The German-Belgian Nuclear Commission held its second meeting in Brussels yesterday and the day before, continuing information and experience sharing between the German and Belgian nuclear regulators. The two countries adopted the format at the end of 2016. This year, the talks focused again on the findings discovered at the Tihange 2 und Doel 3 nuclear power plants close to the German border.
Experts from the Federal Environment Ministry and representatives of the adjacent Länder of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate represented Germany at the two-day meeting. The Belgian delegation consisted of experts from Belgium’s nuclear regulator FANC (Federal Agency for Nuclear Control). In addition to discussions about the relevant nuclear installations, this year’s bilateral exchange of information and experience covered criteria and procedures for reportable events, regulatory aspects and concrete examples of precursor analyses.
The nuclear commission also discussed the results of the German-Belgian expert meeting on Tihange 2 and Doel 3 held in February 2018. Both German and Belgian experts recommend further investigations. FANC is ready to participate in a research project run by University of Stuttgart’s materials testing institute (MPA Stuttgart). In conjunction with a research project launched in Belgium, the MPA Stuttgart project is intended to extend the scientific foundations for safety demonstrations. The partners agreed to cooperate closely and to engage in in-depth exchange. The German Federal Environment Ministry will closely monitor the research project and evaluate its results.
The German-Belgian Nuclear Commission is a key element of the German-Belgian Agreement on the exchange of information and experience and on cooperation in the field of nuclear safety, radiation protection and safety and disposal of spent fuel and radioactive waste. At its first meeting in June 2017, the nuclear commission agreed on general conditions for formal cooperation and on joint communication procedures in order to establish a framework for effective bilateral cooperation. The commission evaluated and optimised this framework at its second meeting.
The Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for the summer of 2019.