History

Belgian Nuclear Safety Authority

Up to 2001, the Belgian Nuclear Safety Authority was made up of two services created by Royal Decrees from 1981, the SSTIN and the SPRI. A new Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) has been established by the law of 15 april 1994 and centralizes since September 1st, 2001 the staff of both SSTIN and SPRI. In Belgium, the regulatory inspections of nuclear installations are not carried out directly by the competent Safety Authority but are delegated to authorised inspection organizations.

AVN – Authorised inspection and licensing body

In 1969, a Nuclear Safety Department was set up within the Association Vinçotte, just at the moment when the first units of Doel 1 and 2 and Tihange 1 were ordered. This Department was immediately authorised and put in charge of the regulatory control of the nuclear power plants.

In 1990, as a result of the merge of both authorised organizations Vinçotte and AIB, the Nuclear Safety Department became officially AIB-Vinçotte Nuclear, in short AVN. As a private company, AVN did not belong to the Administration : AVN was authorised by the Belgian Nuclear Safety Authority and reported on a quarterly basis to its Surveillance Committee, which was chaired by a representative of the Administration.

AVN – Independent Control

In 1995, AVN became completely independent from both an administrative and a financial viewpoint and left the AIB-Vinçotte group.

In 1996, the merge of AVN with another authorised organization, CORAPRO, involved in addition to the regulatory control of the power plants, the control of most of the other class 1 nuclear installations (SCK•CEN, Belgonucléaire, Belgoprocess, IRE,…)

In 1999, AVN changed its name into Association Vinçotte Nuclear and later moved into a brand new building in August 2001.

Creation of Bel V and transfer of the regulatory activities of AVN

In September 2007, the FANC has created a subsidary, a foundation of private law, called Bel V.

On 14/04/2008, the regulatory activities of AVN, as well as the concerned staff, have been transferred to this subsidiary of the FANC.

Since that day, Bel V constitutes the Technical Safety Organisation (TSO) of the Belgian Nuclear Safety Authority.

Presentations are available here (website FANC) : French - Dutch

Applicable regulations in Belgium

Generally speaking, Belgium has chosen the American rules for the design and construction of its nuclear power plants, i.e. the requirements of the Code of Federal Regulations (10CFR50), as well as of the ASME code, of the ANS/IEEE standards and of the documents issued by the US-NRC such as the Regulatory Guides, the Standard Review Plans, the NUREGs,…

Furthermore, Bel V must conform to the Belgian rules and regulations, including the transposition in the Belgian law of the relevant European directives; the American rules have been adapted to cope with the two following regulations :

Belgian regulation for the protection of the workers.

 

The regulation concerned is the code for the welfare at work (previously the RGPT/ARAB), applicable to pressure equipment, electrical installations, lifting equipment.

Regarding the pressure vessels which are part of the nuclear installations, a derogation has been promulgated to allow the replacement of the Belgian rules (RGPT/ARAB) by the American ones; moreover, a transposition in Belgium of the regulatory aspects of the ASME code had to be established.

Belgian regulation for the protection of the population, the workers and the environment against the danger of ionising radiations.

 

Since years, the regulation concerned was the Royal Decree of 28 February 1963, applicable to the nuclear installations, which are classified in Class 1 to 4 according to the amount of fissile material and to the amount and type of radionuclides present; for instance, a nuclear plant belongs to class 1, as well as some fuel cycle facilities.

Now, there is a new Royal Decree of 20 July 2001 which replaces the Royal Decree of 28 February 1963, and which transposes the latest Euratom directives (basic standards, patient protection,…) and takes into account the existence of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) operational since 1st September 2001.