(Updated 2021)


This report provides information on the status and development of the nuclear power programme in the Netherlands, including factors related to the effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme that together lead to safe and economical operation of the nuclear installations.

The CNPP summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of the nuclear power programme and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has one nuclear power reactor in operation, one nuclear power plant in safe enclosure, two research reactors, one enrichment plant (URENCO) and one central storage facility for radioactive waste (COVRA).



1.1.1. Energy Policy

The transition to a low carbon energy supply in 2050

The Dutch energy supply will change fundamentally over the coming decades. The Paris Agreement on climate change has set a target of limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, with the aim to limit maximum temperature increase to one and a half degrees Celsius. The transition to a low carbon energy supply requires a huge effort from the general public, from businesses and public authorities.

First and foremost the energy transition is a major social challenge: it encroaches directly onto people’s daily lives and living environment. A transition of this scope can only happen if all stakeholders, including the general public, support the political decisions and if the energy supply remains affordable, reliable and safe, against acceptable costs. In addition in a densely populated country like the Netherlands, the spatial effects have to be assessed continuously and subsequently adapted if needed.

The energy transition was set in motion globally and this process will continue, irrespective of geopolitical uncertainties. The Dutch Government has no wish to adopt ‘a wait and see attitude’, and has instead chosen to respond proactively. An energy transition of this magnitude offers many great opportunities, if the available knowledge and skills, research and technical capabilities and arrangements can be pooled and increased. This requires new and fruitful partnerships between businesses, knowledge institutes, civil society organizations and public authorities. In this way the transition is more than just a change in energy sources, it turns into an innovative process that increases the power of the Dutch economy and society. This transition also requires a clear, long term perspective which is commonly accepted by a vast majority of political parties. Only then it offers certainty to businesses having to invest, to directors having to make decisions and to the general public facing important choices and private investments as well.

Therefore in 2018 the Dutch Government invited all stakeholders to come to an agreement with which the Netherlands can reduce CO2 emissions by 49 % in 2030 compared to 1990. In 2018 five sectors (electricity, built environment, industry, agriculture and land use, mobility) were intensively consulted in task groups and dozens of working groups for each sector. More than a hundred representatives of a stakeholder groups were directly involved. All parties that sat at the table, endorse this reduction target. The final agreement was presented by the climate council and the cabinet on 28 June 2019.

In this way, broad support has been laid under the Climate Agreement, which is related to sufficient perspectives for action by citizens, companies and employees, and to the process. Control and citizen participation are key concepts in the entire process of planning and implementing climate policy. Industrial policy is aimed at rewarding companies that are at the forefront and punishing those who lag behind. This should challenge the industry to innovate and grow into a world-leading sector. Provisions are also made for employment. For example, labor market policies must ensure that a sufficient number of qualified workers are trained to carry out the transition. On the other hand, people who are in danger of losing their jobs as a result of the transition should be helped to find new work as much as possible.

The agreements per sector are as follows:

Electricity In 2030, 70 percent of all electricity will come from renewable sources. This will be met with wind turbines at sea and on land, and with solar panels on roofs and in solar parks. At the same time, the demand for electricity is growing. Cars become increasingly electric as the industry replaces oil and gas for clean electricity. Buildings will stop using gas and will need more electricity for cooking and heating. Because the power supply will become more affected by the changeable weather, many measures are needed to keep the electricity supply reliable.

Built environment By 2050, 7 million homes and 1 million buildings must no longer rely on natural gas. Subsidies for home insulation and the installation of solar panels, making residential areas free of natural gas, a higher tax on natural gas and a heat fund for advantageous loans to pay for energy-saving measures should help achieve this goal Residents are involved in decreasing the consumption of natural gas. The reasoning is that the investment in sustainability will result in lower energy bills.

Industry By 2050, the industry will be circular and will virtually no longer emit any greenhouse gasses. The factories will then run on sustainable electricity using solar and wind energy or energy from geothermal heat, hydrogen and biogas. The raw materials will come from biomass, residual flows and gases. The residual heat will be used by industry itself or industry will supply it to horticulture or buildings and homes. In addition to its role as an energy user, industry will also be a producer and buffer of energy.

By 2030, the industry must already emit considerably less CO2 as an intermediate step on the road to full sustainability. Many of the new ways of energy production are still in their infancy and are still too expensive. However, companies do invest in this innovation themselves and there are government subsidies. In this way, the industry can become most CO2-efficient in a way that does not jeopardize international competitiveness.

Agriculture and land use To be climate neutral in agriculture and land use by 2050, there is still a lot to be done. Some greenhouse gas emissions cannot be avoided. Cows produce methane. Laughing gas is released from fertilizer, which is also a greenhouse gas. The sector also captures CO2 in trees, the soil, crops and grass, which in turn contributes to the reduction target. In addition, farmers will invest in other forms of fertilization that reduce methane emissions in dairy farming. Many parties play a role in the approach, including farmers, horticulturists and land managers, food processors, suppliers, supermarkets and civil society/non-governmental organizations, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase CO2 storage. Preconditions are that enough food and crops are produced and biodiversity is maintained. The sector must also remain economically healthy.

Mobility Mobility in 2050 should beemission-free and of high quality. Not all solutions are yet available, for example within the freight transport sector. But mobility must be cleaner, smarter and therefore different. Dozens of agreements have been made between the parties involved and the government which ensure that structural changes are set in motion by 2030. Electric driving is important but more attention will be given to alternatives to the car. Additional environmental zones in cities will be introduced as well as a form of road pricing. From 2030, all new cars must be emission-free.


To adopt all measures, the starting point is that the transition remains feasible and affordable for everyone. For instance, the costs must be affordable by households. The competitive position of companies and thus the jobs must also be preserved. The burden must be distributed fairly in order to keep the support for the transition. The distribution issue is pre-eminently a political issue. In 2019 Government and Parliament have to make clear and fair choices in the distribution of benefits and costs. An extra CO2 tax for industry is part of this fair distribution.

1.1.2. Estimated available energy

Table 1 shows the estimated available energy sources as of June 2020.


 Fossil fuels Nuclear  Renewables
Solid Liquid Gas Uranium Hydro Other
Total amount in specific units* 30 137 -
Total amount in exajoule (EJ) 1.28 4.3 - 0 0.3

* Solid, Liquid: Million tons; Gas: Billion m3; Uranium: Metric tons; Other Renewables in produced EJ/year;

Source: Delfstoffen en Aardwarmte in Nederland, jaarverslag 2019. Estimated reserves as of 1 January 2018.

1.1.3. Energy Consumption Statistics

Table 2 provides information on the historical growth rates of total primary energy consumption and energy production.


Final Energy consumption [PJ] 2000 2005 2010 2015 2019 Compound
annual growth
rate 2000–2019 (%)
Total 2 527 2 692 2 782 2 417 2 437 -0.19
Coal, Lignate and Peat 82 93 83 87 87 0.31
Oil 962 1 105 1 111 991 994 0.17
Natural gas 965 931 1 032 822 807 -0.94
Bioenergy and Waste 21 26 41 47 66 6.21
Electricity 342 375 387 373 386 0.64
Heat 155 162 127 98 97 -2.44

*Latest available data, please note that compound annual growth rate may not be representative of actual average growth.

**Total energy derived from primary and secondary generation sources. Figures do not reflect potential heat output that may result from electricity co-generation.

—: data not available.

Source(s): United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1


1.2.1. Electricity system and decision making process

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has the overall responsibility for the Dutch energy and climate policy, including policies for renewable energy, energy transition and bio-based economy, as well as the accessory research, development and demonstration projects. The Ministry is also the lead authority for the State Coordination Program for the planning of large scale energy infrastructure projects.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is responsible for policies on environment, transport, water and public works. It supervises the administrative procedures under the Dutch Environmental Management Act. Together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, it coordinates the environmental impact assessments (EIA) and permits for spatial planning, including maritime waters. Regional governments are responsible for granting environmental licences and permits.

Responsibility for energy efficiency is shared among several ministries and implementing agencies. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy is in charge of overall energy policy, including energy efficiency, and measures in agriculture and other sectors. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is responsible for energy efficiency in transport policy, whereas the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is responsible for energy efficiency in buildings. The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for fundamental science and research (through publicly funded universities and research institutes).

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, established in April 2013, is the authority under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy with regulatory powers to supervise the electricity and natural gas markets as well as district heating markets. The so called ‘Energy Chamber’ is charged with regulation and oversight duties stemming from the Electricity and Gas Act.

The ‘Energy Chamber’ is also responsible for:

  • Issuing supply licences for the supply of electricity and gas to captive consumers;

  • Determining tariff structures and conditions for the transmission of electricity;

  • Determining guidelines for tariffs and conditions with regard to access to gas; transmission pipelines and gas storage installations, and, if necessary, issuing binding instructions;

  • Determining transmission tariffs for electricity and gas, including the discount aimed at promoting the efficient operation of the electricity grid and gas networks;

  • Supervision of compliance with the Electricity and Gas Act.

1.2.2. Structure of electric power sector

In the 1990s, the liberalization of the Dutch electricity market started under the framework of the European Union (EU) energy market liberalization and followed an energy-only market model. The retail market was opened in 2002 for industry and in 2004 for households. In 2007, full ownership unbundling of the electricity transmission and distribution networks was introduced. The Dutch choice was to privatize generation of electricity but to keep regulated networks in public ownership (the Ministry of Finance is 100% shareholder of the Dutch transmission network). It is not allowed for network operators to be part of a company that is also engaged in supply, production or trading of gas and electricity, or to be privatized or engaged in other activities. At international level, only New Zealand prohibits distribution companies from retailing.

On the one hand, market opening at wholesale and retail market levels with full ownership unbundling led to considerable investments by large EU companies; on the other hand, it fostered consolidation on the generation side. Ownership unbundling is to some extent limited, taking into account the substantial shareholdings by the Dutch state in electricity transmission and in the supply of gas through three utilities: TenneT, Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN) and GasTerra.

With combined liberalization and market integration, the Dutch market saw the entry of vertically integrated foreign players from markets in neighboring countries (RWE, Vattenfall, E.ON, Electrabel/GDF Suez), which acquired assets of the Dutch generation and distribution companies (Nuon, Essent, Eneco and Delta). Three large utilities Nuon (Vattenfall), Essent (RWE) and E.ON together held 59% of power generating capacity in 2009.

The country’s transmission system operator, TenneT, was established in 1998. TenneT operates the Dutch high voltage transmission network (110 kV, 150 kV, 220 kV and 380 kV), following the transfer of management of the Dutch 150 kV and 110 kV grids to TenneT in 2008. In 2018, the transmission network had a total length of around 10 168 circuit km and consisted of 333 substations, connecting 17 million end users and 29.5 GW of installed capacity in operation. In 2018, there was a total cross border import of 24 735 GWh and export of 18 730 GWh.

At present, TenneT is under ownership independent from other parts of the supply chain and fully owned by the State. It is responsible for ensuring the stability and reliability of the electricity grid, balancing the load in the Dutch system and with neighboring countries, and maintaining the high voltage grid in good condition in order to allow access and maximize capacity use. TenneT is also the majority owner (74.5%) of APX, the short term trading exchange for gas and electricity.

1.2.3. Main Indicators


The Dutch electricity system is dominated by fossil fuel capacity. In 2017, total installed generating capacity in the Netherlands was around 34.2 GW. Thermal power generating capacity amounted to 26.6 GW or 78% of total capacity. Renewable generation represented 7.1 GW or 20.8% of total generating capacity.

Electricity generation

Electricity generation in the Netherlands was 117.3 TWh in 2017. The electricity mix is dominated by fossil fuels, namely natural gas and coal. It was decided to phase out production of electricity by coal to the greatest extent possible in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Nuclear energy accounted for 3.4 TWh, about 2.9 % of electricity generation in 2017. Renewable energy sources in the electricity mix in the Netherlands are principally from biofuels and waste, and wind. Solar energy and hydro power also play a role, albeit to a smaller but growing extent. Wind power has experienced the fastest growth over the years, growing from 0.8 TWh in 2000 to 10.6 TWh in 2017. Electricity from biofuels and waste has grown fivefold over the same period.

Table 3 shows the historical growth in electricity production, consumption and capacity in the Netherlands and Table 4 shows the energy related ratios.


Electricity production (GWh) 2000 2005 2010 2015 2019 Compound
annual growth
rate 2000–2019 (%)
Total 89 631 99 921 119 270 110 380 121 358 1.61
Coal, Lignate and Peat 27 114 26 928 25 800 42 231 19 882 -1.62
Oil 2 641 2 262 1 253 1 330 1 414 -3.23
Natural gas 51 522 57 599 75 333 47 273 72 011 1.78
Bioenergy and Waste 3 202 6 683 8 606 6 568 7 373 4.49
Hydro 142 88 105 93 74 -3.37
Nuclear 3 926 3 997 3 969 4 077 3 831 -0.13
Wind 829 2 067 3 994 7 550 11 508 14.85
Solar 8 35 56 1 108 5 170 40.58
Geothermal 0 0 0 0 0
Other 247 262 154 150 96 -4.85
Tidal 0 0 0 0 0

*Latest available data, please note that compound annual growth rate may not be representative of actual average growth.

**Electricity transmission losses are not deducted.

—: data not available.

Source: United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1


2000 2010 2015 2017
Electricity consumption per capita (kWh/capita) 6599 7068 6739 6676
Electricity production/Energy production (%) 13 15 20 13
Nuclear/total electricity (%) 4.4 3.4 3.7 2,9

*Latest available data.

Source: RDS-1 and RDS-2

—: data not available.



2.1.1. Overview

Main decisions, rationale and events related to the nuclear power programme

Nuclear plays a small but steady part in the Dutch energy supply. In 2018, the only nuclear power plant (NPP) produced about 4 TWh(e), providing about 4% of the total electricity production.

The nuclear programme started with the construction of a research reactor in 1955, the High Flux Reactor (HFR) in Petten, which achieved first criticality in 1961. It was originally thought that nuclear power would play an important role in the country’s electricity generation programme. A small prototype reactor (Dodewaard NPP, 60 MW(e)) was put into operation in 1968, and in 1973 the first commercial reactor (Borssele NPP, 485 MW(e)) started its production.

Although plans were made to expand nuclear power by 3000 MW(e), these plans were postponed because of the divided public opinion and were finally shelved following the accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. Instead, the Government ordered a thorough screening of the safety of both the existing plants, which led to major back fitting projects. The back fitting project at Borssele was successfully completed in 1997. Meanwhile, mainly because of the negative expectations for the future of nuclear energy in the Netherlands, the small Dodewaard NPP was permanently shut down in 1997. In 2005, the owner of this NPP was granted a licence for a safe enclosure state for a period of 40 years, after which final dismantling is expected.

In 2006, the Dutch Government signed an agreement (the Covenant) with the owners of the Borssele NPP, which allows for operation until the end of 2033, at the latest. In the meantime, the Covenant conditions should be met in addition to the requirements of the licence. The aforementioned end date of operation is also a requirement in Article 15 (Section A) of the Nuclear Energy Law. In 2020 the majority of Parliament decided that it should be investigated how Article 15 might be changed so that a lifetime extension of the Borssele NPP is allowed.

A new research reactor (named PALLAS) is under consideration in order to replace the HFR. Plans for PALLAS were initiated by company Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG), current licence holder and operator of the HFR. A foundation is established that will conduct all preparatory activities required for the realization of the new research reactor. The national Government and the province of North Holland together provided a loan of about €80 million to finalize licensing and design of PALLAS. An important precondition for support is the realization of a sound business plan and the acquisition of (private) funding for the construction and operation of PALLAS. Currently pre-licensing activities are going on with the regulatory body Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS).

The Technical University of Delft is upgrading its research reactor (project OYSTER). The project is jointly financed by the university and the national Government.

Main decisions, rationale and events related to the regulatory body

The Netherlands has established and maintains a national legislative, regulatory and organizational framework (‘national framework’) for nuclear safety and radiation protection. The competent regulatory body (RB) for this framework is the ANVS. Since August 2017, the ANVS has served as an independent administrative body within the governmental structure in the Netherlands. The ANVS is independent in its main regulatory activities on radiation protection, nuclear safety and security in the Netherlands: licensing, supervision and enforcement. The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management is politically responsible for its functioning. ANVS advises the Minister on policy, law and regulations.

The Netherlands has transposed Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom (laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to radiation) in its national legislation. On 6 February 2018, the Decree on Basic Safety Standards for Radiation Protection and its underlying regulations came into force. The implementation led to the introduction of a situation based approach (planned, emergency and existing situations). Another change was the introduction of “registration” as one of the two instruments to authorize practices. Licensing is the other instrument. This decree also regulates the management of waste and orphan sources as well as requirements for the recycling or disposal of unsealed or sealed sources that are no longer used. In 2017, also Council Directive 2014/87/Euratom was transposed in national law reinforcing nuclear safety. The main changes are the strengthening of the position of the competent authorities, stronger requirements on defense in depth, safety management and safety culture, transparency and safety improvements of existing nuclear installations.

Elections in Spring 2021

In March 2021, elections for a new Parliament were held which resulted in a new Government in 2021. Nuclear energy is expected to be one of the topics to be discussed by the new Government and decisions pertaining to nuclear energy made.


2.2.1. Status and Performance of Nuclear Power Plants

Borssele NPP

The Borssele NPP is a two loop Siemens pressurized water reactor that has been in commercial operation since 1973 (Table 5). As it is the only NPP in operation in the Netherlands, the emphasis in the remainder of this report is on this plant. It has a net electrical output of about 485 MW(e). The NPP generates about 4% of the Netherlands’ electricity demand.

The operator and licence holder of the Borssele NPP is the company EPZ (Elektriciteits-Produktiemaatschappij Zuid-Nederland). PZEM and Essent/RWE are shareholders of EPZ, and own 70% and 30%, respectively, of the shares.

In 1994, the Dutch Parliament decided to phase out the plant. The decision was legally challenged and repealed. Instead, a Covenant was signed in 2006 by the operator, the owners of the plant and the Government, which allows that the operating life of the Borssele NPP is to be extended by 20 years until the end of 2033 at the latest, under a number of extra conditions in addition to the licence requirements.

The licence holder has finished a long term operation (LTO) justification project to ensure that safety and safety relevant systems, structures and components continue to perform their intended functions during LTO. The outcome of the project was used for the LTO licence application. In 2013, the LTO licence entered into force. The regulatory review of the licence holder’s LTO programme has led to various licence requirements on top of the measures proposed by the licence holder.

Based on the stress test in 2011 (which was done after the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant) and the Periodic Safety Review in 2013, the licensee of the Borssele NPP implemented a number of safety improvements from 2012 to 2019.

Dodewaard NPP (in Safe Enclosure)

The Dodewaard NPP was a BWR type 60 MW(e) reactor that operated from 1968 until early 1997. In 2002, the licence holder obtained a licence for “deferred dismantling” after 40 years of safe enclosure. By April 2003, all the spent fuel had been removed from the site and had been shipped to Sellafield. Also, the plant has been decontaminated, and a new ventilation system was put into place. In 2009, all vitrified waste from reprocessing Dodewaard’s spent fuel was shipped to the national waste management authority, COVRA. On 1 June 2005, the 40 year safe enclosure period started under a licence that requires the owner to commence dismantling activities in 2045.


Reactor Unit Type Net
Status Operator Reactor
First Grid
BORSSELE PWR 482 Operational EPZ S/KWU 7/1/1969 6/20/1973 7/4/1973 10/26/1973 91.8
DODEWAARD BWR 55 Permanent Shutdown BV GKN RDM 5/1/1965 6/24/1968 10/18/1968 3/26/1969 3/26/1997
Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).
Note: Table is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.

*Latest available data.

Source: RDS-2

—: data not available.

Plant Upgrading, Plant Life Management and License Renewals

The Netherlands has a decades long history of periodic safety reviews. For more than 20 years, one of the conditions of the licence has been that the safety of the nuclear installation is to be periodically reviewed in the light of operating experience and new safety insights. A review of operational safety aspects must be performed once every two years, while a more comprehensive safety review must be conducted once every 10 years. The latter involves a review of the plant’s design basis in the light of new developments in research, safety thinking, risk acceptance, etc.

In December 2018, an international Benchmark Commission reported to the parties RWE, PZEM, EPZ and the Government that the Borssele plant ranks in the safest quartile of pressurized water reactors in the Western world and meets the prerequisite to stay open until 2034. The Benchmark Commission reports every five years on the safety of the Borssele nuclear power plant.


It is up to commercial parties to invest in new nuclear power; in the liberalized energy market the Government will not invest in power plants. In 2009, plans were revealed by the company Delta N.V. for a nuclear new build at the site of the NPP Borssele. In early 2012, Delta announced it was shelving its plans for (at least) a few years, considering the current unfavourable economic and societal circumstances (the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant) and the associated uncertainties. In parallel to Delta, Essent/RWE also developed plans for new nuclear power in the Netherlands, though these were shelved as well for similar reasons.

Regarding the policy on nuclear power, guaranteeing nuclear safety has the highest priority. The technical preconditions address issues on safety, waste management, decommissioning, mining, non-proliferation and security. Current policy also includes in particular the requirement to take into account lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, as well as the outcomes of the European “stress test” for NPPs. It is expected that by the end of 2019 all measures will have been implemented.

Nuclear energy is not excluded from the energy mix in the Netherlands in compliance with the policy principle of 'managing CO2'. Nuclear energy can be a cost-effective option for the years up to 2050 and a positive business case can be one of the options in the long term.

After a motion in Parliament in 2020, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy will explore whether NPP Borssele can be kept open after 2033. The licence holder of NPP Borssele has stated that on the basis of previous studies there is no evidence of any technical obstacles. However, the lifetime of the NPP still needs to be investigated in more details. Furthermore, the Dutch Nuclear Energy Act has to be adapted to make lifetime extension possible.

In September 2020, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has sent a report of the Vienna based consultancy company ENCO to the Parliament. This report(1) is about the possible role of nuclear power in the Dutch energy mix in the future. One of the conclusions of ENCO is that nuclear energy can be as cost effective as solar or wind energy if for the last two all system costs are included in the electricity prices as well.

In addition, the Parliament requested the Government to hold a market consultation under which conditions market parties are prepared to invest in nuclear power plants in the Netherlands, to investigate what public support is required for this, and to explore in which regions there is interest in the installation of a nuclear power plant. The study started in February 2021.

Despite the above description, the Dutch Parliament is in practice quite divided on the possible role of nuclear energy in the Dutch energy mix. The mentioned motions and the report of ENCO lead to several questions from the Parliament to the Cabinet which either draw attention to the possible role of nuclear energy or try to discriminate against the use of nuclear energy in general.


Currently, there are no plans for new build nuclear power plants in the Netherlands. Private investors are investigating the commercial possibilities to build a new research reactor (PALLAS) to produce medical radioisotopes and to do nuclear research. The Dutch Government is willing to grant a licence if nuclear safety is guaranteed.


The NPP in Borssele is owned and operated by EPZ and will be in operation until 31 December 2033 at the latest.


The NPP in Borssele is owned and operated by EPZ and will be in operation until 31 December 2033 at the latest. After its shutdown, the NPP will be directly decommissioned. It is envisaged that EPZ will hire an external company to dismantle the facility.

The NPP in Dodewaard is owned by B.V. Gemeenschappelijke Kernenergiecentrale Nederland (GKN), and is pernamently shut down and in a state of safe enclosure for a period of 40 years, since 2005. Final decommissioning will start in 2045. It is envisaged that GKN will hire an external company to dismantle the facility.


2.7.1. Uranium Enrichment

Uranium enrichment and production of ultra-centrifuges are the most important parts of the fuel cycle for the Netherlands. Uranium enrichment is done by Urenco NL, which belongs to the Urenco Group, with production facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. In 2011, Urenco NL was granted an increase in licensed capacity from 4 950 tSW/yr (separative work units) to 6 200 tSW/yr.

The Technology Group (ETC) owns the world’s leading centrifuge technology and was formed in October 2003. Since July 2006, ETC has been jointly owned by Urenco (50%) and its joint venture partner Orano (50%). ETC develops, manufactures, supplies and installs gas centrifuges in the Urenco and Orano enrichment plants.

2.7.2. Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management

The Dutch policy on the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel is to isolate, control and monitor radioactive waste above ground in specifically designed buildings, after which geological disposal is foreseen around 2130. During the period of interim storage, all necessary technical, economic, financial and social arrangements are to be made in such a way that a deep geological disposal can be developed, constructed and taken in use around the year 2130.

Implementation of this policy led in 1982 to the establishment of COVRA, the Central Organisation for Radioactive Waste, located in Nieuwdorp. COVRA is a 100% state owned organization and the only organization in the Netherlands allowed to transport, manage and store the radioactive waste and spent fuel in the Netherlands(2).

According to the “polluter pays” principle, the generator of the waste is charged by COVRA for all costs related to the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, including the costs for research as well as the envisaged costs for disposal. Once the transfer of the waste has been accomplished, the customer is exempted from further responsibility for the waste. COVRA takes over all liabilities, including the financial responsibility. For standardized waste streams of low and intermediate level radioactive waste, fixed tariffs are published on COVRA’s web site. The tariffs are annually adjusted with the Dutch price index.

With regard to the management of spent fuel and high level waste, the utilities and the operators of research reactors agreed to jointly build a facility for treatment and long term storage of spent fuel and high level waste at the COVRA site. This building (HABOG) was commissioned in 2003 and is receiving vitrified and other high level waste from the production of medical radioisotopes, from the reprocessing plant in France, as well as spent fuel from the research reactors. Both the construction costs and the operating costs for storage are charged to the generators of the spent fuel and the waste, as are, of course, the costs for final disposal.

2.7.3. Reprocessing

The Government policy on spent fuel management is that the decision on whether or not to reprocess spent fuel is in the first instance a choice for the operator of a NPP. For the NPP in Borssele, the operators decided in favour of reprocessing their spent fuel for economic reasons, to reuse plutonium and to reduce the high level waste volume.

In 2012, France and the Netherlands signed a treaty that regulates the reception and reprocessing of Dutch spent fuel from the Borssele NPP by ORANO in France, and the return to the Netherlands of the radioactive residues from reprocessing before 31 December 2052.

2.7.4. Decommissioning

National policy(3)

In principle the nuclear operator is responsible for all aspects of decommissioning. According to legislation in force since April 2011, a nuclear facility shall be decommissioned directly after final shutdown. The NPP Dodewaard, which was brought into a state of safe enclosure in 2005, is excluded from this requirement.

Decommissioning implies the implementation of all administrative and technical measures that are necessary to remove the facility in a safe manner, and to create an end state of ‘green field’. Therefore, during the operational phase, the licence holder is required to develop a (preliminary) decommissioning plan, describing all the necessary measures to safely reach the end state of decommissioning, including the management of radioactive waste, record keeping, and so on. This decommissioning plan shall be periodically updated every five years and shall be approved by authorities. The decommissioning plan eventually becomes part of the decommissioning license.

During decommissioning, the licence holder is required to store records of the decommissioning, the release of material, and the release of the site. At the end of decommissioning, the licence holder can apply for withdrawal of the licence, after presenting an end report to the authorities proving that the decommissioning was completed. After withdrawal of the licence, records on the decommissioning will be stored at COVRA.

The decommissioning plan serves as the safety basis for all the activities carried out during the decommissioning phase, and it provides the basis for the financial security plan. The Nuclear Power Act requires the licence holder to have a financial provision to cover the costs of decommissioning, which will have to be updated and approved by the authorities at least every time the decommissioning plan is updated (or when the authorities ask for an update). The licence holder is in principle free to choose the form of the financial provision. The financial security plan shall also be approved by the authorities in order to assess whether the financial provision offers sufficient security that the decommissioning costs are covered at the moment of decommissioning. The licence holder is obliged to act according to the decommissioning plan and the financial security plan including all the provisions for the decommissioning costs.

Decommissioned installations

The Dodewaard NPP is the only Dutch nuclear facilities that is in a state of decommissioning. The Dodewaard NPP was shut down in 1997 after 28 years of operation. It is now in a state of safe enclosure. As of December 2010, the business activities of the low flux reactor at Petten have stopped. In 2018 the complete decommissioning of the low flux reactor to green field was finished according to plan.


NRG (Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group) is a nuclear service provider located in Petten. NRG, as the licensee, is responsible for the operation and the commercial exploitation of the low enriched uranium fueled 45 MW (thermal flux) HFR, which is owned by Joint Research Centre of the European Union. In addition, NRG exploits the Hot Cell Laboratories, a plant for waste treatment and decontamination, and radiological laboratories.

NRG performs both funded and commercial services. Within the framework of national policy, funded services are sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, covering the following areas:

  • Nuclear safety and security;

  • Waste management and reduction;

  • Radiation protection;

  • Low carbon energy generation;

  • Public information.

An important part of the commercial activities is the production of radioisotopes for medical applications. NRG is Europe’s largest producer of molybdenum. Every day, more than 30 000 patients are treated with radioisotopes produced by NRG. Isotopes produced in Petten for diagnostics, therapy and pain relief are used around the world. NRG is also the world’s major supplier of Ir-192 for the industrial market.

2.8.1. R&D Organizations

NRG is the national nuclear research centre of the Netherlands. See above.

Two projects are currently under development that will add value to nuclear R&D in the Netherlands: PALLAS and OYSTER. The PALLAS project is aimed at the construction of a new multipurpose reactor that should replace the HFR in Petten, starting from 2025. The PALLAS reactor is intended for the production of medical radioisotopes, for nuclear research and irradiation services.

The Technical University at Delft operates a 2 MW university research reactor (HOR) for educational purposes. The Higher Education Reactor of the Technical University in Delft (RID) does research on reactor physics, neutron beam physics, radioisotopes and radiochemistry. With the OYSTER (Optimized Yield - for Science, Technology & Education - of Radiation) programme, RID can continue to meet fundamental research questions from the market and the scientific community in the field of health, sustainable energy and material research. Since the start of OYSTER, a number of unique, new instruments have been realized. With the neutron diffractometer PEARL, scientists from the Netherlands and abroad can carry out energy research into, for example, hydrogen storage and new battery materials. In addition, the flexible irradiation facility is being used for new production routes for medical isotopes.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) protects and promotes human health and environmental quality. It acts as the Dutch Government’s main centre of expertise in radiation protection especially regarding the potential effects in case of nuclear incidents and accidents. See 3.1.1.

2.8.2. Development of Advanced Nuclear Technologies

See above.

2.8.3. Regulatory R&D

The ANVS participates in a number of international coordinated research activities to support its regulatory functions. Currently, the three major areas are fire safety, ageing management and severe accidents.

2.8.4. International Cooperation and Initiatives

Nuclear Technology

Since the early days of the Netherlands’ nuclear programme, international cooperation has been considered a necessity. From the joint exploitation of the Halden research reactor (together with Norway) in the 1950s and 1960s, to the Urenco cooperation in uranium enrichment of the present day, the Dutch nuclear activities have been undertaken in close cooperation with other countries. A strong interest in multilateral cooperation on nuclear energy matters within intergovernmental organizations complements the Government’s orientation toward practical cooperation with others.

Nuclear Safety

The Netherlands is represented on relevant boards and/or committees/working groups under the supervision of major organizations such as the EU/Euratom, European Nuclear Safety Regulators (ENSREG), Western Europe Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA), OECD/Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and IAEA. The Dutch input at the international level focuses on active participation in activities and initiatives aimed at improving radiation protection and nuclear safety and security worldwide. Our available knowledge and experience are deployed in order to make an active contribution.

The Netherlands also has tight relations with its two main neighbors Belgium and Germany through annual and other meetings.

European and international guidelines are followed in the development and design of the radiation protection, nuclear safety and security policy, the relevant legislation and the regulation thereof. The requirements regarding radiation protection, nuclear safety and radioactive waste and spent fuel management under the Euratom Treaty and its directives have been transposed into Dutch legislation. A number of international treaties have been ratified by the Netherlands (Appendix 1).

In addition to these requirements, the Netherlands also abides on a voluntary basis by various internationally accepted principles, recommendations, practices and agreements drawn up under the auspices of the IAEA and the WENRA.

The Netherlands participates in or invites international peer reviews during which the safety and security of the nuclear installations, national practices, policies, legislation and/or regulation are compared with international standards (often IAEA and WENRA standards). An example is the peer review of the so-called stress test analyses of the European nuclear facilities, the ensuing national action plans and several activities (within a European framework) following the stress test. The Dutch policy on nuclear safety and on the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel is also periodically assessed within the framework of the Convention on Nuclear Safety or the Joint Convention Treaty, respectively. Also for security the Netherlands participates actively in the international community.

At least once every 10 years, international assessments of the nuclear legislation and governmental organization are required by European legislation (e.g. the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS), ARTEMIS). The first IRRS was in 2014. In 2018 a follow-up mission took place. As part of the Dutch regulatory strategy, international peer review missions (e.g. IAEA missions) are regularly invited to review the safety the Dutch nuclear facilities. Recent examples are missions of the Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) in2014 with a follow up missions in 2016 and 2017, Integrated Safety Assessment for Research Reactors (INSARR) missions in2016 with a follow up mission in 2019, and Independent Safety Culture Assessment (ISCA) peer review missions to NPP Borssele in 2014 and NRG in 2017.

The Netherlands participates in international reporting systems (e.g. Incident Reporting System (IRS) of the IAEA/NEA) used to systematically collect and analyze data on malfunctions, abnormal events, etc. The information on international experiences thus obtained can be used by the licensees and the Government to improve safety.

The policy and legislation for the transport of radioactive and fissionable materials and ores is almost entirely based on international agreements. This is due to the fact that much of this transport crosses national and EU borders.


Nuclear power plants require sufficient knowledge and expertise in the Government and the companies involved. Within the Government and the regulatory body ANVS, it regards policymaking, legislation, licensing and supervision. In the relevant companies, it includes the construction of the nuclear installation(s), including the qualification of the Dutch supply industry and the service and maintenance of nuclear installations.

With regard to nuclear safety and security scientific and applied research must be viable and sufficient. The Netherlands has a broad nuclear industry, with EPZ (NPP), Urenco (uranium enrichment), COVRA (management, storage of radioactive waste), NRG (pure and applied research and medical isotope production) and RID (scientific research and education). Internationally, the Netherlands is strongly involved in the production of medical radioisotopes and the enrichment of uranium.

The Netherlands wants to maintain and strengthen the necessary knowledge base. In this context, the stimulation of research in the field of nuclear technology is continuing. Where necessary and possible, our knowledge and experience is being developed and applied in an international framework. In addition, the Government welcomes the replacement of the HFR in Petten by a new reactor (PALLAS) and aims to ensure that the preconditions for authorization are in order on time, also with respect to human resources.

New nuclear facilities will give powerful impetus to the development of nuclear knowledge in the Netherlands, including adequate training opportunities for experts. There is an international market for technical experts, and the Technical University Delft (TU Delft) offers specialization in Nuclear Science and Engineering.


As a consequence of legal provisions regarding public information in the context of licensing procedures, citizens and both public and private organizations/institutions are notified of new or modified licences under the Nuclear Energy Act. In addition, the Nuclear Energy Act requires licence holders of nuclear installations to report unusual events to the ANVS in time.

In case legal requirements to inform the public are absent, it is still possible to inform the public about relevant new or amended licences or other developments concerning the nuclear installation. In those cases, the consideration to inform the public depends on the scope and the effect on the environment or on the public.

Public information is generally provided through a web site, advertisements and the organization of presentations and discussion evenings. These events are organized, if possible, in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear facility concerned. Discussion meetings, as well as the procedural steps and the associated dates, are announced well in advance in local and national newspapers. Moreover, all documents that are prepared in connection with the modification of a licence are published and made publicly available on the web site of the national regulatory body, the ANVS ( ).

For the purpose of submitting views on relevant initiatives, a separate email address and telephone number are created. In this manner, the general public is given the opportunity to submit their views. Under the Espoo Convention, directly involved neighbouring countries are informed about the purpose, content and effect of the (new or amended) permits when larger environmental impact can occur abroad. In some cases, journalists are invited for separate information sessions, to provide background information on specific nuclear developments.

Euratom Directives on nuclear safety and on waste and decommissioning also require the licensees and regulatory authorities to actively provide information to interested parties about normal operation, events and emergencies of nuclear installations. The ANVS as an independent administrative authority (ZBO) has its own web site ( ) to provide this information. In response to a recommendation from the Dutch Safety Board, an additional dedicated web portal has been developed by the ANVS where stakeholders and the general public can find broad information about emergency preparedness aspects ( )



3.1.1. Regulatory Authority(s)

Regulatory body and ministerial responsibilities

The competent regulatory authority, or RB, is the authority designated by the government as having legal authority for conducting the regulatory process, including issuing authorizations, supervision and enforcement and thereby regulating nuclear safety, radiation protection, radioactive waste management, transport safety, nuclear security and safeguards.

The RB consists of one large entity, or ZBO, with its own legal authorities (ANVS) and several smaller entities. The ANVS became a ZBO in August 2017 with the necessary amendment of the Nuclear Energy Act and subordinate regulations. The ANVS has a staff of approximately 140. The ANVS oversees several tasks regarding nuclear safety and associated emergency preparedness, radiation protection, security and safeguards (as prescribed by the IAEA).

Executing tasks of the ANVS authorized by the Minister of Infrastructure and Water by or under the Nuclear Energy Act are:

  1. Supervising and enforcing compliance with requirements by or under the Nuclear Energy Act;

  2. Evaluating, preparing and advising on policies and acts and regulations;

  3. Informing interested parties and the general public;

  4. Participating in relevant activities of international organizations, as far as related to tasks related to the Nuclear Energy Act;

  5. Maintaining relationships with comparable foreign authorities and relevant national and international organizations;

  6. Supporting national organizations with the provision of expertise and knowledge;

  7. Undertaking research in support of the implementation of its tasks.

The RB is complemented with some smaller entities at other ministries. However, the tasks related to nuclear safety and security are within the scope of the ANVS only. Apart from the ANVS, most entities of the RB employ only a very limited number of staff for tasks related to the Nuclear Energy Act. All entities operate under responsibility of their respective ministers. The following list illustrates the responsibilities of the various ministers regarding the various areas of interest:

Responsibility for
Infrastructure and Water Management
  • Nuclear Energy Act and policy on nuclear safety and radiation protection and radioactive waste, the related emergency preparedness, security and safeguards, insofar as these relate to the environmental aspects of radiation protection
    Interdepartmental coordination of preparations for – and the responses to – nuclear accidents involving category A facilities(4), including radiation-related measures and crisis communication
    Drinking water
    Financial security of nuclear reactors, together with the Ministry of Finance
    Politically responsible for the ANVS’s performance

Social Affairs and Employment
  • Policies, legislation, regulations and supervision regarding radiation protection for workers

Health, Welfare and Sport
  • Policies, legislation, regulations and supervision regarding radiation protection for patients
    Policies, legislation, regulations and supervision regarding the protection of public health against the undesirable effects of ionizing radiation on product and food safety
    Policy regarding care for those who have been exposed to radioactivity
    Emergency preparedness in the case of nuclear accidents in areas for which it is responsible, such as public health, care, and food safety

Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
  • Energy policy, including nuclear energy policy
    Emergency preparedness in the case of nuclear accidents in areas for which it is responsible, such as energy distribution and telecommunication (partly responsible)
    State Supervision of Mines (SodM) in connection with supervision to monitor compliance with nuclear energy legislation for the mining industry
    Support for applied nuclear energy research

Justice and Security
  • Coordination of preparedness and response – national crisis control organization
    Coordination of national security, including counterterrorism
    Policy in the area of public order and security

Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
  • Policies, legislation, regulations and supervision regarding radiation protection in relation to food quality and animal welfare (including agricultural measures)
    Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority in connection with supervision to monitor compliance with nuclear energy legislation on product and food safety. Officials from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) have been appointed by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports to perform these duties.

  • Fissionable materials, nuclear facilities and equipment, radioactive materials and devices emitting ionizing radiation that are intended for use by the armed forces and that are exempted from license requirements under the Nuclear Energy Act

Foreign Affairs
  • Policies on non-proliferation and for the international coordination of nuclear safety and radiation protection, and the associated crisis control, security and safeguards

Education, Culture and Science
  • Policy for education, science and vocational training
    Academic system including Delft University of Technology (licensee under the Nuclear Energy Act). Delft University of Technology is responsible for the reactor. This also includes scientific research, unless it concerns research that the ANVS requires for the performance of its duties – in which case responsibility rests with the ANVS.

  • Legislation concerning liability for any losses resulting from accidents at nuclear facilities. Concerns the implementation of the Nuclear Accidents (Liability) Act.
    Financial security of nuclear reactors, together with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
    Supervision carried out by the Customs, for compliance with the Nuclear Energy Act
    Shareholder status of COVRA and URENCO

Interior and Kingdom Relations, together with the ANVS (responsible for coordinated preparation and execution)
  • The Buildings Decree and its provisions concerning ionizing radiation
    Availability of information (local and national) on exposure to radon in homes and other buildings and the associated health risks, the importance of radon measurements, and the available technical means to reduce existing radon concentrations

In addition to day-to-day contacts between the entities of the RB, a Cooperation Agreement for Radiation Protection was set up in 2017, signed by the ANVS and the policy departments and inspectorates of other ministries, which have tasks under the Nuclear Energy Act in the area of radiation protection and so are part of the Dutch RB. The cooperation agreement describes the interaction, communication and cooperation between different parts of the RB in the area of radiation protection. Besides the Cooperation Agreement for Radiation Protection, a Covenant was concluded in summer 2018 between the ANVS, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the Minister of Finance regarding the legal tasks of the ANVS that are conducted by Customs.

Supporting organizations

The RB can rely on various national and foreign organizations that regularly provide technical support. In this section, the most important ones are introduced.

  1. Governmental Supporting Organization RIVM: RIVM is a specialized Dutch government agency. Its remit is to modernize, gather, generate and integrate knowledge and make it usable in the public domain. By performing these tasks, RIVM contributes to promoting the health of the population and the environment by providing protection against health risks and environmental damage. RIVM, among others tasks, coordinates the Radiological and Health Expertise Network (RGEN), as part of the National Crisis Expert Team (radiation and nuclear). RGEN is a network of knowledge institutes which reports on the radiological and health consequences of nuclear and other radiation incidents. Furthermore, the RIVM supports the ministries with scientific studies and independent analyses of samples of emitted radioisotopes. RIVM also maintains the National Radioactivity Monitoring Network, which includes a network of measuring posts. RIVM works together with other (governmental) expert organizations such as the Royal National Meteorological Institute (KNMI) with models for the prediction of the effects of discharges of radioactive material in the air.

  2. Technical support organizations (TSO): To date, there is no national dedicated TSO. Organizations are contracted on an ad hoc basis to support the RB with various tasks. Support to the RB is provided by foreign TSOs and national and international consultancy organizations. Some major supporting organizations are listed below:

    1. GRS is Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (Global Research for Safety) and the Dutch RB cooperates with this TSO from Germany. It is also a TSO for the German national regulator and one of the large German TSOs. In the Netherlands, it evaluates safety cases and provides other types of consultancy to the RB. In addition, GRS provides associated education and training for governmental and commercial organizations. GRS currently has a major framework contract with the RB.

    2. NRG in Petten and Arnhem provides consultancy and educational services to government and industry. The company has implemented “firewalling” procedures to protect the interests of its various clients and to avoid conflicts of interest. NRG is also a holder of a licence given by the ANVS. NRG currently has a framework contract with the RB.

  3. Education and training organizations The RID organization at the Technical University in Delft provides education and training in nuclear technology and radiation protection. For education on radiological protection and for dedicated training, the RB also contracts with universities, institutes and TSOs such as NRG and GRS.

3.1.2. Licensing Process

Principal responsible authority

On the basis of the Nuclear Energy Act, the ANVS is the RB, the authority designated by the government as having legal authority for conducting the regulatory processes. This includes issuing licensing authorizations and providing supervision and enforcement, thereby regulating nuclear safety, security, radiation protection, radioactive waste management and transport safety.

The Nuclear Energy Act stipulates that a licence must be obtained to construct, commission, operate, modify or decommission a NPP. Similarly, the Act states that a licence is required to import, export, possess or dispose of fissionable material. The proper management of the (nuclear) licensing process is tasked to the ANVS.


The procedures to obtain a licence under the Nuclear Energy Act (and other acts) follow the guidelines specified in the General Administrative Act. These procedures provide for public involvement in the licensing process. Stakeholders are entitled to express their views regarding a proposed activity. The RB shall take notice of all views expressed and respond to them with careful reasoning. If the reply is not satisfactory, the RB can be challenged in court.

Coordination Law

For projects related to large scale energy generation, a special Coordination Law applies. Large scale projects that could be impacted by this law are for instance the construction of power plants with an electrical power greater than 500 MW(e) and investment in the power grid. The Coordination Law supposes involvement of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK). With such large projects, the Ministry coordinates between all authorities involved, each of which will perform its duties. Typical of such projects is the involvement of many levels of governmental organizations, from the ministries down to the municipal level.

EIA, safety assessment and processing comments of stakeholders

The Environmental Management Act distinguishes between activities that are subject to an EIA requirement and activities that are subject to an EIA review requirement.

  • Activities subject to an EIA requirement: For some activities for which a Nuclear Energy Act licence is necessary, the Environmental Impact Assessment Decree indicates that an EIA is required given the significant damaging environmental impact these activities could have.

  • Activities subject to an EIA review requirement: For other activities for which a Nuclear Energy Act licence is necessary, the ANVS as competent authority must, in accordance with Environmental Impact Assessment Decree, first review whether these activities, because of the special circumstances under which they are carried out, could have a significant damaging environmental impact.

The EIA review may have two outcomes: an EIA is either necessary or not necessary. Because an EIA review is a formal procedure, the outcomes of the review are formally published and the decision is announced publicly.

It is conceivable that a proposed activity could have a significant environmental damaging impact in another country. If so, the ANVS informs these countries before the EIA procedure regarding the proposed activity starts. The ANVS involves the administrative bodies and citizens of those countries on equal terms with the Dutch administrative bodies and citizens in both the EIA review and the licensing procedures.

Prior to the formal licence application, the ANVS and the initiator enter into a stage of informal dialogue. In this dialogue the draft of the application, the EIA, if applicable, and the Safety Assessment Report are reviewed. The licence applicant submits the formal application, the documents (including the EIA if applicable) and all necessary information.

The ANVS assesses the application and draws up a draft decision. Thereafter the public might express its view on the draft decision and, if applicable, on the EIA. The ANVS will consider all views expressed by the public and will respond to all unique views. All responses will be added to the documentation of the definitive licence. Common responses of the ANVS include elaborations on policy, (assessment) techniques or other issues that need clarification.

Furthermore, the applicability and enforceability of the licence is evaluated by the inspectors of the ANVS. After this the ANVS draws up the final decision about the licence taking into account the submitted views. Finally, interested parties can lodge an appeal at the Administrative Law Judicial Division of the Council of State.

License Conditions

The national legislative framework provides the generic nuclear safety and radiation protection objectives that apply to all nuclear installations. Specific requirements, tailored to the characteristics of the installations, are included in the license.


The legal framework in the Netherlands with respect to nuclear installations can be presented as a hierarchical structure (Fig. 1).

FIG. 1. Hierarchy in the Dutch legal framework.

The Nuclear Energy Act is the most prominent law governing nuclear activities. It is a framework law, which sets out the basic rules on the application of nuclear technology and materials, makes provision for radiation protection, designates the competent authorities and outlines their responsibilities.

Subordinate to this act, a number of decrees exists containing additional regulations related to the use of nuclear technology and materials. These decrees and the ministerial regulations (see below) continue to be updated in the light of ongoing developments, partly due to the mandatory implementation of amended European Union directives on nuclear safety (Directive 2009/71/Euratom as amended by Directive 2014/87/Euratom) and radiation protection (Basic Safety Standards: Directive 2013/59/Euratom).

Ministerial regulations are at a lower level than decrees. These regulations can be issued by the minister responsible for conducting the regulatory process under the Nuclear Energy Act (Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management).

The Netherlands has a small but diverse nuclear programme. Because of this diversity and to allow maximum flexibility, specific requirements are listed in the licence, tailored to the characteristics of the installations, rather than in general ministerial regulations. In the licences, these requirements can be referred to as well as to other codes and standards.

The ANVS is competent to specify these requirements on technical or organizational matters in the areas of nuclear safety, radiation and security, for example in the Nuclear Safety Rules (NVRs). The Nuclear Energy Act provides the basis for this system of more detailed safety regulations concerning the design, operation and quality assurance of (mainly) NPPs. The NVRs apply to installations or nuclear facilities, as far as they are referenced in their licences. The NVRs are based on IAEA Safety Standards, WENRA reference levels and some other reputable sources.

The ANVS has drawn up the Guidelines on the Safe Design and Operation of Nuclear Reactors(3) (Safety Guidelines for short) in response to two important initiatives: the proposed construction of a new medical research reactor at Petten (the PALLAS project) and the planned modernization of the existing research reactor at Delft —investment in the Higher Education Reactor at Delft University of Technology (the OYSTER project). Such initiatives can be licensed only if they meet the latest safety standards. The Dutch Safety Guidelines apply to the design and operation of light water cooled nuclear reactors and set out requirements for both power reactors and research reactors. The requirements for research reactors may be applied on a graded approach if they demonstrably have a smaller potential risk for the environment.

The specific requirements defined in the Dutch Safety Guidelines are aligned with the latest insights, particularly those disseminated by the IAEA and the WENRA, and may, where applicable and necessary, serve as a basis for formulating the conditions attached to licences for new reactors. Although the Safety Guidelines do not have the status of (ministerial) regulations and do not therefore define any legal requirements, licence applications will be assessed on the basis of the safety requirements described in the Safety Guidelines. The Safety Guidelines provide insight into the best technology currently available for designing the safest possible (new) reactors and operating such reactors as safely as possible.

Where existing reactors are concerned, the Safety Guidelines provide insight into the latest nuclear safety developments and insights to facilitate continuous improvement. Evaluation of a nuclear reactor’s safety in the light of the best technology currently available may warrant action to improve nuclear safety, insofar as such action may reasonably be expected.


The following is a list of international conventions and bilateral agreements signed/ratified by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the field of nuclear cooperation.

Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
26 October 1956
20 July 1957
Agreement on Privileges and Immunities
Entry into force:
29 August 1963
Amendment of the IAEA statute
Entry into force:
27 September 1984
Agreement related to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (INFCIRC/193)
Entry into force:
21 February 1977
Additional Protocol to the Agreement between the NNWS, Euratom and the IAEA for the Application of Safeguards (GOV/1998/28)
22 September 1998
Improved procedures for designation of safeguards inspectors
Proposals rejected but agreed to special procedure:
16 February 1989
Supplementary Agreement on Provision of Technical Assistance by the IAEA
Entry into force:
Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
29 July 1960
28 December 1979
Additional Protocol to the Paris Convention of 31 January 1963 Supplementary to the Convention on Third Party Liability
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
28 January 1964
28 September 1979
Amendment to the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
16 November 1982
1 August 1991
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Entry into force:
2 May 1975
Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
Entry into force:
6 October 1991
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
24 October 1991
23 September 1991
Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna and the Paris Conventions
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
21 September 1988
1 August 1991
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency
Entry into force:
24 October 1991
Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage
Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage
Not signed
Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage
Not signed
Amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection
Entry into force:
8 July 2005
Treaty against Nuclear Terrorism
Entry into force:
7 July 2007
Protocol to the 1960 Convention Regarding Third Party Liability
Entry into force:
12 February 2004
Joint protocol
Entry into force:
27 April 1992
Protocol to the 1963 Convention Regarding Third Party Liability
Entry into force:
 12 February 2004
Framework Convention on Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Programs in the Russian Federation (MNEPR)
Entry into force:
14 April 2004
Convention on Nuclear Safety
Entry into force:
13 January 1997
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
18 June 2001
26 April 2000
ZANGGER committee
Nuclear export guidelines
Acceptance of IAEA Standards
Summary: Serve as basis for national requirements, Design, Operation, Verification and Safety Assessments and Management of Safety Requirement (once adapted) introduced into regulatory framework
6 September 1989
Partial Test-Ban Treaty
Entry into force:
14 September 1964
Nuclear Suppliers Group

European Atomic Energy Community
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
25 March 1957
13 December 1957
Security Control in the Field of Nuclear Energy
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
20 December 1957
9 July 1959
European Company for the Chemical Processing of Irradiated Fuels (Eurochemic)
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
20 December 1957
9 July 1959
Establishment at Petten of the Joint Nuclear Research Centre
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
25 July 1961
30 October 1962
Civil Liability in the Field of Maritime Carriage of Nuclear Material
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
17 December 1971
1 August 1991
Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom on collaboration in the development and exploitation of the gas centrifuge process for producing enriched uranium
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
4 March 1970
18 June 1971
Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and United States of America regarding protection of information transferred into the United States of America in connection with the initial phase of a project for the establishment of a uranium enrichment installation in the United States of America based upon the gas centrifuge process developed within the participating countries
Entry into force:
4 November 1990
Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and United States of America regarding the establishment, construction and operation of a uranium enrichment installation in the United States of America
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
8 July 1993
21 March 1993
Exchange of Notes between the Netherlands and the United States of America concerning the application of non-proliferation assurances to low enriched uranium supplied to Taiwan, China
21 July 1999
Kingdom of the Netherlands and Brazil Application of safeguards to proposed exports to Brazil of uranium enriched in the Kingdom of the Netherlands by Urenco
Entry into force:
1 September 1978
Kingdom of the Netherlands and Germany concerning exports of enriched uranium to Brazil
Entry into force:
4 September 1978
Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom concerning reprocessing of certain quantities of irradiated nuclear fuel
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
12 September 1978
30 June 1981
Kingdom of the Netherlands and France concerning reprocessing of certain quantities of irradiated nuclear fuel
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
29 May 1979
17 August 1981
9 February 2009 (Trb. 2009. 41)
Kingdom of the Netherlands and France concerning reprocessing of certain quantities of irradiated nuclear fuel (II)
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
1 January 2014
20 April 2012 (Trb. 2012, 93)
Extension of the agreement of 4 April 1990 regarding protection of information transferred into the United States of America
Entry into force:
Ratification date:
5 April 1991
7 July 1992
Memorandum of Understanding between the Netherlands and Germany
Entry into force:
28 October 1977
Memorandum of Understanding between the Netherlands and Belgium
Entry into force:
20 December 1990
Memorandum of Understanding between the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium (BeNeLux)
Entry into force:
1 June 2006
Memorandum of Understanding between the authorities ANVS and the US NRC
Entry into force:
17 June 1985


Authority of Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection
Koningskade 4, 2596 AA The Hague
P.O. Box 16001 2500 BA The Hague
The Netherlands
tel.: ( +31) 88 489 0500
web site:
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
Parnassusplein 5, 2511 VX Den Haag
P.O. Box 90801 2509 LV The Hague
The Netherlands
tel.: (+31) 70 333 4444
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
Bezuidenhoutseweg 73,
2594 AC The Hague
P.O. Box 20401, 2500 EK The Hague
The Netherlands
tel.: (+31) 70 465.6767
web site:
Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport
Parnassusplein 5, 2511 VX Den Haag
P.O. Box 20350 2500 EJ The Hague
The Netherlands
Tel : (+31) 70 340 7911
NRG Petten
Westerduinweg 3
P.O. BOX 25
1755ZG Petten
The Netherlands
tel.: (+31) 224 564082
fax: (+31) 224 563912
web site:

EPZ NV (NPP Borssele)
P.O. Box 130
4380 AC Vlissingen
The Netherlands
Nuclear Netherlands
web site:
Reactor Institute Delft RID
TU-Delft. Mekelweg 15
2629 JB Delft. P.O. Box 5042
2629 JB Delft
The Netherlands
tel.: (+31) 15 278 6712
fax: (+31) 15 278 6422
Spanjeweg 1
4455 TW Nieuwdorp
P.O. Box 202
4380 AE Vlissingen
The Netherlands
tel.: (+31) 113 61 3900
fax: (+31) 113 61 3950
Waalbandijk 112a
P.O. Box 40
6669 ZG Dodewaard
The Netherlands
tel.: (+31) 448 41 8811
fax: (+31) 448 41 2128
Enrichment Technology Nederland B.V.
P.O. Box 30
7600 AA Almelo
tel.: (+31) 546 54 5500
fax: (+31) 546 54 5501
URENCO Nederland B.V.
P.O. Box 158
7600 AD Almelo  
tel.: (+31) 546 54 5454
fax: (+31) 546 81 8296
web site:
Netherlands Energy and Research Foundation (ECN)
Westerduinweg 1
P.O. Box 1
1755 ZG Petten
The Netherlands
tel.: (+31) 224 56 4949
fax: (+31) 224 56 3490/56 4480
FOM-Institute for Plasma Physics

Coordinator information

Name of report coordinator:

Hedwig Sleiderink


Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy

Contact details:

Electricity Department

Directorate-General for Climate and Energy

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy

Bezuidenhoutseweg 73, 2594 AC The Hague, The Netherlands

P.O. Box 20401, 2500 EK The Hague, The Netherlands

tel.: (+31) 6 50686471



(2) NORM waste with an activity concentration up to ten times the clearance levels need not be entrusted to COVRA, but is safely managed as very low level waste at two designated landfills.

(3) Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, National Report of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the Sixth Review Meeting, October 2017, page 77/130

(4) In the Netherlands, for emergency preparedness and response activities, a distinction is made between accidents involving category A facilities and those involving category B facilities. An accident involving a category A facility can have cross-regional effects that require administrative coordination by the government, in accordance with Art. 40 of the Nuclear Energy Act. These are accidents involving nuclear reactors, or ships and spacecraft that use nuclear energy, or nuclear defence equipment. This classification applies to such facilities in the Netherlands and elsewhere.