In 2014, the Council of the European Union adopted the Directive 2014/87/EURATOM amending the 2009 Nuclear Safety Directive to incorporate lessons learned following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. Recognising the importance of peer review in delivering continuous improvement to nuclear safety, the revised Nuclear Safety Directive introduced a European system of topical peer reviews which began in 2017 and take place at least every six years thereafter.
The introduction of topical peer reviews was largely inspired by the peer review process used during the nuclear stress tests undertaken after the Fukushima accident in 2011. Unlike the stress tests, national assessments, which are subject to topical peer reviews, focus each time on different specific technical safety aspects. The first review took place from 2017 to 2018 and its topic was ageing management of nuclear power plants. The topic of the second review is fire protection of nuclear installations.