In April 2016, the public consultation process was dedicated to the Energy Union Research, Innovation and Competitiveness additional priority on "nuclear energy” began. It focused on Action 10 of the SET Plan Communication (C(2015)6317):
- Action 10: Maintaining a high level of safety of nuclear reactors and associated fuel cycles during operation and decommissioning, while improving their efficiency
To initiate this public consultation, and on the basis of the SET Plan Integrated Roadmap, the European Commission developed an Issues Paper that addressed this key action. The Issues Paper was sent to SET Plan countries and relevant research and industrial stakeholders requesting them to take position on the proposed targets/priorities, in accordance with the guidelines set out in the document entitled ''the SET Plan actions – Implementation process and expected outcomes'' (see box below).
Relevant stakeholders and SET Plan countries were invited to provide their comments for this first consultation round in the form of "input papers" by 26th April 2016. Following those exchanges the European Commission organised a dedicated SET Plan Steering Group meeting on 24th May 2016 whereby, stakeholders and SET Plan countries discussed the Issues Paper and reached an agreement on common targets that took the form of a Declaration of Intent (DoI). Following the meeting, the DoI on 'maintaining a high level of safety of nuclear reactors and associated fuel cycles during operation and decommissioning, while improving their efficiency' was endorsed by written procedure and was presented to the Steering Group meeting on 14th September 2016.
In February 2017, interested Member states/Associated countries, stakeholders and the European Commission held a kick off meeting of the SET Plan temporary working group on Nuclear Safety (TWG10). Meetings were held on a monthly basis and a 2 days' workshop last July gathering all relevant EU/MS stakeholders. TWG10 Implementation plan identifies a set of concrete research and innovation Fission/Fusion activities and key enabling conditions needed. It benefitted from the latest strategic research and innovation EU/MS programmes, roadmaps and deployment strategies of technology platforms or fora, all in all stimulating further EU/MS and Public/Private Joint Actions. Key funding opportunities have also been identified to achieve the agreed targets of the Declaration of Intent. The TWG10 was chaired by the United Kingdom and co-chaired by Belgian and French national ministry representatives. This Implementation plan is expected to be endorsed by the Steering Group members during the first half of 2018.
Any SET-Plan country or stakeholder's organisation interested in joining the temporary working groups to deliver implementation plans is kindly invited to inform the SET-Plan Secretariat (SET-PLAN-SECRETARIAT@ec.europa.eu).