In 2014, the Council of the European Union adopted the Directive 2014/87/EURATOM amending the 2009 Nuclear Safety Directive 2009/71/EURATOM. Recognising the importance of peer review in delivering continuous improvement to nuclear safety, the revised Nuclear Safety Directive introduces a European system of topical peer reviews which will begin in 2017 and 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, whilst here the assessments will each time focus on different specific technical safety aspects.
The 30th meeting of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) in July 2015 identified "ageing management of nuclear power plants" as the topic for the first Topical Peer Review. This choice was made on the basis of a technical assessment performed by the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) in recognition of the age profile of the European nuclear reactor fleet and considering their potential long term operation. The national assessment report will cover nuclear power plants operating on 31st December 2017 and research reactors with a power equal to 1 MWth or more. The process will examine the application of ageing management programs in general and to the following systems structures and components (SSCs):
- Electrical cables
- Concealed piping
- Reactor pressure vessels (or equivalent structures) • Concrete containment structures.
The process for the Topical Peer Review will comprise three phases:
- National assessment – performed by Member States according to a technical specification prepared by WENRA’s Reactor Harmonisation Working Group.
- Peer Review - including a peer review workshop and publication of a summary report setting out overall findings and ENSREG's proposed follow-up activities.
- Follow-Up – definition and implementation of measures to address relevant findings from national assessment and peer review process.
To ensure a consistend structure of all national reports, WENRA has provided technical specifications for the peer review at the request of ENSREG. Furthermore, ENSREG has developed Terms of References (ToR) for the TPR 2017.
The BMU submitted in September 2019 the National Action Plan for the implementation of the results of the Topical Peer Review to ENSREG in due time.