EU proposes legislation on nuclear safety

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BRUSSELS, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Wednesday adopted a revised proposal for legislation setting up a European Union (EU) framework for nuclear safety.

The proposed legislation, in the form of a directive, defines basic obligations and general principles for the safety of nuclear installations in the EU while enhancing the role of national regulatory bodies.

The legislation will cover the design, location, construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning of nuclear installations in EU member states. At the same time, the right of each EU member state to use nuclear energy in its energy mix will be fully respected.

The cross-border risks associated with the operation of nuclear installations is well known. But until now there has been no binding legislation on nuclear safety at the EU level. The recent renewed interest in the use of nuclear energy makes convergence rules at EU level even more necessary.

"This directive will benefit EU citizens by improving their safety and giving them legal certainty. Member states will have a common reference framework for their respective national nuclear safety systems and retain the right to apply more stringent rules if required," said EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The proposal, which replaces one tabled in September 2004, is based on the obligations of the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the International Atomic Energy Agency Safety Fundamentals.

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