Issue No. 19 Winter
(January 2008)


ENS News

ENS welcomes new President

Word from the President

ENS Events

Pime 2008

RRFM 2008

NESTet 2008


Member Societies & Corporate Members

Dryout of BWR Fuel Elements

Two Phase Flow
Test Loop Results for BWR

The Future of Nuclear Energy

Westinghouse is Awarded Watts Bar Units 2 Completion Contract

Bulgarian Nuclear Society Annual Conference ‘Nuclear Power for the People’

Bali COP13 and beyond

YGN Report

How to be seen better?

Bratislava’s nuclear November

European Institutions

Summary of the main EU Energy Developments, 2007

ENS World News

Energy for the Future

UK Takes Final Decision to Build New Nuclear Plants

NucNet News

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff
Pime 2008
Pime 2008
10 - 14 February 2008 in Prague

RRFM 2008
2 - 5 March 2008 in Hamburg, Germany


NESTet 2008
4 - 9 May 2008 in Budapest, Hungary


1 - 3 October 2008 in Dubrovnic, Croatia










































































Summary of the main EU Energy Developments, 2007

This year, the EU institutions have launched a number of initiatives in the energy field. Here is a diary of all the events that have shaped the EU energy policy in 2007. These political development could have a direct impact upon how the nuclear science community works in the future and what its working enviroment will be like.

10 January: Publication of the EC “Energy Package”

On 10 January 2007, the European Commission (EC) presented an “energy package”, which consists of a Communication entitled An Energy Policy for Europe, communications and reports on coal, biofuels, nuclear (the so-called PINC); a competition enquiry into electricity and gas markets and a green paper on climate change. The communication on energy policy and the PINC (Nuclear Illustrative Programme) clearly recognise the key contribution that nuclear energy makes to the achievement of the EU’s security of supply, climate change and competitiveness goals. It also highlights how nuclear energy is and will remain a key component of the EU’s energy mix.

You can find these documents in the Energy section of the Commission website. For further information, you can also read the PINC, the Communication from the Commission , and FORATOM press release.

9 March: Spring Council conclusions

The Council conclusions published on 9 March make a clear and unequivocal link between energy and climate change. The two main elements of the strategic approach that defines the post-2012 climate change framework are the strengthening and extension of global carbon markets and the development, deployment and transfer of the technology needed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The major strategic components highlighted in the Conclusions are the adoption of two binding targets for EU Member States to reach by 2020:

  • A 20% reduction of GHG emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, which is consistent with the underlying policy objective of “transforming Europe into a highly energy-efficient and low GHG-emitting economy.”

  • A 20% share of the EU’s total power share from renewable sources by 2020.

The implementation of these targets will be based on agreed internal burden sharing, through the fixing of National Action Plans that will take into account the Member States’ varying domestic energy mixes.

The Conclusions contain a paragraph dedicated to nuclear energy that covers three points:

  • the promotion of broad-ranging discussions with stakeholder representatives on the opportunities and risks of nuclear energy (European Nuclear Energy Forum)

  • Its contribution to meeting growing concerns about security of energy supply and CO2 emissions

  • the need for continued improvements in the field of nuclear safety and radioactive waste management (support for R & D on waste management under the FP7 and the potential creation of a High-level Group on nuclear safety and waste management)

Within this context, the European Commission, with the support of MEPs, Member States and the European nuclear industry, recently proposed the creation of a European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) to promote discussions with stakeholders. This forum will promote a constructive and transparent dialogue and encourage a forward-looking analysis of key issues relating to the future of nuclear energy, including lifetime extensions of existing plants and nuclear new build.

You can read the Council conclusions, and FORATOM’s analysis of the Council’s conclusions.

17 July 2007: Nuclear Safety Group Officially Launched by the

Commission The European Commission, on 17 July, set up a High-Level Group on nuclear safety and waste management. The creation of the group was proposed by the Commission in its January 2007 draft Nuclear Illustrative Programme and was endorsed by the March European Council. The High-Level group is in charge of analysing matters such as the safety and decommissioning of nuclear installations and management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.

The members of the group are senior nuclear safety regulators from member states. Countries with and without nuclear power equally take part in the group. The work of the group has to be carried out in coherence with other groups such as the newly created Nuclear Energy Forum.

21 September: New Platform for Sustainable Nuclear Research Launched by EC

On 21 September 2007, in Brussels, the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP) was launched by the European Commission. The SNETP aims to facilitate closer integration between researchers and industry to enable the definition and implementation of a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and corresponding Deployment Strategy (DS), as well as to maintain Europe’s R&D leadership in the nuclear research sector. An EC strategic document entitled SNETP: A Vision Report was published. This report, which was compiled with the support of industry, research centres and the Euratom Scientific and Technical Committee, underlines the special contribution made by nuclear energy to ensuring security of energy supply, promoting competitiveness and fighting climate change. It also provides a roadmap for the creation of the SRA, highlighting the start-up, by 2020, of a new breed of fast reactors (Generation IV), advanced recycling processes and the production of alternative fuels, like hydrogen. The report also stresses the need for increased resources for education and training in nuclear engineering.

For further information, you can consult the press release of the European Commission and the SNE-TP website.

12 October: First meeting of the High Level Group on Safety and Waste Management

The first meeting of the European Commission (EC)'s High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management took place on 12 October. The creation of the group, endorsed by the March European Council, follows on from the Commission's Nuclear Illustrative Programme, adopted last week. The main goal of the Group will be to help the Commission develop European rules regarding the safety of nuclear installations and the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. It is also expected to work in collaboration with other newly-created bodies, the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) and the Sustainable Nuclear Energy- Technology Platform (SNE-TP).

The group composed of 27 national senior officials from national regulatory or nuclear safety authorities, and their deputies as well as a Commission representative elected Andrej Stritar, the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration Director, as interim Chairperson until the election of a permanent one expected next January. Every two years, the Group will have to submit to the Commission a report that will later be transmitted to the Council and to Parliament. It should also identify safety issues, ensure coherent action by national authorities and make recommendations for EU action.

The creation of the Group shows once again that nuclear power is increasingly gathering momentum within the European Union. During a press conference that followed the meeting, the Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs acknowledged that nuclear was "here to stay". He added that it needs to be safe and that governments need to "make up their minds as soon as possible" in order to create certainty for investors.
For further information, please read the press release of the European Commission, the article of NucNet and the article of Euractiv.

24 October: Publication of the European Parliament Reul Report

The European Parliament’s (EP) adopted the Reul Report entitled Conventional Energy Sources and Energy Technology. The Report shows that there is growing political consensus that nuclear energy “is indispensable if Europe’s medium and long-term energy needs are to be met.” The report, which was proposed by MEP Herbert Reul (EPP-ED, Germany) includes a section dedicated to nuclear energy that is based upon an EC Communication on the PINC. It was adopted with a majority of 509 votes for, 153 against and 30 abstentions, with most of the anti-nuclear amendments having been rejected.

The EP’s adoption yesterday of the Reul Report by an overwhelming majority is highly significant because it constitutes the first time that the EP has explicitly endorsed nuclear energy’s role as “the largest low-carbon energy source in Europe” and a key component in Europe’s future energy mix.

For further information, please read the press release of the European Parliament, the text of the report as adopted by the European Parliament is available on the same page.

29-30 October: First meeting of the SNE-TP

Following the highly successful launch of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform on 21st September, the FORATOM Secretariat has been helping define the structure and rules of governance of the Platform and participated in the inaugural meetings of the Executive Committee and Governing Board on 29th and 30th October respectively. The Governing Board, which will meet twice per year, comprises approximately 10 industrial members, 10 from research organisations, 2 from TSOs, ENEN – the nuclear education network, ENS and FORATOM. FORATOM is represented by President Eduardo Gonzalez. The Executive Committee is smaller and will meet more often. FORATOM is represented on this latter group by Director General Santiago San Antonio. The first significant task of the Platform will be to write a Strategic Research Agenda by the end of 2008. The aim will be to define a roadmap for all European nuclear fission research until the year 2040. A sub-group will be established to undertake this work, led by SCK/CEN. It has been proposed to the Commission that the Chairman of the SNETP Governing Board, Mr. Philippe Pradel of CEA, should participate in ENEF.

For further information, you can consult the SNE-TP website.

22 November: Publication of the SET-Plan

On 22 November, the European Commission published the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). The plan aims at increasing the use of low-carbon technologies to meet the targets set up during the latest Spring Council in March of 20% CO2 emission reduction and 20% renewable increase by 2020. The “clean” technologies include not only renewables, but also sustainable nuclear fission and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). The document recognizes officially that nuclear power is a key part of EU energy policy and contributes along with other low-CO2 energy sources to forging EU’s low-carbon economy.

To achieve EU’s energy goals, the plan proposes measures in order to increase effective co-ordination in research at EU level:

  • A European Community Steering Group on Strategic Energy Technologies. Chaired by the Commission, the group will be “composed of high level government representatives from Member States.”

  • European Industrial Initiatives for renewables but also for nuclear fission, CCS and electricity grids. The initiatives will be funded "in different ways", such as public-private partnerships, or “joint programming by coalitions of those interested Member States”.

  • A European Research Alliance bringing together more closely universities and institutes for energy;

  • A new Energy Technology Information System, and;

  • Organisation in the first half of 2009 of a European Energy Technology Summit.

For further information, please go to the website of DG Tren and read the Commission press release: European Commission proposes a plan to accelerate energy technologies for a low-carbon future, the Commission communication: Towards a low carbon future – A European Strategic Energy Technology Plan, and the SET Plan Technology Map.

26-27 November: European Nuclear Energy Forum’s first Meeting in Bratislava

The first meeting of the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF), which aims to promote an inclusive, transparent and non-ideological debate on nuclear between all the relevant stakeholders, took place in Bratislava on 26-27 November 2007. The meeting gathered over 50 participants and featured high level speakers such as the Prime Ministers of Slovakia and Czech Republic, Mr. Fico and Mr. Topolanek respectively; the President of the European Commission, Mr. Barroso, and the Energy Commissioner, Mr. Piebalgs.

The Forum will establish three working groups that will probe into the opportunities of nuclear (financing, technologies, new build), the risks of nuclear (safety, security, waste management), and information and transparency (public acceptance). They will draft proposals in order to enable ENEF to provide a roadmap for the continued development of nuclear energy in the European Union. The working groups will meet for the first time end of January 2008 and are expected to meet twice before the next meeting of ENEF that is scheduled on 22 & 23 May 2008 in Prague. ENEF should eventually provide advice to European policy makers, mainly in the European Institutions on security of energy supply, incentives for investment, EU legislative issues, public opinion, education and training, R&D and knowledge management, safety and waste management. It is also expected to work in collaboration with other newly-created bodies the Sustainable Nuclear Energy- Technology Platform (SNE-TP), and the High Level Group on safety and Waste management (HLG). ENEF gathers for the first time a broad range of stakeholders – the nuclear industry, public authorities, the financial community and various sections of civil society.- in a debate on the future of nuclear energy in Europe.

For further information, please consult the ENEF section of the FORATOM website and the ENEF section of the Commission website.

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