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[en] The Nuclear Law Bulletin is a unique international publication for both professionals and academics in the field of nuclear law. It provides readers with authoritative and comprehensive information on nuclear law developments. Published free online twice a year in both English and French, it features topical articles written by renowned legal experts, covers legislative developments worldwide and reports on relevant case law, bilateral and international agreements as well as regulatory activities of international organisations. Feature articles and studies in this issue include: 'The impact of the major nuclear power plant accidents on the international legal framework for nuclear power'; 'Today is yesterday's pupil: Reactor licence renewal in the United States'; and 'Euratom competence in the areas of nuclear security and nuclear safety: An impossible parallel?'
[en] This section treats of the following legal text: Sixteenth Amendment to the Atomic Energy Act (16. Amendment) of 10 July 2018. The German Bundestag has adopted the following Act: Article 1. Amendment to the Atomic Energy Act: The following Sections 7e to 7g shall be inserted after Section 7d Atomic Energy Act in the version promulgated on 15 July 1985 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 1565), as most recently amended by Article 2(2) of the Act of 20 July 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2808): Section 7e - Financial settlement for investments made; Section 7f - Financial settlement for electricity volumes; Section 7g - Administrative procedure; Article 2. Amendment of the Code of Administrative Court Procedure: Section 48(1) Sentence 1 Code of Administrative Court Procedure in the version promulgated on 19 March 1991 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 686), as most recently amended by Article 5(2) of the Act of 8 October 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 3536), shall be amended by insertion of the following Number 1a after Number 1: 1a. the merits and amount of financial settlement claims pursuant to Section 7e and Section 7f of the Atomic Energy Act; Article 3. Entry into force: This Act shall enter into force on the day when the European Commission gives its approval under State-aid law or makes a binding declaration to the effect that no such approval shall be required; the Federal Ministry in charge of nuclear safety and radiation protection shall announce the date of the entry into force and do this by means of the Federal Law Gazette.
[en] This section treats of the following case laws: 1 - France: Decision No. 410109, 410622, 410624 of 25 October 2018 of the French Council of State/Conseil d'Etat (revocation of the operating licence held by Electricite de France (EDF) for the Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant (Bas-Rhin, France)); 2 - Oglala Sioux Tribe v. US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 896 F.3d 520/DC Cir. 2018 (petition for review of a US NRC decision issued during the NRC's administrative licensing adjudication for the Powertech (USA), Inc. Dewey-Burdock in situ uranium recovery project); 3 - Texas v. United States, 891 F.3d 553/5th Cir. 2018 (Texas petitioned for relief under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act alleging various federal entities and officials violated their obligations under the Act by neglecting to pursue the Yucca Mountain repository and instead pursuing a consent-based siting approach to building a repository); 4 - City of Boston Delegation v. FERC, 897 F.3d 241 /DC Cir. 2018 (The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) authorisation of a project to upgrade Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC's natural gas pipeline).
[en] This study begins by outlining the Euratom Community's competence in the area of nuclear security. Next, a parallel will be drawn between nuclear security and nuclear safety in Euratom law. Then, potential Euratom initiatives in the field of nuclear security will be discussed. Finally, the legal basis for the implementation of the Convention on the Physical Protection on Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) in Euratom law will be analysed. While the IAEA lacks enforcement powers generally and as regards nuclear security in particular, Euratom does possess extensive enforcement powers in the field of physical protection, a component of nuclear security. The IAEA may only make non-binding recommendations in its Nuclear Security Reports, while the European Commission may impose direct sanctions on nuclear operators. Such sanctions under Chapter 7 of the Euratom Treaty are normally imposed when operators have been violating the nuclear safeguards framework, but since safeguards implicitly cover physical protection, sanctions under Article 83 of the Euratom Treaty may also be imposed when the provisions of the CPPNM that apply to Euratom have been breached. National sovereignty is equally at stake with nuclear safety as with nuclear security. Strangely enough, Euratom has been effectively exercising its competencies in the field of nuclear safety, but not in the field of nuclear security, although the latter are older than the former. For the time being, there are no Commission initiatives in the field of nuclear security, and 'it should be noted that the Council has repeatedly disagreed on any attempt by the Commission to get involved - on behalf of Euratom - in nuclear security matters'. This situation, however, may change in the future, especially considering the European Council conclusions of 22 March 2018 on the Salisbury attack.
[en] This article addresses in detail the regulatory history of the licence renewal regulations to shed light on the reasons behind the policy, safety and environmental decisions because, apart from inspection-related activity, subsequent licence renewal in the United States will follow essentially the same process. This decision was not made lightly, with years of work and study involved. After re-analysing the initial bases for the Licence Renewal Rulemaking, as well as studying lessons learnt, operating experience, insights from international PSRs and safety improvements made over time, the NRC was able to determine that the current approach was adequate. This long look back demonstrates that the process is fundamentally sound and that the United States can move forward with reviewing applications subsequent renewal. The current and upcoming applications for subsequent renewal are critical for maintaining nuclear's contribution to the world's climate change goals. Each year, despite grid connections in China and Russia, the average age of operating nuclear power plants in the world has been steadily increasing, as has the number of reactors operating past the 40-year mark. If sufficient numbers of reactors are not going to be connected to the grid, regulators and operators have to be committed to ensuring safe continued operation.
[en] Over time, numerous events and developments have shaped the utilisation of nuclear energy as well as the approach to its regulation. For example, the Three Mile Island (TMI) accident in 1979 was a significant event affecting the nuclear power industry in the United States (US) and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) regulatory program, yet other incidents or 'near misses' at facilities, scientific and engineering assessments of reactor technology, and changes to enhance the NRC's organisational effectiveness have also shaped the framework for regulation. Nonetheless, in public consciousness, three major nuclear power accidents have arguably dominated the debate over the safety and regulation of nuclear power operations: the TMI accident, the 1986 Chernobyl accident in Ukraine, then part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and the multi-plant Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan in 2011. Having worked on the response to all three accidents at the NRC and to the Fukushima Daiichi accident at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), I thought it worth reflecting on the impact of those accidents on nuclear law and particularly the international dimensions of the field. For each accident, there are certainly impacts that the events have had on national legislation pertaining to nuclear energy, whether in the country where the accident occurred or in others. This article focuses on the international dimension by considering commentary and analysis contemporaneous with the events as well as reflections made some decades after the accidents occurred. And though each accident has had an impact, the Chernobyl accident has clearly been the most significant driver of change in the international legal regime. (author)
[en] This section treats of the following Intergovernmental organisation activities: 1 - European Atomic Energy Community: Institutional relations - Notice to stakeholders: Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and the EURATOM acquis; Legislative and regulatory proposals: Budgetary support for nuclear safety and decommissioning; Proposal for a Council Decision on ITER; Protection of persons reporting on breaches of European Union and Euratom Community law (whistle-blower protection); Published reports: Euratom Supply Agency Annual Report, Euratom report on the implementation of the Joint Convention, Commission report on the evaluation and implementation of the EU nuclear decommissioning assistance programs in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Lithuania, 2 - International Atomic Energy Agency: Nuclear safety: The Sixth Review Meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management; Guidance on the Management of Disused Radioactive Sources; Open-ended Meeting of Legal and Technical Experts on the Implementation of the Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources; Nuclear and radiological incident and emergency preparedness and response; Nuclear liability: Workshops on civil liability for nuclear damage, The International Expert Group on Nuclear Liability (INLEX); 62. session of the IAEA General Conference: Resolutions of the Conference, Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety (GC(62)/RES/6), Nuclear Security (GC(61)/RES/9), IAEA Treaty Event; Legislative assistance; 3 - OECD Nuclear Energy Agency: New member of the Generation IV International Forum Framework Agreement; Nuclear Law Committee meeting; Legal aspects of deep geological repositories; 2018 International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL); First NEA International Radiological Protection School (IRPS); NEA publications of interest.
[en] This section treats of the following National legislative and regulatory activities: 1 - France: Liability and compensation - Ministerial Order of 4 December 2017 amending the Annex of the amended Ministerial Order of 19 August 2016 listing the sites benefiting from a reduced amount of liability pursuant to Decree No. 2016-333 of 21 March 2016 implementing Article L. 597-28 of the French Environmental Code and relating to third party liability in the field of nuclear energy; Nuclear safety and radiological protection (including nuclear emergency planning) - Decree No. 2018-434 of 4 June 2018 concerning various provisions on nuclear matters, Decree No. 2018-437 of 4 June 2018 on the protection of workers against the risks arising from ionising radiation, Decree No. 2018-438 of 4 June 2018 on the protection against the risks arising from ionising radiation to which some workers are exposed; 2 - Germany: General legislation, regulations and instruments - 16. Act to Amend the Atomic Energy Act; 3 - Lithuania: Nuclear safety and radiological protection (including nuclear emergency planning) - Transposition of the Euratom Basic Safety Standards; Nuclear Safety Requirements for Ageing Management; Amendments of Nuclear Safety Requirements regarding Safety Improvement Measures and Periodic Safety Analysis; Radioactive waste management: Amendments to the Law on the Management of Radioactive Waste; Licensing and regulatory infrastructure: Amended rules on the issuance of licences and permits; Nuclear installations: Amendments of Nuclear Safety Requirements regarding lifting and handling equipment; Amended Rules for Site Evaluation; 4 - Slovak Republic: Nuclear safety and radiological protection (including nuclear emergency planning), New act on protection against radiation and amendments and alterations of several additional acts; International co-operation (meetings and workshops); 5 - Slovenia: Nuclear safety and radiological protection (including nuclear emergency planning) - New regulations adopted on the basis of Ionizing Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act from 2017; 6 - Switzerland: Radioactive waste management: Clearance for drilling in the potential siting areas for future deep geological repositories by the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC); Nuclear installations: Decommissioning order for the Muehleberg nuclear power plant received on 20 June 2018; 7 - United States: General legislation, regulations and instruments: NRC Commissioners confirmed and sworn in; Nuclear installations: Construction permit issued for Northwest Medical Isotopes, LLC; Radioactive waste management Holtec International, Inc. submits application for interim storage facility to the NRC; Radioactive materials (including physical protection): Wyoming becomes an Agreement State.