Press release

FORATOM calls for European Commission to support EU Nuclear Supply Chain harmonisation

Jun 10, 2020

Brussels, 10 June 2020: A strong and diversified supply chain is essential to ensuring high levels of safety, quality and reliability in the nuclear industry. According to a report published today by FORATOM, the European Commission should acknowledge the importance of harmonising the European Nuclear Supply Chain and support EU Member States in reviewing their regulatory framework to enable the use of modern high-quality components manufactured for other industries. A strong and harmonised European nuclear supply chain can also help the EU revive its economy following the COVID-19 outbreak.

26% of the electricity produced in the EU comes from nuclear energy and it remains the largest source of low-carbon electricity. However, the average age of the nuclear fleet in Europe is 35 years and without the long-term operation (LTO) of nuclear power plants, 90% of current nuclear capacity will be shut down by 2035 and will thus need to be replaced.

The safe and reliable operation of the European nuclear fleet requires the availability of appropriate supply chain options” says FORATOM Director General Yves Desbazeille.  “Implementing the report’s recommendations will create a great opportunity for European suppliers to be involved in LTO or new build projects, and thus help the EU’s economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis and meet the bloc’s 2050 climate-neutrality goals”.

Entitled “Optimising the European Nuclear Supply Chain – Use of High-Quality Industrial Grade Items in European Nuclear Installations”, the report recommends that industry should take advantage of existing European supply chain projects and international experience in using high-quality industrial grade items. Additional recommendations for ensuring a robust and diversified supply chain include the following:

  • The nuclear industry should develop a European guideline which includes a common methodology for the acceptance of high-quality industrial grade items in certain safety classified applications. To achieve this goal, cross stakeholder collaboration between entities such as ENISS1, WENRA2 and ENSREG3 should be encouraged.
  • EU Member States and other European countries should develop national guidance for the use of high-quality industrial grade items based on the common European guideline,
  • The nuclear industry should review existing procedures to provide the basis for a larger market and more efficient interfaces with suppliers.

Formulating a European guideline will allow both utilities and vendors to develop their own processes and procedures for procuring commercial grade items to be applied in nuclear safety related applications.

The full report can be found here.

  1. ENISS – European Nuclear Installations Safety Standards Initiative
  2. WENRA – Western European Nuclear Regulators Association
  3. ENSREG – European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group

About us: The European Atomic Forum (FORATOM) is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe. The membership of FORATOM is made up of 15 national nuclear associations and through these associations, FORATOM represents nearly 3,000 European companies working in the industry and supporting around 1,100,000 jobs.

For more information, please contact Witold Strzelecki

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