Bilateral Cooperation in 2015
Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovenia
On 14 and 15 April 2015, the regular quadrilateral meeting of regulators of the three countries and Slovakia was held in a Slovenian village Begunje. The parties exchanged information on changes and current events in their state regulators and about the most important activities carried out in the period from the previous quadrilateral meeting. They exchanged views and opinions on addressing European affairs concerning current issues of safety of nuclear installations in their own countries. They discussed the coordination of activities under the competence of the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA), activities by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG), activities within the Nuclear Energy Agency at OECD (OECD/NEA) and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Special attention was paid to the coordination of procedures to select the topic for the first thematic peer review in accordance with the amended Council Directive 2014/87/Euratom. At the regular quadrilateral meeting of delegations of state regulators during the IAEA General Conference held on 16 September 2015 current issues have been discussed that are addressed by the regulators, and also important issues of international cooperation within the EU and the IAEA. At the initiative of the Slovak delegation procedure regarding lifetime extension of the Ukrainian nuclear power plants has been tackled in connection with the request of an NGO, CCE Bankwatch Network, to open cross-border consultations on the impact of this project on the environment under the Espoo Convention.
Republic of Poland:
Expert bilateral meeting based on the Agreement between the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Government of Poland on early notification of a nuclear accident, on exchange of information and cooperation in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection, originally scheduled for 26 and 27 November 2015, at the request of the Polish party was postponed to the first quarter of 2016. The Polish side reasoned its request by changes that are taking place after the latest parliamentary elections, which also influence the activities of the regulator. For the postponed meeting they intend to prepare comprehensive information about these changes.
Already the 23rd bilateral meeting of delegations of Slovakia and Austria under a government agreement on exchange of information on matters of mutual interest related to nuclear safety and radiation protection was held on 18 and 19 June 2015 in Topoľčianky. From the Austrian side the meeting was attended by the representatives of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and International Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and Environment and other ministries, organizations and state governments and from Slovakia by the representatives of ÚJD SR, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health (ÚVZ SR), MoI SR, SE a. s., JAVYS, a. s. and JESS. The agenda focused on exchange of information on legislation on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, radiation monitoring, emergency preparedness, as well as in the field of radioactive waste management. Participants discussed the current state of completion of Units 3&4 of the NPP Mochovce and the safety of operation of NPP Mochovce 1&2 and NPP Bohunice V-2, including operational events at these power plants. The Austrian side was particularly interested in the project of severe accident management and the current state of implementation of measures from the National Action Plan adopted after the Stress Tests on the Slovak NPPs. There was also information about the current state of the project of a new nuclear source and on the impact assessment of this project on the environment, which is scheduled for 2015. In the area of legislation, the Slovak party informed about the new Act on civil liability for nuclear damage. Both parties presented their activities in the field of radioactive waste management and SR moreover informed about the situation in decommissioning of NPP Bohunice V-1 and NPP A-1. In discussing the above topics they went through all relevant issues.
Preliminary dates have been agreed for the two expert meetings on the topics of “Reactor Instrumentation and Control System (I&C)” and “Severe accidents”. Both workshops are a continuation of the so called “Security dialogue on NPP EMO 3&4”, in which the Slovak side expressed its willingness to provide the Austrian experts, in excess of regular bilateral meetings, additional information of their interest. The first of the two agreed expert meetings on the topic Reactor Instrumentation and Control Systems was held at the offices of ÚJD SR on 11 December 2015. The Slovak experts consistently answered all questions of the Austrian side, both sent in advance and also those posed during the meeting. All themes have been satisfactorily answered. Some partial questions will be subject of the next meeting relating to severe accidents to be held next year.
On the basis of intergovernmental agreement on cooperation between the state regulator over nuclear safety of nuclear installations and the state regulation of nuclear materials, on 4 and 5 February 2015 in Hnanice (ČR) a bilateral meeting was held between the representatives of the State Office for Nuclear Safety of the Czech Republic (SUJB) and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of SR (ÚJD SR). Introduction of the meeting focused on the current events at the regulators and in both countries. The Chairperson of SUJB informed about the new State Energy Concept, which has been elaborated since 2009 and after being assessed at the Ministry of Environment in 2014 it was submitted to the Parliament, which however postponed the debate about it. The Chairperson of ÚJD SR provided information on the updated Strategy for the Back-End of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in SR, adopted in January 2014, and also about the new Energy Policy of SR, approved by the Government in November 2014. From current events at ÚJD SR focused on the preparation of the Follow-up IRRS Mission (IRRS- Integrated Regulatory Review Service), which took place from 23 February to 2 March 2015 and also provided information on events in international organizations. Interesting events and information from operation of nuclear installations were presented by both parties, as well as information on the current state of implementation of measures from the National Action Plans and on inspections focusing on control of implementation of these measures.
On 16 September 2015 bilateral meeting was held between UJD SR with the heads of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC). During the meeting the Chairs informed each other about the current issues relating to nuclear programs of both countries, as well as the key issues addressed by regulators. An important item on the agenda was the signing of the renewed Agreement between ÚJD SR and the US NRC. Both parties expressed interest to continue in the exchange of information on matters of regulation and norms required or recommended by their organizations for regulating safety of nuclear installations and their impact on the environment. The Agreement sets out the conditions and the possibility to exchange technical information, cooperation in the field of research of nuclear safety and training and posting of staff.
During the bilateral meeting between ÚJD SR and the representatives of Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) held on 17 September 2015 the chairs of both regulators informed each other about the nuclear programs in their countries, on experiences and knowledge of both countries and the regulators and the areas were outlined, in which potential cooperation is possible. Both parties expressed interest in updating the Agreement between the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Government of the Republic of India on cooperation in the field of uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, signed in New Delhi in 1966. Delegations agreed that both parties will define the current areas of interest and on that basis a new intergovernmental agreement will be drafted, more responsive to the current situation in both countries and their needs.