January 31, 2023

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It is not prohibited to build nuclear power plants in Norway

The transition to a zero-emissions society means that Norway needs to produce a lot of energy, at least in the winter when it’s cold and dark and there’s little wind. Nuclear power is the best option if we want to produce electricity in a safe, environmentally friendly and reliable way with as little interference as possible with nature. Contrary to what many might think, building nuclear power is not prohibited in Norway. On the contrary, we have legislation that sets the framework for how nuclear power can be created in Norway.

waiver

Atomic Energy Law It states that the construction of nuclear power plants requires a license. The law states that Parliament must give its approval before a license is granted under the Atomic Energy Act. The license is granted by the king in council, that is, by the government. The same applies, among others, to the development of high-voltage lines with a length of more than 20 km and a voltage level of more than 300 kilovolts. These wires form the transmission network, which are the main veins in the power grid.

Directorate of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (DSA, formerly the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority) All applications for a license must be evaluated under the Atomic Energy Act. Before operating a power plant, the holder must obtain an operating permit from the DSA. It is the responsibility of the power plant owner to evaluate, document and ensure safety. Security assessments must be verified by an independent body before they are submitted to the DSA. The DSA must supervise and may request access to the facility at any time. If necessary, they can impose measures or stop operations.

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the conditions

DSA has Recently published an updated guide to license terms According to the Atomic Energy Law. Terms and Conditions have been developed by DSA in consultation with international experts and are based on Safety standards from the International Atomic Energy Agency. The conditions are very similar to those UK license terms.



As IAEA safety standards form the basis of legislation and licensing requirements in all countries with nuclear power, it would be appropriate to build Norwegian nuclear power plants on designs that have been approved abroad. A number of reactor types have been approved or are under approval by authorities in the United States CanadaAnd the Great Britain And the United States of America. These countries are among the leaders in developing modern nuclear power plants, and the language makes technology transfer from them easier than from other countries. Licensing requires design and safety assessments that reflect local conditions. But with general approval of the design at the bottom, the conditions are just right for local assessments and adaptations to be made.

security requirements

The Atomic Energy Law is far from the only law regulating nuclear energy. The Security Act establishes requirements for the security of things, the security of information, and the security of individuals. The Radiation Protection Act and the Radiation Protection Regulations set very stringent requirements for the proper operation of facilities that present a risk of radiation exposure. People who do not work in the factory should not be exposed to more than 0.25 millisievert (mSv) of radiation per year. It is below average radiation Radioactivity in food (0.53 mSv/year) or cosmic radiation (0.35 mSv/year), and less than 5% of the total average annual radiation dose to which the average person is exposed.

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Planning and building lawAnd the pollution law And the impact assessment regulations Describes the process of creating facilities that entail or can cause pollution. Annex 1 of the Impact Assessment Regulations states that the process applies to nuclear power plants.

More hearings

The process of establishing a nuclear power plant will begin with a planning initiative and proposal for an investigation programme, which will describe the power plant, site and conditions to be investigated to demonstrate that safety and environmental considerations are being attended to and how they are being attended to. authorities and stakeholders along the way. The proposal is submitted for public consultation and submitted to the municipality, the DSA and other responsible authorities and at public meetings. After the consultation round, the investigation program is determined by the responsible authorities.

The impact assessment regulations state that the DSA, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (the top ministry of the DSA), the Ministry of Climate and the Environment (also above the DSA), the Norwegian Directorate for Water Resources and Energy (NVE), and the Ministry of Oil and Energy are the responsible authorities when investigating nuclear power plants.

It may be appropriate to conduct the investigation in stages, with partial hearings and approvals along the way. When the impact assessment is completed, it is sent for a consultation. The license can then be granted and construction can begin. Before the plant can be operated, the DSA must grant an operating permit on the basis of a safety report showing that the plant was built in line with the licence.

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Good efficiency

Thus, our legislation makes it quite possible to build nuclear power plants in Norway. We also have several other prerequisites: The Department of Energy Engineering (IFE) has Core Nuclear Competence, which we can build on. The DSA is a competent supervisory authority, with experience from both IFE supervision and international cooperation. We already have radioactive waste in Norway, which must be dealt with In a similar way to waste from nuclear power plants. Norwegian Geology Well suited for Radioactive waste facility. The Norwegian industry has a lot of experience in building and operating advanced technology.

This does not mean that it will be easy to build nuclear power in Norway, and so far we lack signs that the Norwegian government and parliament will allow the construction of a nuclear power plant. But this is also all that is needed from a political point of view. Small Model Nuclear Power Plants, SMR, can be fully funded without subsidies, making it easier for politicians to decide.