Western European Nuclear Regulator's Association

Western European safety regulators founded the WENRA advisory body at the beginning of 1999. This move was triggered by the necessity to develop a common position concerning the safety of nuclear power plants in EU applicant countries states for accession negotiations. In March 2003 the objectives of the co-operation within WENRA were extended. WENRA has now become a network of nuclear safety regulators in Europe exchanging experience and discussing significant safety issues relating to the operation of nuclear installations.

WENRA has technical working groups made up of experts from regulatory authorities and expert organisations dealing intensively with technical aspects.

Reactor Harmonisation Working Group (RHWG)

The RHWG deals with safety-related issues for European nuclear power plants with the objective to continuously improve nuclear safety and reduce unnecessary differences in the safety standards of the Member States.

In 2005, the RHWG defined a total of about 300 basic requirements, the so-called “Reference Levels”, relating to 18 safety issues (e.g. “Design Basis Envelope for Existing Reactors”, “Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA)” or “Operational Limits and Conditions (OLCs)”). These Reference Levels should be considered in the nuclear rules and regulations of the WENRA members. Moreover, the RHWG prepares recommendations and statements on specific topics, such as on requirements relating to the safety of new reactors. The findings and lessons learned from the nuclear accident in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were analysed and considered in revised versions of the Reference Levels.

The RHWG also identifies and defines safety objectives for new nuclear power plants. In November 2010, these were published in the WENRA Statement “Safety objectives for new nuclear power plants”.

Moreover, on the WENRA website, you also have access to other published documents as well as to an overview of the two other groups within the WENRA: the “Working Group on Waste and Decommissioning (WGWD)” and the “WENRA Inspection Working Group (WIG)”.