At this meeting, the WENRA’s Chair, O. Gupta (ASN’s Director General) reported on the Association’s activities in 2020. He highlighted that, despite the Covid-19, the operation and activity of WENRA and its working groups continued relatively well in 2020. He detailed the progress made in the implementation of the new WENRA strategy. He reported also on meetings he had with some of WENRA key stakeholders, such as the European Commission, the European technical support organisations network (ETSON) and the European nuclear installations safety standards (ENISS), to better coordinate their respective activities and identify potential common topics to be addressed in a consistent way.
Major decisions made at this meeting
In the field of power reactors, the 2020 revision of the 2014 safety reference levels (SRLs) and its guidance documents were approved. With this revision, new issue on “external hazards” covering both natural hazards and human induced hazards were added to the 2014 SRLs. These two new issues are based on existing ones which respectively addressed external hazards and fire. A new issue on “internal hazards”, including fire, was also developed. The issue on “management systems” was revised to include leadership and the issue on “ageing management” was updated to include obsolescence and take into account feedback from the first ENSREG topical peer review (TPR).
In the field of research reactors, a complete set of SRLs for existing facilities, complemented by a guidance document on probabilistic safety assessment, was approved. WENRA decided that a benchmark on the implementation of these SRLs in the national regulations will be conducted a near future. Considering the excellent work that the Working group on research reactors has done over the last 3 years and its planned programme of work, WENRA took the decision that the working group on research reactors (WGRR) will continue its activity in the WENRA framework, and no more as an ad hoc group.
In the field of SRLs development, considering the need to improve, to some extent, consistency and convergence when drafting SRLs applicable to common fields, WENRA has also decided at to set up a cross-cutting ad hoc group. This ad hoc group will be in charge of identifying SRLs that should be written in the same way because, while they are referring to different fields, are applicable to common technical areas. This ad hoc group was also tasked to develop methodology and criteria to trigger SRLs revision process.
An in-depth discussion was also conducted on the TPR 2023 topic. In particular, WENRA confirmed that the topic “Fire protection”, which it will propose to ENSREG for approval at its forthcoming November plenary meeting. It was also decided that WENRA would propose to ENSREG that the scope of the next TPR should be broad enough to cover the widest variety of facilities, in line with the European Nuclear Safety Directive.
Status of observers
On 5th afternoon, a special meeting was held with the observers only. This meeting provided an opportunity for the current observers to share their views on the observer status with WENRA chair, vice-chairs and working groups’ chairs.
Observers confirmed their interest in being involved in and contributing to WENRA activities. They mentioned the benefit to be part of such an informal network of regulators, which offers them providing a good opportunity to share information and improve their own regulatory framework. They highlighted the value of WENRA’s products, particularly SRLs.