Press release

FORATOM calls for EC to enhance effectiveness of investment communication process in nuclear field

Jan 22, 2016

On 22 January 2016, FORATOM published a Position Paper in response to the European Commission (EC)’s consultation on the revision of the existing information and procedural requirements under Articles 41 to 44 of the Euratom Treaty. These requirements provide that nuclear investments above a certain threshold must be communicated to the EC.

FORATOM strongly welcomes the EC’s initiative to revise the communication requirements, which should contribute to improving the communication process in the nuclear field. One of the main objectives of the Euratom Treaty is indeed to facilitate nuclear investments in the EU.

FORATOM believes there is room for improvement in the way the communication process works. It makes several proposals to improve how companies communicate their major investments to the EC, and how the EC discusses with companies and convey its views to the Member State concerned. FORATOM also suggests streamlining the process in order to make it more efficient.

The communication sent by companies to the EC on investment projects should still primarily focus on the finance-related aspects. However, in order to account for the investment’s compliance with the objectives of the Euratom Treaty, the communication sent by companies could also include a description of the national licensing procedure the project is subject to, which is meant to already incorporate Euratom requirements including those on safety, waste management and radiation protection.

FORATOM also recommends defining a strict timeframe for the EC to issue its point of view, beginning from the submission of the communication by the company. If no answer is received within the allocated time, the EC shall be deemed to have issued a positive viewpoint on the investment project. FORATOM recommends a twelve month timeframe for new investments and a two month timeframe for the modifications of existing nuclear installations such as safety improvements or components’ replacements.

FORATOM suggest substantially increasing the threshold amounts for investments to reflect the current costs of nuclear projects for the EC to focus only on significant investments in new installations or modifications of existing ones. The threshold should be increased to €100 million (from €40 million currently) for the modifications of installations. Projects below
the threshold would still be assessed on other aspects by the EC under other EU or Euratom
provisions.

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