Nuclear law experts discuss legal aspects of nuclear safety

2023.09.27 WPLANS group photo

The NEA Working Party on the Legal Aspects of Nuclear Safety (WPLANS) gathered 35 participants from 18 NEA member countries, 4 non-NEA member countries, as well as the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency, to discuss legal aspects of nuclear safety. Held on 27 September 2023, the meeting featured discussions on legal issues related to long-term operation and lifetime extensions of nuclear power reactors with presentations provided by Belgium and the United States. On this topic, the WPLANS addressed the upcoming update to the report entitled Legal Frameworks for Long-Term Operation of Nuclear Power Reactors, discussing possible approaches to updating the information and the establishment of a timeline for completion of the new publication.

During the meeting, participants addressed the licensing and regulation of small modular and advanced reactors, with presentations provided by Canada, France and Poland. The WPLANS also discussed the next steps in its activities on this topic through a breakout session in which the participants considered such issues as: (i) the legal questions related to the licensing and regulation of SMRs of greatest interest in each country; (ii) the best way to approach this work; (iii) the type(s) of deliverables that WPLANS should work towards; and (iv) the envisaged time frames for WPLANS work on this topic.

In addition, the WPLANS heard updates from Japan and the United States on legal challenges to licensing decisions. An update on the progress towards publication of the forthcoming report on “Legal Challenges Related to Nuclear Safety” was also provided.

The meeting also featured presentations on national developments in the legal aspects of nuclear safety from the Slovak Republic and Brazil.

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