Established in 2016, the working group on nuclear safety supports the European Green Deal goal of decarbonisation by 2050.
The European nuclear industry and its research and innovation (R&I) community have a long history of providing excellence and benefit to European citizens. Nuclear energy is currently the largest single supplier of low-carbon electricity in the EU and enables security of supply by ensuring independence from third countries. But nuclear technology is more than just a power supplier: it plays an indispensable role in the medical sector, particularly in terms of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer (thus supporting Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan), as well as in industry, space and agriculture. The nuclear sector is a home to innovation in new digital applications (such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and the internet of things (IOT)) as well as in the operation and security of the European electrical grid, together with variable renewables and storage. By developing innovative and cross-cutting applications, nuclear serves a wide range of the R&I domains on which the EU places its focus.
Targets and objectives
The aim of the Nuclear safety Implementation Working Group (IWG) is to support the objectives of the European Green Deal and the goal of decarbonisation by 2050. Through collaborative research and innovation, we support the maintenance of a high level of safety, as well as enhanced efficiency and new applications for nuclear reactors, technologies and associated fuel cycles.
For 2030, the goal is to maintain the European fleet of reactors offering reliable, low-carbon energy, and to develop applications further in areas such as industrial process heat and co-generation plants. The development and deployment of small modular reactors (SMR) with enhanced functionality and applications will improve the European energy system and support the decarbonisation of industrial end-users. Our ultimate objective is the development of reactor designs, offering increased uranium resource efficiency and reduced generation of long-lived waste.
1. Exploring alternative nuclear applications: hydrogen production, process heat for heavy industry, district heating and medical applications in addition to reliable, flexible and sustainable electricity generation, allowing the stability of the EU-grid, independence, competitiveness and a low-carbon source of energy.
2. Developing new SMART technologies, processes and synergies: new designs including small, modular and advanced reactors with the potential to close the fuel cycle, digitalisation, artificial intelligence, new manufacturing routes, harmonisation of codes and standards.
3. Focusing on key enablers to deliver the IWG ambitions: EU high quality skills and competences, R&D infrastructures, knowledge management and international cooperation.
The group is co-chaired by Finland and France and includes 15 other European countries. In addition, this working group is supported by the ETIP on Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP).
Participating countries (in alphabetical order):
|Turkey (associated country)|