GRS assists Dutch regulatory authority KFD
At present, the 482-megawatt Kerncentrale Borssele (KCB) is the only nuclear power plant in the Netherlands. Borssele was built in the late 60s and was originally scheduled for closure in 2004. At that time, the Dutch government extended the lifetime of the plant until 2034. Until then, the regulatory authority Kernfysischer Dienst (KFD) will be regularly overseeing the safety of the plant. In addition, KFD reassesses every ten years the NPP's nuclear safety and radiation protection – similar to the periodic safety reviews (PSR) carried out in Germany. 2013 will see what is now already the third evaluation of this kind.
Regulatory authority Kerfysischer Dienst (KFD)
The Kernfysischer Dienst is part of the Ministerie van Volkshuisvesting, Ruimtelijke Ordening en Milieubeheer (VROM), the Ministry for Housing, Regional Planning and Environmental Protection. The KFD is in charge of monitoring nuclear safety standards, taking safety precautions , and ensuring emergency preparedness in the event of any incidents or accidents. Apart from Borssele, the KFD also supervises the two Dutch research reactors at the Petten nuclear research centre and at Delft Technical University.
The regulatory authorities usually receive support in technical and scientific issues from the Technical Safety Organisations (TSOs) in their countries. Since the Netherlands operate only one nuclear power plant, they do not have their own TSO. GRS fulfils the role of a Technical Safety Organisation in Germany. As it has the technical competence required, GRS is now also assuming to a growing extent the role of TSO for the Netherlands and will assist the KFD in the next safety-related assessment of the Borssele nuclear power plant scheduled for 2013.
GRS and KFD have already been co-operating for several years in the fields of nuclear safety and radiation protection. One of the tasks involved in the scientific and technical support was e.g. the assessment of the use of so-called MOX fuel assemblies at Borssele.
Other projects in support of foreign authorities
Being a TSO, GRS does not confine its work to the German borders and thus also assists other foreign licensing and supervisory authorities in fulfilling their tasks. For the foreign expert organisations and authorities to be able to fulfil their functions, they have to act independent of any short-term political decisions. To do so, they need a high degree of technical competence. Apart from the Kernfysischer Dienst, GRS also provides assistance to various projects of the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to the Argentine Autoridad Regulatoria Nuclear (ARN)and, among others, to the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI).