19 July 2007 - The European Commission (EC) has announced plans to establish a high-level group for nuclear safety and waste management to develop a common understanding and will reinforce common approaches in nuclear installation safety.
The high level of representation expected from countries that operate or possess nuclear installations, as well as from countries that have chosen not to use this form of energy, should facilitate Europe-wide co-operation and increase confidence in the levels of safety in European nuclear facilities, the commission said.
"The aim of the group is to swiftly identify relevant safety issues, ensure coherent action by the member states authorities and make recommendations on whether any course of action should be taken at EU level - I am confident this will reinforce the safety of Europe's nuclear installations," said EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs.
The EC said that the idea of the group is to bring together the senior regulators of the member states in charge of nuclear safety, who would have to agree on priority items to tackle.
Specific areas of action for the group will include the safety and decommissioning of nuclear installations, as well as the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.
According to the EC, transparency will be another essential aspect of the group's work and it will report its agreed approaches and recommendations to the European Parliament regularly. Meanwhile, the larger public will have access to any decisions made via a dedicated website.