The proposal, originally submitted by Switzerland, will serve as a basis to further improve the safety of nuclear power plants around the world as well as reducing the gaps between safety improvements. These are also the main objectives WENRA is reaching to achieve, in Europe as well as worldwide.
The proposal requires new nuclear power plants to be built in compliance with the latest safety standards and technologies. Additionally, these standards shall also serve as reference for the safety of existing nuclear power plants. The ultimate objective is that accidents which render entire areas uninhabitable for lengthy periods such as the one at Fukushima cannot be tolerated in the future.
The amendment proposal will now be discussed in detail within the scope of a Diplomatic Conference. The Conference will be organised by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and has to take place within one year.
"We haven't crossed the finishing line yet", emphasises Hans Wanner, WENRA Chair and Director General of the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate ENSI. "It is nonetheless a significant success in view of the difficulties associated with amending a Convention."
During the 6th CNS Review Meeting held in Vienna from the end of March until the beginning of April 2014, the Swiss delegation, in close cooperation with other Contracting Parties, worked specifically towards initiating a Diplomatic Conference.
To reach an agreement for the Diplomatic Conference, a majority of at least two thirds of the Contracting Parties present and voting was needed. The Diplomatic Conference will provide the opportunity to formulate a text that is acceptable to as many Contracting Parties as possible.
Strong European support
The proposal was supported by a large number of Contracting Parties from all over the world, with and without a nuclear programme.
Not least due to the unanimous support of all European Contracting Parties, a comfortable majority in favour of submitting the proposal to a Diplomatic Conference could be reached.