European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) / European Union

At European level, the use of nuclear energy by the 28 European Union member states is governed by the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). Council Directive 2009/71/EURATOM establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations (amended by Directive 2014/78/EURATOM) and Council Directive 2011/70/EURATOM establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste are particularly important. Directive 2013/59 EURATOM establishes radiation protection requirements to further improve protection against occupational, public or medical exposure.

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European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG)

The European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group was involved in drafting the first two directives. The members of this group, set up by a Commission decision in 2007, are high-ranking representatives of the licencing and supervisory bodies of all 28 EU member states and the European Commission. The task of ENSREG is to advise the Commission and facilitate coordination and cooperation between the competent national regulatory authorities.

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Western European Nuclear Regulators' Association (WENRA)

The Western European Nuclear Regulators' Association (WENRA) is another European body in this field. In contrast to ENSREG, WENRA is not an advisory body for the EU or EURATOM. WENRA was established as a network of Western European regulators in 1999, especially for the task of preparing Central and Eastern European applicant countries. One of WENRA’s primary responsibilities is to harmonise safety standards relating to reactor safety, decommissioning and waste management. WENRA is a platform for the regulatory authorities in the 16 EU member states that operate or have operated nuclear power plants, Switzerland and Ukraine. Authorities from other European countries (EU and third party states) have been granted observer status at WENRA meetings.

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European Nuclear Security Regulators Association (ENSRA)

EU member states also cooperate in the field of nuclear security. Nuclear security is the necessary protection against disruptive action or other third-party interference in any nuclear installation, activity or the transport of spent fuel elements. Currently, the focus lies on interference in the form of terrorist attacks.

In 2003, the European Nuclear Regulators Association (ENSRA) was established as a European platform for the exchange of information in this sensitive area. ENSRA members are public authorities and associated corporations under public law competent for nuclear security in European countries with civil nuclear programmes. 14 EU member states and Switzerland are currently members of ENSRA.