Decommissioning of nuclear installations in the European 2013-07-31آ  Decommissioning of nuclear installations

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  • European Commission

    and the environment Decommissioning of nuclear installations

    in the European Union

    Supporting document for the preparation of an EC communication on the subject

    of decommissioning nuclear installations in the EU

    EUR 18860 EN

  • The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission.

  • European Commission

    nucï mm I tøe environment

    Decommissioning of nuclear installations in the European Union

    Supporting document for the preparation of an EC communication on the subject

    of decommissioning nuclear installations in the EU

    Compiled by

    P. Vankerckhoven DG XI/C.2

    Directorate-General Environment, Nuclear Safety and Civil Protection

    1999 EUR 18860 EN


    Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of the following information.

    A great deal of additional information on the European Union is available on the Internet. It can be accessed through the Europa server (

    Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication.

    Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1999

    ISBN 92-828-5815-4

    © European Communities, 1999

    Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

    Panted in Luxembourg



    This document has been created and used as a support for an EC Communication on the subject of decommissioning nuclear installations in the EU.

    A close analysis of the age of Europe's nuclear facilities reveals that the first decades of the next century will see a rapid increase in the number of such facilities being decommissioned. At present, over 110 nuclear facilities within the Union are at various stages in the decommissioning process and it is forecast that at least a further 160 facilities will need to be decommissioned over the next 15 years (with a Union of 15 Member States). Future expansion of the Union to include the Baltic and Central European countries may contribute to a rapid increase in the number of facilities to be decommissioned (at least 50 sites).

    The Communication will aim at addressing the emphasis that the European Commission has placed on co-operation between the Member States for the decommissioning and safe management of radioactive waste.

    The development of common views within the EU on the decommissioning of these facilities will result in better protection of the workers, of the public and of the environment, in a more harmonious technological practice allowing a reduction of the decommissioning costs.

    This supporting document has been formulated together with a Group of invited Experts on the basis of Terms of References establishing the main focus of the Communication. It is constituted by an Introduction (Chapter 1), the Terms of References (Chapter 2) and the Supporting Positions and Observations from the Group of Experts (Chapter 3) on the various items developed from the Terms of References.

    The 2 annexes are composed of a short description of the current situation in the Member States and the Central and Eastern European Countries regarding the policy and regulatory aspects linked with decommissioning activities.

    This report reflects the opinion of the team of invited experts and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission services. It must be considered as a valuable input to the Commission's work in the area. The Commission will carefully examine the experts recommendations and will in particular assess to what extend they can be included in its future communication on the subject.


    1. INTRODUCTION 3 2. TERMS OF REFERENCE 4 2.1 Policy aspects 4 2.2 Financial aspects 5 2.3 Technical aspects 5



    3.1 Policy aspects 7

    3.1.1 Radiation protection and industrial safety 7 3.1.2 Responsibilities 13 3.1.3 Decommissioning material management policy 16 3.1.4 Release criteria 21 3.1.5 Environmental impact assessment 25 3.2 Financial aspects 29

    3.2.1 Financing plans 29

    3.2.2 International co-operation 31

    3.3 Technical aspects 33

    3.3.1 Technical approach to decommissioning 3 3 3.3.2 Minimisation of wastes 36

    3.3.3 Very low level waste 38

    3.4 Social aspects 43

    3.4.1 Public acceptance 43


    ANNEX 1. Current position in the EU Member States 47 ANNEX 2. Current position in the Central and Eastern European Countries 55


    Within the framework of chapter 3 of the EURATOM treaty, and of the subsequent Council Resolutions of 19th December 1994 on the management of radioactive waste (No.C379/l) and 15th June 1992 concerning the renewal of the Community action plan regarding radioactive waste (No.C158/3), emphasis is placed on co-operation between the Member States for the safe management of radioactive waste, collaboration with non-Community countries with regard to the future dismantling of a number of nuclear facilities and sites, and in general, on achieving a satisfactory and equal level of protection for workers, the public and the environment, at the highest safety levels that can, in practice, reasonably be achieved.

    The outcome from an EC consultation indicates that there are differences and potential improvements in the approach to decommissioning by Member States and candidates for accession. Therefore, with the aim of European co-operation, harmonisation of policies, and development of common views, as emphasised by the opening and the deregulation of the electricity market within the Member States, it would be a significant benefit to have Community guidelines for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

    The communication, in the form of guidelines, will concern every type of nuclear facility (reactors, fuel cycle facilities, particle accelerators, laboratories, nuclear research centres). [The Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) industry is excluded from the scope of this report.]

    Such guidelines for decommissioning would encourage European co-ordination centred on the utilisation of international and national technical and scientific knowledge as well as an approach resolutely aimed at ensuring safety, ensuring environmental sustainability and minimising cost.

    Co-ordination at the level of the Member States of the European Union would allow a reduction of the decommissioning costs thanks to the added value generated by an industrial harmonisation of practices and co-operation on a large scale between the involved industrial bodies.


    The following "Terms of Reference and Potential Items to be highlighted in an EC Communication on the decommissioning of nuclear facilities" were prepared by DG XI/C in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Programme Management and have been used as guidance by the Group of Experts in the preparation of this report.

    There are a large number of criteria to be considered in establishing a Community opinion on the decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

    Various regulatory, technical, financial and organisational aspects are closely intertwined in preparing a guiding framework.

    An analysis of the regulatory and organisational items relevant to decommissioning should be made in the form of an inventory of potential future EC and Member States actions.

    The guidelines will recommend some policies for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and will identify the relevant common base for the legislative aspects and will help Member States to draw experience from others.

    The following list summarises some of the major elements potentially forming the framework of the communication.

    2.1. Policy aspects.

    2.1.1. The group of experts should identify the specific aspects of the health standards protecting the public and the workers under the Directives and recommendation of the Euratom Treaty in the field of decommissioning. This involves examination of the radiation protection aspects as dosimetry, contamination control and the ALARA (ALARP) principle.

    2.1.2. The group of experts should identify the responsibilities connected with decommissioning and waste management.

    2.1.3. The group of experts should identify management policies for material resulting from decommissioning operations. This analysis will be performed in a context of the development of common practices of management and classification of radioactive waste.

    2.1.4. The group of experts, in a context of minimisation of waste generated, will examine the rules in force within the framework of the criteria for release of materials. The EURATOM basic safety standards and recommendations will be considered.

    2.1.5. The group of experts should examine potential ways for the implementation of the rules on the environmental impact assessment in National regulations. It will take into

  • account the Council Directive 97/11/EC of 3rd March 1997 amending Directive 85/337/EEC.

    2.2. Financial aspects

    2.2.1. The group of expe