ANVS became an independent administrative body on 1 August 2017
The Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS) became an independent administrative body on 1 August 2017. At that moment, implementing powers in the area of nuclear safety and radiation protection passed from the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment to ANVS. An independent administrative body performs government tasks, but is not directly subject to ministerial authority. This legal form guarantees the independence of the ANVS.
In January 2014, the Dutch cabinet took the decision to create the ANVS. There were two reasons for this move: independence and combining knowledge. Prior to 2015, assorted government tasks, expertise relating to the nuclear sector and the use of radiation had been distributed between various official bodies. When the ANVS was established, on 1 January 2015, the staff of these bodies were merged into a single expert organization that complies with international directives, including those of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). On 1 August, the ANVS formally became independent, in compliance with international directives.
What is the ANVS’s mission?
The ANVS monitors and continuously promotes nuclear safety, radiation protection and security, on behalf of today’s generation and generations to come. It does so by preventing incidents and accidents at nuclear facilities, to make sure that people and the environment receive the best possible protection against the potentially harmful effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, both in normal circumstances and during accident scenarios. The ANVS also ensures that nuclear materials and radiological sources do not fall into the wrong hands, and it prevents the unwarranted dispersal of nuclear materials and expertise. The ANVS’s mission and its targets in the upcoming years are described in detail in the Roadmap that was published on 1 August 2017.
What does the ANVS do?
The Authority has a range of tasks in the above-mentioned fields of activity. The ANVS issues licences and records notifications. It also registers and accredits experts and radiation practitioners. The ANVS carries out regulatory activities and can implement any measures that are required in the interests of nuclear safety or radiation protection. Working with its partners, the ANVS ensures that the Netherlands is as well prepared as possible for radiation safety accidents and nuclear accidents. Such accidents are highly unlikely, but if they do occur then the ANVS will advise on the measures that need to be taken. The Authority is also tasked with developing nuclear safety and radiation protection policies, including radioactive waste policy. In this connection, it prepares legislation and regulations or provides advice. At international level, the ANVS coordinates with various foreign agencies, authorities and organizations, such as the IAEA. You can find further details at this website.
Nuclear facilities and radiation sources
All nuclear facilities in the Netherlands are required to comply with strict safety requirements. This applies to the High Flux reactor at Petten (which is required for the production of medical preparations), the research reactor at the Delft University of Technology, and the Borssele nuclear power plant. In the province of Zeeland, there is a storage facility for radioactive waste. In Almelo, there is a uranium enrichment plant. Industry and the medical sector make substantial use of radiation sources. These include the X-ray equipment used in hospitals, and at dental and veterinary practices. Radioactive materials are used to treat cancer patients. These materials also need to be shipped. The ANVS ensures that such shipments are carried out safely.