(*) Key achievements in the table state which period they relate to. Many come from the implementation of the predecessor programmes under the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework. This is expected and is due to the multiannual life cycle of EU programmes and the projects they finance, where results often follow only after completion of the programmes.
Budget for 2021-2027
Rationale and design of the programme
The programme's objective is to support the promotion of nuclear safety culture and radiation protection, the safe management of spent nuclear fuels and radioactive wastes and the application of effective and efficient safeguards of nuclear materials in non-EU countries.
The operation of nuclear power plants is the responsibility of any state that chooses to include nuclear in its energy mix. Nevertheless, as history showed with the accidents at Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011, any accident has transboundary consequences and affects the population and the environment of neighbouring countries and regions. In other words, ensuring nuclear safety and security has the features of a public good.
The EU thus has both a role to play and value to add in terms of safeguarding the safety and security of its citizens and protecting the environment, by ensuring that nuclear reactors are operated safely and according to the best international standards.
The objective of European Instrument for International Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) is to support the promotion of nuclear safety culture and radiation protection, the safe management of spent nuclear fuels and radioactive wastes and the application of effective and efficient safeguards of nuclear materials in non-EU countries.
This is to be achieved by cooperating with the key stakeholders, and in particular with the responsible nuclear regulatory authorities, with the aim of transferring EU expertise and promoting transparency by non-EU countries' authorities in nuclear-related decision-making.
The INSC's objectives are:
- to promote an effective nuclear safety and radiation protection culture and implement the highest nuclear safety and radiation protection standards, and to continuously improve nuclear safety, including by promoting transparency in the decision-making processes of authorities in non-EU countries relating to the safety of nuclear installations;
- to manage spent fuel and radioactive waste responsibly and safely and to decommission and remediate former nuclear sites and installations, including by promoting transparency in the decision-making processes of authorities in non-EU countries;
- to establish efficient and effective safeguards for nuclear material in non-EU countries.
The INSC will establish cooperation with and support beneficiary countries through a variety of means, including by providing services, equipment, technical assistance, training and tutoring and by exchanging information (including through twinning projects). The INSC can also provide budget support and take part in multilateral assistance/cooperation projects together with Member States or international organisations.
The INSC is implemented under direct management by the Commission (including through the EU delegations) and under indirect management by entities such as Member State agencies or international organisations that ensure a level of protection of the EU's financial interests equivalent to that under direct management. Indirect management may also be entrusted to partner countries or the bodies they designate. Innovative financial instruments, including in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other international financial institutions, will be used for blending activities.
The impact assessment of the INSC was carried out in 2018.
For further information please consult: https://europa.eu/!gh96VH
The INSC builds on the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation in the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework.
Implementation and performance
Budget programming (million EUR):
|Decommitments made available again (*)||N/A||N/A|
|Contributions from other countries and entities|
(*) Only Article 15(3) of the financial regulation.
+ EUR 0.0 million (+ 0%)
compared to the legal basis
Cumulative implementation rate at the end of 2021 (million EUR):
Voted budget implementation in 2021 (million EUR):
|Voted budget implementation||Initial voted budget|
- In 2021, the EUR 37.6 million in implemented commitments represented 100% of the voted budget and the payments 60%. The difference in payments from the initial voted budget can be explained by the late adoption of the legal basis.
- In 2021, the EUR 36.1 million in commitment appropriations is to finance 10 projects in nine countries in the areas of nuclear safety (42.5%) and the management of radioactive waste (42.5%).
- In 2022, nine projects are expected to be financed in eight countries and regions, with a commitment appropriation amount of EUR 35.9 million.
- In line with the multiannual indicative programme, projects will be financed relating to the promotion of an effective nuclear safety culture (objective 1 of the programme) and to radioactive waste management (objective 2 of the programme) (41.9% each), and to establishing nuclear safeguards for nuclear material (objective 3) (12.3%) and support measures (3.9%).
Contribution to horizontal priorities
EU budget contribution in 2021 (million EUR):
|Climate||Biodiversity||Gender equality (*)|
|0||0||Score 1: 34.3|
Score 0: 3.3
(*) Based on the applied gender contribution methodology, the following scores are attributed at the most granular level of intervention possible:
- 2: interventions the principal objective of which is to improve gender equality;
- 1: interventions that have gender equality as an important and deliberate objective but not as the main reason for the intervention;
- 0: non-targeted interventions;
- 0*: score to be assigned to interventions with a likely but not yet clear positive impact on gender equality.
|Number of countries benefiting from EU support in developing a culture of safety for nuclear energy||0||> 100%||20 in 2027||9||On track|
|Number of regulatory documents produced in beneficiary countries with the support of EU expertise||0||> 100%||20 in 2027||5||On track|
|Number of nuclear safeguards authorities benefiting from Commission-funded projects||0||> 100%||3 in 2026||0||On track|
(*) % of target achieved by the end of 2021.
- Performance assessment will be provided once the implementation of the 2021-2027 programme has started.
MFF 2014-2020 – Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation
The predecessor of the INSC in the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework was the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation.
Cumulative implementation rate at the end of 2021 (million EUR):
- The incomplete budget consumption at the end of the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework is explained by the fact that some of the projects need the prior signature of a financing agreement with the beneficiary country, and contracting can occur up to 3 years after the exercise in which the financing agreement is signed. This means that part of the allocated budget of the 2014–2020 INSC will still be contracted in 2021–2023. This is consistent with the outcome of previous exercises.
- The payment appropriations for 2021 covered the costs of projects contracted in previous years and eight projects contracted in 2021.
- The COVID-19 crisis significantly slowed down the implementation of projects in the beneficiary countries during 2020 and 2021, as the nuclear safety cooperation instrument is a fully centrally managed instrument. The very specific and technical nature of the instrument implies technical expertise that is not available in the EU delegations to the partner countries. Therefore, all programming activities from the definition and adoption of the annual action plan to the contracting, management and implementation of the projects, and reporting, are managed at the Commission's headquarters. Travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 situation impacted the ability to deploy activities on-site.
- Remote cooperation has been used as often as practically feasible, in particular for training activities, but did not allow a 100%-effective recovery plan. Only eight contracts were signed in 2021, compared to an annual average of 12 previously. As a result, the end-of-year payment forecast was lowered as the original payment forecast was not met.
- An example of projects being implemented relates to central Asia. The central Asian states have inherited 1 billion tonnes of hazardous processing waste, which consists of highly toxic chemical and radioactive residues left behind and unsafely stored in uranium legacy sites. The instrument supports the implementation of the remediation programme. The first two remediation projects in Kyrgyzstan began in 2020 and are about to be completed, and activities began in Uzbekistan in 2021.
|Nuclear safety culture and radiation protection standards – regulatory documents produced with the support of EU expertise||> 100%||8||36 compared to a target of 8||On track|
|Responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste – regulatory documents produced with the support of EU expertise||> 100%||9||18 compared to a target of 9||On track|
|Nuclear safeguard authorities benefiting from Commission-funded projects||> 100%||3||4 compared to a target of 3||On track|
(*) % of target achieved by the end of 2020.
- Whereas the assessment noted the high relevance and unique benefit of INSC, it also emphasised the need for improvements in cooperating with international organisations such as the Atomic Energy Agency.
- Since 1991, cooperation with the regulatory authorities has primarily aimed at improving the governmental, legal and regulatory frameworks, based on experiences in the EU. This involved the transfer of regulatory practices used in the Member States.
- The competence of staff working in the nuclear area is of the utmost importance to ensure that the use of nuclear technology is safe. The instrument supported training and tutoring actions, which transfer EU knowledge to students and young professionals. Some 2 500 staff were trained in the beneficiary countries between 2014 and 2020. Around 34% of these were women, which contributes to the gender equality goal in a highly specialised scientific area. This confirms the success of the programme.
- A major milestone was to make the Chernobyl site environmentally stable and safe. This goal was met on 29 November 2016 by sliding the New Safe Confinement over the nuclear reactor destroyed in April 1986. The New Safe Confinement is a giant arch-shaped structure that covers the damaged Chernobyl Unit 4 in order to prevent any further radioactive release.
- The total project cost is in the order of EUR 1.5 billion, to which the EU contributed more than EUR 430 million (across several multiannual financial frameworks).
In July 2019, the facility was officially handed over to the Ukrainian government. In 2020, the final facility used for safely storing the spent nuclear fuel was completed and transferred to Ukraine, terminating the long-lasting international engagement for Chernobyl.