Nuclear energy legislation guarantees the safe use of nuclear energy throughout its entire life cycle
The purpose of nuclear energy legislation is to ensure that the use of nuclear energy is in line with the overall good of society, safe for people and the environment, and that its use does not enable the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The legislation must be up to date. It must always acknowledge the changes in international and national legal standards and methods, the effective national implementation of EU directives, and technological development.
In autumn 2019, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment established a working group to work on amending the Nuclear Energy Act. Its aim is to clarify regulation and improve its manageability. The working group’s report includes further details on amending the legislation.
Legal basis of the use of nuclear energy consist of the Nuclear Energy Act (990/1987) and the Nuclear Energy Decree (161/1988). Detailed provisions, the regulations and guidelines published by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s (STUK) and supervision ensure that the objectives of legislation for the safe use of nuclear energy are achieved.
The use of nuclear energy always requires a licence. The legislation lays down various obligations for operators carrying out activities requiring a licence, such as ensuring the safety of nuclear energy use and managing the nuclear waste. The fulfilment of these obligations is supervised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and STUK.
The use and supervision of nuclear energy are regulated by several international agreements. Finland’s national nuclear energy legislation fulfils the country’s international commitments. The European Union regulates the nuclear energy sector through the Euratom Treaty and the directives under it.
Matters concerning radiation work and radiation safety are prescribed separately in the act on radiation (859/2018). The act is also partially applied to the use of nuclear energy. Further information on this subject can be found from the website of STUK.
Further Information: hanna-mari.kyllonen(at)gov.fi, mirjami.tanner(at)gov.fi