The twelfth plenary meeting of the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) began in Prague on 22 May 2017. The ENEF brings together participants from EU governments and institutions, the nuclear industry and nuclear safety regulators, electricity consumers, and civil society to debate the opportunities and challenges of nuclear energy in the EU.
The focus of the first day of the event was on '60 years of Euratom', which was the subject of an interactive discussion centered on Euratom's achievements and its future. The ENEF provides a platform for ensuring that all viewpoints on nuclear energy are represented.
On the second day, in the opening session Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, and European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete outlined what the EU and national governments are doing to ensure the safe operation of nuclear power plants in Europe and internationally and the responsible treatment of radioactive waste. They also provided views on the role of nuclear energy in the transition to a low carbon economy for EU countries that have chosen this energy source.
Two panel discussions were then held. One focused on the safe and responsible management of radioactive waste and spent fuel in EU countries, regulated by the recent Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management Directive. Participants sharedideas on several topics. For example, they covered how to select locations for and construct disposal facilities to contain radioactive waste, including options for solutions shared between countries, and how to ensure that adequate funding is available.
The second panel considered the possibility of further standardization in the supply chains for equipment used by nuclear power plants across the EU in order to enhance nuclear safety and facilitate investment. It also debated the advantages and disadvantages of increasing collaboration between national nuclear safety regulators in the licensing process.