On November 9 and 10, the director of the Nuclear Safety Authority Igor Sirc and the director of the Inspection of the Nuclear Safety Authority Matja Podjavorek attended the regular annual meeting of the heads of European nuclear safety administrative bodies (Western European Nuclear Regulatory Association - WENRA).
The officials learned about the latest situation in Ukrainian nuclear power plants, discussed WENRA's strategic directions for the future, learned about the implementation of European safety requirements in individual countries (English WENRA Safety Reference Levels), and discussed nuclear safety issues in the light of new conditions on the European energy market. At the end, they adopted the following joint statement on the importance of nuclear safety at this time:
"The importance of nuclear safety in the current energy crisis
In light of the current energy crisis and growing concerns about whether Europe will be able to achieve a short-, medium- and long-term balance between electricity production and consumption, as well as in the light of facing the challenges of climate change, WENRA is aware that in some countries the need to contribute is increasing of nuclear power plants to the mix of energy sources. This could be done by rescheduling the closure dates and extending the life of existing nuclear power plants, or through programs to build new nuclear power plants.
The WENRA association also notes that the war in Ukraine has forced some countries to think about how they could take care of their energy independence with several different options.
This scenario could put unnecessary pressure and burden on nuclear stakeholders, including the governing bodies. To avoid this:
the association WENRA suggests that decisions on energy policy are made in time and remain stable for a longer period of time. Unpredictability and instability harm nuclear safety.
Governments and other stakeholders need to be aware that license holders are primarily responsible for safety. They are expected to demonstrate the safety of their work and activities and to submit this evidence within a time frame that will allow for an appropriate administrative review.
It is essential that administrative bodies continue to make independent decisions at all times. The members of the WENRA association are committed to effective work for the timely adoption of administrative decisions."