20 Years of Commitment to Continuous Improvement of Nuclear Safety

May 17, 2019, 11:49 a.m.

This year, WENRA is celebrating its 20 years anniversary. Twenty years after its foundation as an independent “club” of the Heads of the national nuclear safety authorities of Europe, WENRA is a broadly recognized reference and an important player in the global field of nuclear safety. While WENRA has just developed and adopted its new strategy for the future, the celebration of the 20th anniversary is also a reason to look back.

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WENRA Task Force Report on the Interface between Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Security

April 23, 2019, 8:31 a.m.

During their plenary meeting in April 2017, WENRA members decided to create a Task Force, to include nuclear safety and nuclear security experts, in order to identify challenging interface issues and areas of cooperation between nuclear safety and nuclear security. The interface between nuclear safety and nuclear security is an important aspect for nuclear regulators. ENSRA (European Nuclear Security Regulators Association) endorses this report as a positive step in cooperation between WENRA and ENSRA.

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WENRA Statement on Implementation of its 2014 Safety Reference Levels for Existing Reactors

Sept. 10, 2018, 8:45 a.m.

To achieve its aim of improving nuclear safety in Europe, one of the objectives of WENRA, as stated in its terms of reference, is to develop a harmonized approach to nuclear safety and regulation. For this purpose, WENRA has been developing Safety Reference Levels (SRLs) for existing reactors for more than a decade. The emphasis of the SRLs has been on nuclear safety, primarily focussing on safety of the reactor core and spent fuel, but they also include issues like safety policy, management systems and emergency preparedness.

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RHWG Report on Regulatory Aspects of Passive Systems

June 11, 2018, 12:38 p.m.

New nuclear power plant designs propose to rely more heavily on passive systems to fulfill several safety functions. This design choice is usually driven as the passive systems relies less on human actions and support systems than active systems. Safety expectations for passive and active systems are similar and only the approaches to implement them may differ considering that passive systems operate differently.

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Updated Report - Activities in WENRA countries following the Recommendation regarding flaw indications found in Belgian reactors

Jan. 30, 2018, 2:33 p.m.

WENRA has updated its Report on Activities in WENRA countries following the “Recommendation regarding flaw indications found in Belgian reactors”. In 2013 WENRA had recommended to its members, that all reactor pressure vessels in every European nuclear power plant should be subjected to a standardized review to check for manufacturing flaws (hydrogen-induced forging effects).

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ANVS became an independent body on 1st August 2017

Sept. 28, 2017, 1:29 p.m.

The Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS) became an independent administrative body on 1 August 2017. At that moment, implementing powers in the area of nuclear safety and radiation protection passed from the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment to ANVS. An independent administrative body performs government tasks, but is not directly subject to ministerial authority. This legal form guarantees the independence of the ANVS.

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WENRA Spring Plenary Meeting in Berne

April 26, 2017, 12:02 p.m.

WENRA held its spring plenary meeting in Berne, Switzerland on 26-27 April 2017. “It was another fruitful WENRA meeting,” says WENRA Chair Hans Wanner. “The open and frank discussions also on difficult and challenging issues that are being held within WENRA are very important for the continued strengthening of nuclear safety in the WENRA member and observer countries and also for other countries and organisations involved in nuclear safety.”

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HERCA-WENRA Workshop Concludes

June 15, 2016, 9:39 a.m.

Trust between authorities competent in radiation protection, nuclear safety and civil protection authorities is of fundamental importance to establish the rapid and reliable channels of information, communication and alerts necessary for a harmonised approach in the early phase of a nuclear accident. This was one of the conclusions from the HERCA WENRA Workshop on the implementation of the HERCA WENRA Approach, held in Bled, Slovenia on 13-15 June 2016.

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Workshop on the Implementation of the HERCA-WENRA Approach

May 9, 2016, 6:21 a.m.

HERCA and WENRA jointly organise a workshop on the implementation of the approach for cross-border emergency preparedness on 14 and 15 June 2016 in Bled, Slovenia. Committed to engage cooperation at national level with the competent authorities in charge of civil protection, the two associations has invited national civil protection authorities from Europe to participate in the workshop. The objectives of the workshop are to share experience on the implementation of the HERCA-WENRA Approach, to discuss issues identified and to define steps for addressing them.

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WGWD Report on Decommissioning SRLs V2.2

Oct. 15, 2015, 5:30 p.m.

A little more than one year after WENRA presented the final version of its waste and spent fuel storage report (Ver. 2.2 ) the final version 2.2 of the decommissioning report is now publicly available. In part III of this report all WENRA countries have documented their efforts to update their national regulations regarding the previously released set of reference levels as of the 2012 report version 2.1. Country specific fact sheets and status tables have been added in this final version of the report as well as a comprehensive description of the whole procedure.

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WENRA-HERCA side event on Emergency Preparedness

Sept. 21, 2015, 1:48 p.m.

To introduce the HERCA WENRA approach for a better cross-border coordination of protective actions during the early phase of a nuclear accident, WENRA and HERCA held a side event during the 59th IAEA General Conference in Vienna. At the side event, Chair of the HERCA Working Group on Emergencies Georges Piller presented the approach, which introduces a common European emergency preparedness and response approach on coordination, independent of the scenario of the accident.

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Flaw Indications in Swiss Nuclear Power Plant Beznau

July 16, 2015, 9:18 a.m.

While carrying out ultrasonic measurements of the reactor pressure vessel of the Beznau 1 nuclear power plant in Switzerland, the operator detected flaw indications that require evaluation. The operator Axpo submitted a corresponding report to the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate ENSI yesterday. Beznau 1 is presently inactive because of the main annual overhaul. ENSI is now awaiting an assessment of these findings by Axpo. Operation of Beznau 1 may only be started again if the safety of the reactor pressure vessel is confirmed.

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Doel 3/Tihange 2: next steps of the review process

May 13, 2015, 8:09 a.m.

At the end of April 2015, FANC held another meeting in Brussels with the International Review Board, an international panel of experts in the effects of radiation on material properties. The experts investigated the results of the additional test campaigns conducted by Electrabel over the past year. These mechanical tests were carried out on specimens containing hydrogen flakes that had been previously irradiated in the BR2 research reactor at the SCK•CEN.

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FANC publishes Guidelines for new nuclear Class I installations

May 6, 2015, 4:24 p.m.

The Belgian nuclear regulatory authority FANC has developed guides for new nuclear class I installations on the safety demonstration and on specific external hazards. The guide on the safety demonstration provides expectations by the nuclear regulator with respect to defence in depth, quantified safety objectives and external hazards in general. The specific guides on external hazards provide expectations on how one or more hazard levels can be derived with the purpose to include these in the safety demonstration; these guides address respectively seismic hazards, unintentional aircraft crashes and external flooding. During the development of the guides use was made of several sources including WENRA documentation and the recently issued European Council Directive 2014/87/Euratom of 8 July 2014 which amends Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom. The contents of the guides have also been discussed extensively with licensees and advisory bodies.

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Natural Hazards Guidance Document

April 27, 2015, 4:18 p.m.

The WENRA Reactor Harmonization Working Group (RHWG) recently completed the Guidance Document for Issue T: Natural Hazards. One of the Key recommendations from ENSREG following the completion of the European Stress Tests was to develop reference levels and guidance on the subject of Natural Hazards to drive harmonisation and improve safety. The purpose of this Guidance is to provide explanations of the intent of the Safety Reference Levels (RLs) of Issue T, to contribute to a consistent interpretation and to permit insights into the considerations which have led to their formulation. In addition, some background information is provided for easy reference. This Guidance does not define any additional requirements. Furthermore, it is important to recognize differences in national regulations and in reactor designs when using this document. However, the overall content and meaning is in all cases relevant.

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Ukraine new WENRA member

March 26, 2015, 8:32 a.m.

The members of WENRA have agreed to accept Serhii Bozhko, Chair of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine SNRIU, as a new WENRA member with immediate effect. The Terms of Reference were signed during the WENRA spring plenary session held in Geneva. "Since they joined WENRA as an observer in 2009, Ukraine has contributed to the work of the WENRA and its working groups RHWG and WGWD in a constructive and cooperative manner. Ukraine have proved able and willing to comply with WENRA safety reference levels and technical criteria for the safe operation of its nuclear power plants," says WENRA chair Hans Wanner. "It is therefore with great pleasure that we today can announce the inclusion of Ukraine as a new WENRA member."

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New European Approach for cross-border Emergency Preparedness

Nov. 20, 2014, 2:56 p.m.

The heads of the national nuclear and radiation safety regulators in Europe have developed and agreed on a new approach to further improve the response and cross-border coordination for all types of possible accident scenarios including severe accidents, like the one in Fukushima. The approach contains overarching principles and provides incentives for joint actions between neighbouring countries. The regulators have committed to cooperate at the national level with the competent authorities in charge of civil protection for the implementation of the corresponding measures.

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WENRA supports CNS amendment

April 9, 2014, 3:28 p.m.

A majority of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) has supported a proposal to amend the Convention and agreed to discuss it at a Diplomatic Conference. The European countries unanimously supported the proposal. The proposal, originally submitted by Switzerland, will serve as a basis to further improve the safety of nuclear power plants around the world as well as reducing the gaps between safety improvements. These are also the main objectives WENRA is reaching to achieve, in Europe as well as worldwide.

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Swedish nuclear power plants to examine reactor vessels

March 5, 2014, 3:25 p.m.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has issued the decision that OKG AB (OKG) and Forsmarks Kraftgrupp AB (FKA) must examine the reactor vessels of the Oskarshamn 3 and Forsmark 3 reactors. OKG and FKA operate the nuclear power plants at Oskarshamn and Forsmark, respectively. The situation is a consequence of the manufacturing flaws discovered at two nuclear power reactors in Belgium in the summer of 2012.

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Public Consultation of Revised WENRA Safety Reference Levels

Nov. 27, 2013, 3:49 p.m.

WENRA's Reactor Harmonisation Working Group (RHWG) has reviewed WENRA Safety Reference Levels (SRLs) for existing reactors in the light of the lessons learnt from the TEPCO Fukushima accident. The revised SRLs are now subject to a 3 month public consultation for the period beginning on 1 December 2013 and ending on 28 February 2014. WENRA invites all interested stakeholders to comment on the proposals before they will be finalized.

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