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Parliamentary questions
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19 July 2021
Answer given by Ms Simson
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002714/2021

1. Under Euratom law Member States must ensure the safety of nuclear installations operations; the Nuclear Safety Directive(1) assigns the prime responsibility for the safety of a nuclear installation to the licence holder under the supervision of the national competent authority. The directive sets an obligation on the licensee to report events with a potential impact on nuclear safety to the competent authority, and for information to be made available to the public. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission in cooperation with national regulatory authorities in the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group has been monitoring its impacts, particularly on the safety of nuclear installations. No safety related concerns have been reported. In addition, the European Electricity Coordination Group met regularly to monitor the impacts of the pandemic in the electricity sector and facilitate the exchange of information. The Commission is not compiling information on infection rates, deaths or quarantine rules in nuclear installations.

2. Where maintenance and inspection plans have been affected by the pandemic, it is the Commission’s assessment that national authorities are continuing their supervisory role to ensure that nuclear safety is not compromised. In 2020, the Commission issued guidelines which stress the need to ensure free movement of essential workers within the EU borders, including specialised energy workers(2). The Commission also published a set of good practices and lessons learnt to address pandemic risks for the energy sector(3).

3. The Commission has not been informed of any safety related incidents at nuclear sites directly attributable to the pandemic.

(1)Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom of 25 June 2009 establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations (OJ L 172, 2.7.2009, p. 18).
(2)Communication from the Commission Guidelines concerning the exercise of the free movement of workers during COVID-19 outbreak, 2020/C 102 I/03, 30.3.2020
(3)Commission Staff Working Document, Energy Security: Good Practices to Address Pandemic Risks, SWD(2020) 104 final, 2.6.2020
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