The report says a strong and diversified supply chain is essential to ensuring safety in the nuclear industry and can help the EU revive its economy following the coronavirus pandemic.
The report recommends that the nuclear industry should take advantage of existing European supply chain projects and international experience in using high-quality industrial grade items.
It says the industry should develop a European guideline which includes a common methodology for the acceptance of components in certain safety classified applications. To achieve this goal, collaboration should be encouraged between bodies such as the European Nuclear Installations Safety Standards Initiative, the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association and the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group.
The report calls on EU member states and other European countries to develop national guidance for the use of high-quality industrial grade items based on common European guidelines.
This would allow utilities and vendors to develop their own processes and procedures for procuring commercial grade items to be applied in nuclear safety related applications, the report says.
“The safe and reliable operation of the European nuclear fleet requires the availability of appropriate supply chain options,” said Foratom director-general Yves Desbazeille. “Implementing the report’s recommendations will create a great opportunity for European suppliers to be involved in long-term operation or new-build projects, and thus help the EU’s economy recover from the Covid-19 crisis and meet the bloc’s 2050 climate-neutrality goals”.
According to Foratom, 26% of the electricity produced in the EU comes from nuclear energy and it remains the largest source of low-carbon electricity. However, the average age of the nuclear fleet in Europe is 35 years and without the long-term operation of nuclear power plants, 90% of nuclear capacity will be shut down by 2035 and will need to be replaced.