Enhanced nuclear safety?
Does the EU nuclear safety directive risk fragmenting international standards, asks Ana Stanič.
Seeking to strengthen nuclear safety standards in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, in July this year the European Union amended the nuclear safety directive adopted in 2009.
Back then, adoption of the nuclear safety directive marked an important development in regulating nuclear safety. Building on the provisions of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, an incentive-only instrument, and the principles adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the EU became the first regional actor to adopt legally-binding nuclear safety rules. The 2009 directive granted the EU for the first time express competence in nuclear safety. Its adoption met, however, with strong opposition from industry and national regulators, which consider nuclear energy as falling within the purview of member states.