the Czech Republic are used for disposal of institutional radioactive waste generated in medicine, industry and research:
- Radioactive Waste Repository Richard in Litoměřice (institutional waste),
- Radioactive Waste Repository Bratrství in Jáchymov (disposal of RAW contaminated by natural radionuclides),
- Radioactive Waste Repository Hostim in Beroun (closed in 1997).
Selected categories of institutional radioactive waste are disposed in Radioactive Waste Repository in Dukovany. Radioactive Waste Repository in Dukovany is used to dispose low- and intermediate-level waste from both nuclear power plants on the Czech Republic’s territory.
Spent fuel generated by the operation of the research reactor LVR–15 in Řež is stored in the Spent Fuel and High Level Waste Storage Facility in Řež. The other research reactors in Řež and Prague do not produce any spent fuel, due to their small thermal output and limited time of operation. Spent fuel generated by the NPP Dukovany from four VVER 440/213 reactor units is stored in Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility and Spent Fuel Storage Facility Dukovany. Spent fuel generated by the NPP Temelín from two VVER 1000/320 reactors is stored in Spent Fuel Storage Facility in Temelín.
Main legal instruments
The main legislative act in the field of nuclear safety and management of radioactive waste and spent fuel is the Act No. 263/2016 Coll., Atomic Act, which entered into force on 1st January 2017 and replaced the Act No. 18/1997 Coll. The Atomic Act incorporates the relevant legislation of the Euratom and the European Union, follows on from directly applicable legislation of the Euratom and the European Union, and apart from the nuclear safety and management of radioactive waste and spent fuel issues governs:
- the conditions for performing activities in exposure situations;
- the type-approval of certain products in the area of peaceful utilization of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation and the conditions for carriage of radioactive or fissile materials, radioactive waste or spent fuel;
- radiation situation monitoring;
- radiation extraordinary event management;
- the conditions for security of nuclear installations, nuclear materials and sources of ionizing radiation;
- the requirements for ensuring the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons;
- the exercise of state administration in the area of the peaceful utilization of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation.
In addition to the Atomic Act, the following secondary legal acts regulate peaceful utilization of nuclear energy and spent fuel and radioactive waste management:
- Decree No. 358/2016 Coll., on requirements for assurance of quality and technical safety and assessment and verification of conformity of selected equipment,
- Decree No. 377/2016 Coll., on the requirements for the safe management of radioactive waste and on the decommissioning of nuclear installations or category III or IV workplaces,
- Decree No. 378/2016 Coll., on siting of a nuclear installation,
- Decree No. 408/2016 Coll., on management system requirements,
- Decree No. 409/2016 Coll., on activities especially important from nuclear safety and radiation protection viewpoint, special professional qualification and training of persons ensuring radiation protection of the registrant,
- Decree No. 21/2017 Coll., on ensuring nuclear safety of nuclear installations,
- Decree No. 162/2017 Coll., on requirements for safety assessment,
- Decree No. 329/2017 Coll., on requirements for the design of a nuclear installation,
- Government Regulation No. 35/2017 Coll., which sets the rate of a one-time fee for the disposal of radioactive waste and the amount of contributions from the nuclear account to municipalities and the rules for their provision,
- Decree No. 266/2019 Coll., on policy for radioactive waste and spent fuel management,
- Decree No. 250/2020 Coll., on the method of establishing a reserve for the decommissioning of a nuclear installation and category III and category IV workplace.
Last updated in March 2021