Office for Nuclear Regulation

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European regulators gather to discuss nuclear safety

13 June, 2013

The ENSREG Conference on Nuclear Safety 2013 in Brussels brought together almost 350 people including national regulators, NGO’s, licensees, utilities and academics who took part in discussion sessions during the event.

This 2-day event (11-12 June) gave the opportunity to give an overview of main initiatives / actions carried out by ENSREG and to discuss forthcoming challenges. The Conference was opened by Andrej Stritar, President of the Conference and Director Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration.  

The opening address by Gunther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy called for more cooperation between countries and noted that regulators needed to gain public confidence that agreements are implemented fairly. 

Gerald Hennenhofer the newly appointed ENSREG chair led the first session which explored what Europe has learnt about nuclear safety since the Fukushima accident. The first day continued with presentations from safety regulators from Japan, Russia and United-States on their approach to safety assessments and improvements.

 Other presentations were made by stakeholders who acknowledged the progress made by ENSREG since Fukushima but noted that more could still be achieved e.g. access to reliable expertise. 

The key themes and messages emerging from the presentations and discussions covered: 

  • Independency – regulators need to demonstrate to the public how they implement safety reference levels (set by WENRA) 
  • Transparency – improved access to information for the public and how regulators can achieve better transparency e.g. explanation of information and safety assessments 
  • Peer review – it was noted that this gives added value to improving nuclear safety by sharing findings through IAEA and WANO 
  • Cooperation – need improved cooperation between safety authorities and improved levels of harmonisation e.g. new project on emergency preparedness and response 

The event was closed by Andrej Stritar who noted that ENSREG had achieved a lot of good work and was still making good progress through improved coordination of international work. There were still challenges for the future and ENSREG looked forward to reporting progress at the next event e.g.

  • New Safety Directive
  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Liability insurance 

All presentations from the event will be available at http://www.ensreg.eu/ensreg-conferences/presentations 

For more information on ENSREG role visit http://www.ensreg.eu/members-glance/role-ensreg