Future-ready with ANVS 2.1

As of February 1st, the organisational structure of the ANVS has changed. We now have 3 boards, each with their own expertise. This has a clear goal: ensuring an organisation in which the teams can optimally combine their knowledge and strengths. This is important in a world that changes quickly and can sometimes be unpredictable.

Prepared for national and international developments

At the moment there are many developments in the Netherlands and its surrounding countries. An example would be the government's ambition to build new nuclear reactors in the municipality of Borsele. Or the ambition to keep the existing nuclear power plant in the same municipality open for an extended period of time.

Regarding these developments, we have an important part to play: we must assess whether all this can be done in a safe manner. At the same time we need to take into account all developments in the field of technology, but also, for example, from (cyber) security. In recent years, we have also seen unpredictable events in the world affect the ANVS, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Always looking ahead and being able to deal with such uncertainties is indispensable for our work. Clear management lines in our organisation will make this possible.

3 new departments

After a careful process of reorganisation, the ANVS has decided to create 3 departments: Assessment & Advice, Business Operations & Information, and finally Competent Authority. These departments are responsible for undertaking the legal tasks of the ANVS.

Competent Authority Department

The Competent Authority Department is responsible for 2 of those key tasks: licensing as well as supervision and enforcement. At a team level, these tasks are separated from each other. “There is a good reason for this separation,” explains interim director Bernd Keller. “The licensing authorities process licence applications. They look at the justification of what is being requested and assess the content of the documents that go with the licence application. The central question is whether the application meets the legal safety requirements. Only then will a company receive a permit.”

He continues: “Our colleagues from supervision and enforcement actually go into the field and visit existing installations and transport companies. There they not only check whether daily practice is safe, but also whether the requirements and instructions from the permit have been followed. For example, they check equipment, work processes and documentation to find out.”

Bernd Keller: “Both activities together ensure safety. Licensing strengthens supervision and vice versa. We complement each other and consistently remain critical of each other's work.”

Assessment & Advice Department

“We house the disciplines that inform and advise the organisation, but also the outside world,” according to Jan Pieter Mook, interim director at the Assessment and Advice Department. “That is why we have knowledge of the nuclear and radiological side, but also, for example, of legal affairs and public information. Our work is therefore highly complementary to that of our colleagues. National and international collaborations are also included in the Assessment & Advice package.”

Crisis preparation and response is another task that belongs to this department. Mook: “To give an example: last year the war in Ukraine ended up raising many questions among people in the Netherlands. When this is the case, we look at how we can answer these questions as thoroughly as we can. Simultaneously, we work out scenarios to be well prepared for as many different situations as possible. Another highly discussed topic is the potential construction of new nuclear power plants in the municipality of Borsele. When such processes are going on, we not only inform the general public about the course of events, but also share our expertise with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. What do we think is necessary to do in each case, in order to ensure a safe situation at all times?”

When it comes to policy, legislation and regulation, this department also continuously provides solicited and unsolicited advice. That is why there are a further 2 specialist teams in this department that supplement the work of the ANVS as a Competent Authority based on their expertise. An example is how they use their knowledge in the field of decommissioning, nuclear technology and radioactive waste. Mook: “They carry out in-depth assessments and specialist inspections on major projects such as PALLAS and SHINE.”

Operations & Information Department

The third and final new department is focused on Operations & Information. This department advises and supports the management team and the central processes that the ANVS needs to perform its key tasks. Director Ilya Wit-Hoornweg: “Frameworks, guidelines and legal requirements are translated by us into the services of the ANVS, whereby the management tests the results, advises and (re)directs them.”

Connection is essential to this. “We are in constant contact with external suppliers, parts of the national government, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and ANVS colleagues. There is a lot of knowledge and experience that we can benefit from, but also that we can contribute. That is why working together is extremely important. We do this with a wonderful group of people, committed to the wide diversity of tasks and responsibilities that we perform both for and on behalf of the ANVS.”

More than just a change in structure

Before February 1st, there were 4 departments and 2 staff departments. Now, we will continue our work in this new structure. We keep evaluating and monitoring ourselves within this new structure: one of our guiding principles is continuous improvement. Because that is how we make sure that we contribute to keep our country safe. 

Would you like to know more about our organisation? Check our webpage.