Legislative developments in Switzerland Swiss flag

Organisation and structure

New Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (2009)

At the beginning of 2009, the Principal Nuclear Safety Division HSK (“Hauptabteilung für die Sicherheit der Kernanlagen”) was transformed into an independent institution under public law named Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate ENSI. The law governing the new inspectorate, the ENSI Act, was adopted by parliament in 2007.

The inspectorate formerly was a division of the Federal Office for Energy (SFOE). The creation of ENSI followed a debate on the effective separation of the regulatory body and any other body or organisation concerned with the promotion or utilisation of nuclear energy. It brings Switzerland de facto and de jure in full compliance with the Convention on Nuclear Safety (Article 8 paragraph 2) and the Swiss Nuclear Energy Act.

ENSI is vested with operational, institutional and financial independence. The Director reports to the ENSI Board which in turn is accountable to the Federal Council to whom it must submit an annual report. The Federal Council elected the members of the ENSI Board and Dr. Peter Hufschmied became its first Chairman.

The ENSI legislation also included an amendment of the Nuclear Energy Act replacing the Commission for the Safety of Nuclear Facilities (KSA) by the Commission for Nuclear Safety (KNS ). KNS is an advisory body that issues advice to the Federal Council, the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications and ENSI on fundamental questions of nuclear safety. It also comments on the safety reports issued by ENSI. In addition, it is involved in drafting future legislation on nuclear safety.

Related NEA publications

Nuclear Energy Data
Nuclear Energy Data is the NEA’s annual compilation of essential statistics on electricity generation and nuclear power in OECD countries. The reader will have quick and easy reference to the status of and projected trends in total electricity generating capacity, nuclear generating capacity, and actual electricity production, as well as to supply and demand for nuclear fuel cycle services.

Nuclear Law Bulletin

Last updated: 27 March 2009