What kind of information is available?
Although national regulators communicate proactively on nuclear safety matters, they also provide specific primary material. In addition, they are obliged to release information on request, in some circumstances.
Practices vary in different countries, thus the following are examples:
- Documents made available by the national regulator
- Press releases or information notices
- Publications (annual reports, information leaflets)
- Material on conferences, workshops and exhibitions
- Primary material: outcomes from incident investigations, inspection follow-up letters
- Documents released on request by the national regulator, or other bodies
Specific legislation on the freedom of information has emerged in Europe in order to ensure public access to information held by public bodies. Under this legislation, national regulators make documents available to the general public, sometimes subject to sections being withheld, for instance to ensure national security or to protect personal identities.
- Direct communication ensured by the operator
An additional source of information can be the companies that operate nuclear power installations – licensees. They take a variety of measures to inform the public, in particular people living close to the site of a nuclear installation. Such measures might include information on its operation, including safety matters, and may in some cases be delivered through organised visits or local meetings.
In 2011, ENSREG's Working Group on Transparency (WGTA), in cooperation with the NEA's Working Group on Public Communication, developed general Guidance for National Regulatory Organisations on Principles for Openness and Transparency in their communication activities. This document was updated in 2019: Guidance on Openness and Transparency for European Nuclear Safety Regulators. As part of the process for reviewing and updating the principles, a survey on their implementation by ENSREG members was conducted in late 2018 by the WGTA. The purpose of this survey was to build up an overall picture of how the 2011 principles are being applied. The report on the survey is available here.
in 2020, ENSREG adopted a document on its comunications policy.
Where to get information?
The information available can be found on national regulators' websites or by visiting their information centres. Operators' websites are also a useful source of information on particular nuclear facilities.
List of national regulators