atw 2015-01


atw Vol. 60 (2015) | Issue 1 ı January


Overview of PHARE Projects Implemented

in Romania Between 1997 and 2008 for

Enhancing the Nuclear Safety Level

Radian Sanda, Benoit Zerger, Giustino Manna and Brian Farrar

1. Framework of PHARE programme and

projects list

Reconstruction of the economy of each member state is a

major asset for the European Union (EU) global community.

Since 1991, through the Poland Hungary Aid for Reconstruction

of the Economy (PHARE) programme, the

European Commission (EC) supported the transition of the

Eastern European states to the European market economy.

PHARE was a pre-accession financial assistance programme

which involved countries from Central and Eastern

Europe that applied to become members of the

European Union. The programme helped to carry out the

reforms required for membership and to equip the partner

countries to benefit from EU funds on accession.

Romania was the first country of post-communist

Europe to have official relations with the European Community.

It was included in the Community’s Generalized

System of Preferences from 1974. After December 1989

when the Romanian Revolution occurred, successive Romanian

Governments shared a common main goal to gain

EU membership. After Hungary and Poland, Romania was

the third Eastern European country to sign its Europe

Agreement (1993) and submitted its official application for

membership of the EU in 1995. During the 2000s, Romania

implemented a large number of reforms to prepare for EU

accession. Part of the costs was covered using the PHARE


One of the fundamental priority areas of the PHARE

funding was nuclear safety. Regarding this area, Romania,

member of the EU since 1 st January 2007, received funds

(more than 8 million euro) from the EC from 1998 in order

to align its legislation and practices to the level of requirements

imposed by the EU.

Currently, Romania is operating two CANDU 6 type reactors

located at Cernavodă site. A CANDU 6 type reactor is

based on Canadian technology, and is a Pressurized Heavy

Water moderated and cooled Reactor (PHWR). Romania is

the only country which operates such type of reactors

within the EU, and it is the only one within the Eastern

European states operating only power reactors based on

Western technology.

In the period covered by this study, 16 PHARE projects

were implemented in Romania (see Table 1). In general,

these projects were aimed at improving the relevant institutional

capabilities while dealing with nuclear safety issues.

More specifically, the topics covered were:

• Regulatory Activities (RA) (8 projects);

• Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) (7 projects);

• On-Site Assistance (OSA) – this means that direct support

was given to the NPP in order to improve nuclear

safety and to transfer the know-how of European power

plant operators (1 project).

2. Projects related to regulatory activities

The projects concerned mainly the national nuclear safety

authority “Comisia Naţională pentru Controlul Activităţilor

Nucleare” (the National Commission for Nuclear Activities

Control (CNCAN)) but also other specialized units and services

within the Ministry of Administration and Interior, the

Ministry of Environment and Waters Management, the Ministry

of Education and Research or by another National Agencies.

Figure 1 shows the implementation timeline of the

PHARE projects related to RA.

Enhancement of the regulatory regime

There were three projects dealing with the Regulatory Regime

Enhancement: RO/RA/01 and RO/RA/02 “Transfer

of Western European Methodology to the Nuclear Safety

Authority of Romania”, RO.01.10.01 “Nuclear Safety Regulatory

Regime Consolidation” and 2005/017-519.03.03

“Development of CNCAN capabilities regarding the regulatory

aspects of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials

(NORM) and Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring

Radioactive Materials (TENORM) related activities”.

The first project was implemented in two phases, with a

pause of more than 4 years between the phases. Both

phases addressed the areas needing enhancement with the

highest priority in the framework of the accession process

and for which the transfer of Western European methods

and practices was deemed to be most appropriate. The

main objective of the project was to strengthen and enhance

the effectiveness of the Romanian Nuclear Regulatory

Authority and to improve its competence and independent

technical assessment capability. Other topics

covered were: Quality Management System (QMS) within

the CNCAN organization, CNCAN performance on inspection

practice and emergency preparedness, assistance in

elaboration/implementation of regulations/norms/guides

in accordance with European legislation, Western practice

and taking into account the IAEA requirements.

The second project, “Nuclear Safety Regulatory Regime

Consolidation”, continued the work carried out in the first

project, and it was intended primarily to revise and develop

a new set of regulations in line with the practices of

the regulatory bodies who were members of the Consortium

of Western Regulators (CWR) which undertook the

project. In addition to the work carried out to improve the

QMS, CNCAN was in the process of implementing the acquis

communautaire related to the Council Directives

96/29/EURATOM and 97/43/EURATOM. During the project,

assistance was provided for the revision of the final

version of the regulations on radiation safety in the areas

of radiotherapy, radio diagnosis, industry and nuclear

medicine and the codes of practice for Dosimetry. In addition,

the project resulted in the improvement of the norms

regulating the safeguards and physical protection areas,

and a new set of norms on radioactive waste management

was developed, covering: the classification of the radioactive

waste, the principles of radioactive waste management,

clearance levels for radioactive waste and radioactive effluents

and the authorization process of pre-treatment,

Operation and New Build

Overview of PHARE Projects Implemented in Romania Between 1997 and 2008 for Enhancing the Nuclear Safety Level ı Radian Sanda, Benoit Zerger, Giustino Manna and Brian Farrar

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