Working Party on the Legal Aspects of Nuclear Safety (WPLANS)
A meeting of the Working Party on the Legal Aspects of Nuclear Safety (WPLANS) (June 2019).

In support of the NEA’s efforts to strengthen its work in the nuclear safety area, the Nuclear Law Committee (NLC) determined to more systematically address this issue through the creation of a specific group, the Working Party on the Legal Aspects of Nuclear Safety (WPLANS). Established in 2016, the WPLANS has three main objectives:

  • exchange information on the respective legal and administrative systems for the licensing and regulation of nuclear installations and other uses of nuclear material;
  • promote the development, strengthening and harmonisation of member countries’ legal frameworks for the licensing and regulation of the safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy;
  • enable the Agency to serve as a centre of information for the legal aspects of nuclear safety.

The WPLANS has addressed a number of topics since its creation in 2016, including:

  • legal frameworks for long-term operation (LTO);
  • frameworks for legal challenges related to nuclear safety;
  • legal frameworks for the licensing and regulation of small modular reactors; and
  • enforcement of nuclear safety related laws and regulations.

Its first primary focus was the legal frameworks for LTO, which culminated in the publication of a report, Legal Frameworks for Long-Term Operation of Nuclear Power Reactors, in November 2019. The aim of this report is to provide insights into the various laws, regulations and policies that contribute to different countries’ approaches to LTO. By collecting information from more than 20 NEA member and non-member countries, this report highlights both commonalities among approaches as well as possible reasons for variations. Ultimately, the information gathered can serve as a vital resource for future exchanges respecting the legal aspects of LTO, with a view to further development and strengthening of the collective understanding of these issues.

The WPLANS is currently focusing its work on the frameworks for legal challenges related to nuclear safety, while continuing to address the other relevant topics.

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Publications and reports
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