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null STUK regulations replace government decrees

STUK regulations replace government decrees

7 Jan 2016 16:00

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) issued five regulations concerning the safety of nuclear facilities on January 1, 2016. So far, these technical regulations defining general safety objectives in nuclear facilities have been issued as Government decrees. The reform is based on the revised Nuclear Energy Act which entered into force at the beginning of the year.

Petteri Tiippana, Director General of STUK, stresses that the authority to issue regulations adds to the independent and self-contained position of STUK in the safety control of nuclear energy use. An international review team which has previously evaluated the operations of STUK also recommended increasing the independence of supervision. It is also required in the supplement to the nuclear safety directive, published in the summer of 2014.

After the law reform, the preparation, confirmation, and maintenance of regulations are the responsibility of STUK. Before issuing new regulations, STUK must listen to licensees, advisory committees operating in connection with STUK, ministries, safety authorities, as well as other authorities if necessary.

The Nuclear Energy Act contains a 27-point list of subjects concerning which STUK may issue regulations. The list is based on current decrees and the 2011 reform of the Nuclear Energy Act.

Of the five regulations recently issued by STUK, those related to the safety of nuclear power plants, emergency preparedness at nuclear power plants, and security arrangements of nuclear facilities will not entail substantial changes to the previous government decrees. The regulation concerning safety of uranium or thorium production related mining or enrichment activities is new as there was no previous government decree on this subject.

The regulation concerning the final disposal of nuclear waste was revised on the basis of experiences from the Posiva construction licence processing and the supervision of other nuclear waste plants. The structure and requirements of the regulation were also made consistent with the regulation concerning the safety of nuclear power plants. According to leading nuclear safety expert Seija Suksi, the most significant change is taking into account the extension of hypothetical accidents from the nuclear power plant regulations in nuclear facilities processing spent nuclear fuel. Seija Suksi states that the changes clarify the design of nuclear waste plants and specify the regulations related to the long-term safety of nuclear waste.

The revoked government decrees also contain provisions which cannot be stipulated with STUK regulations; instead, the authority to issue the decree remains with the Government. Such subjects include limiting radiation exposure and the emissions of radioactive substances and duties included in the operational areas of other authorities. At the beginning of the year, a revision of the Nuclear Energy Decree entered into force regarding these decrees (17 December 2015/1532, in Finnish).

More information

Leading nuclear safety expert Seija Suksi, tel. +358 9 759 88 347
Information Officer Risto Isaksson, tel. +358 9 759 88 208

The regulations and their rationale are published in the STUK body of regulations

The regulations in Finnish
42423-MÄÄRÄYS STUK Y/1/2016,  Säteilyturvakeskuksen määräys ydinvoimalaitoksen turvallisuudesta
42424-MÄÄRÄYS STUK Y/2/2016: Säteilyturvakeskuksen määräys Säteilyturvakeskuksen määräys ydinvoimalaitoksen valmiusjärjestelyistä
42425-MÄÄRÄYS STUK Y/3/2016: Säteilyturvakeskuksen määräys ydinenergian käytön turvajärjestelyistä
42426-MÄÄRÄYS STUK Y/4/2016: Säteilyturvakeskuksen määräys ydinjätteiden loppusijoituksen turvallisuudesta
42427-MÄÄRÄYS STUK Y/5/2016: Säteilyturvakeskuksen määräys uraanin tai toriumin tuottamiseksi harjoitettavan kaivostoiminnan ja malminrikastustoiminnan turvallisuudesta

The regulations in Swedish
42428-FÖRESKRIFT  STUK  Y/1/2016: Strålsäkerhetscentralens föreskrift om säkerheten vid kärnkraftverk
42429-FÖRESKRIFT  STUK  Y/2/2016: Strålsäkerhetscentralens föreskrift om beredskapsarrangemang vid ett kärnkraftverk
42430-FÖRESKRIFT STUK Y/3/2016: Strålsäkerhetscentralens föreskrift om skyddsarrangemangen vid användning av kärnenergi
42431-FÖRESKRIFT STUK Y/4/2016: Strålsäkerhetscentralens föreskrift om säkerheten vid slutförvaring av kärnavfall
424232-FÖRESKRIFT STUK Y/5/2016: Strålsäkerhetscentralens föreskrift om säkerheten vid gruvdrift och malmanrikningsverksamhet i syfte att producera uran eller torium


Nuclear safety
2 Mar 2016 18:08
Some terms concerning the new regulations have been emended.