New guidelines for good practice
By Marie-Martine Buckens | Friday 08 June 2012
The Ad Hoc Group on Nuclear Security (AHGNS), created by the Council of the EU four months after the Fukushima catastrophe, has presented to the Council a guide identifying 32 good practices, along with six recommendations for the security of nuclear plants in relation to theft, sabotage or other malicious acts.
This guide should help broaden the safety assessment of nuclear plants (‘stress tests’) started on 1 June. The scope and modalities of these assessments were defined in May by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG), in agreement with the European Commission. ENSREG and the Commission agreed that a two-track process should be in place to cover safety and security. The safety assessment covers extraordinary triggering events like earthquakes and flooding, and the consequences of any other initiating events potentially leading to a loss of safety functions requiring severe accident management, and includes human and organisational factors.
The AHGNS presents six recommendations – even though the security of nuclear power plants is a national responsibility. It “encourage[s] the use of the services of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA);” “highly encourage[s] the use of the IAEA’s International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) missions on a regular basis in all EU member states with nuclear power plants;” and calls on the European Nuclear Security Regulators Association to enhance information exchange and to welcome nuclear security regulators of all EU member states and those of neighbouring countries.