The NEA promotes the development, strengthening and harmonisation of member countries’ legal frameworks for the licensing and regulation of the safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy. In this context, the NEA Working Party on the Legal Aspects of Nuclear Safety (WPLANS) was established in 2016 to, among other matters, facilitate an exchange information on the respective legal and administrative systems for the licensing and regulation of nuclear installations and other uses of nuclear material.
The working party held a virtual meeting on 19-20 May 2021 with 48 participants from 19 NEA member countries, 4 non-NEA member countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The first day of the meeting featured discussions on national developments relating to the legal aspects of nuclear safety, legal issues related to long-term operation/lifetime extension of nuclear power reactors, and the licensing and regulation of small modular and advanced reactors, with presentations provided by Belgium, Canada, Finland, the Russian Federation and the United States.
The second day of the meeting focused on challenges to licensing and the enforcement of nuclear safety-related laws and regulations, with presentations provided by Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Slovak Republic and Turkey. In addition, the IAEA, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates provided updates on matters of special interest to the WPLANS.
In tandem with the WPLANS meeting, an internal workshop was held to discuss the results of an extensive survey on legal challenges related to nuclear safety, during which the participants exchanged information about their respective legal frameworks for such challenges and discussed potential next steps in their work plan.