The European Commission welcomes the approval by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) of the reference documents necessary to launch the topical peer review of the 'Ageing management of nuclear power plants'. This is the first in a series of peer reviews into nuclear safety in Europe that will take place every six years, in accordance with the EU's revised Nuclear Safety Directive. The subject 'ageing management' was chosen on the basis of the age profile and considering potential long term operation of European nuclear power plants.
This topical peer review will cover the ageing management of the main components important for the safety of nuclear power plants and nuclear research reactors with a power equal to 1 MWth or more. This will in particular include Reactor Pressure Vessels, electrical cables, concealed pipework and concrete containment structures.
The topical peer review exercise has been developed by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG), an independent, expert advisory group with members from all EU countries and the European Commission, with the technical support of the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA).
National assessment reports by the national nuclear regulators will be published before the end of 2017, and the peer review process itself will take place during the first half of 2018. Final reports will be published before the end of 2018.
Extensive public consultations were made during the development of this topical peer review and will continue until its end, as described in the stakeholder engagement plan which has been developed by ENSREG.
The EU's revised Nuclear Safety Directive was adopted in response to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan in 2011. In addition, stress tests were also carried out on all nuclear power plants in the EU to check that existing safety standards were sufficient to cover unexpected extreme events.