The European Commission has adopted a revised proposal for a Directive setting up a Community framework for nuclear safety. The new Directive responds to EU citizens' concerns for Europe-wide binding safety legislation for the operation of nuclear power plants. It defines basic obligations and general principles for the safety of nuclear installations in the European Union whilst enhancing the role of national regulatory bodies.

The proposal, which replaces and updates the one tabled in September 2004, is based on the obligations of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Safety Fundamentals. The High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management (ENSREG) will become the main point of co-operation between regulators and will contribute to the continuous improvement of nuclear safety requirements, especially with respect to new reactors.

The proposal’s scope of application is the design, construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning of nuclear installations, for which consideration of safety is required under the legislative and regulatory framework of the Member State concerned. The right of each Member State as to whether or not to use nuclear energy in its energy mix is recognised and respected.