Twenty years ago, a small group of representatives of European electricity producers involved in nuclear generation set up a light structure called the European Utility Requirements organisation. Its long-term objective was to foster the development of competition in the European nuclear industry through writing common design requirements for the new plants. The stabilised version of the specifications (the Revision C) was released in 2001 and since that time it has been extensively used by the utilities that were preparing bids as well as by the vendors that were developing new projects. The EUR has become a reference document, well beyond the initial circle of European utilities that promoted it.
Today, the first challenge for the EUR organisation is to promote the issue of revision D of the document (October 2012). Ten years after the last revision, many technological advances and requirements needed to be revised in the effort to keep utilities’ requirements at the highest level. Their role in design of future plants is essential more than ever in the quest for maximum standardisation, itself necessary to maintain the competitiveness of nuclear power in Europe.
The second challenge is to take into account the effects of the Fukushima accident. The EUR organisation must not only continue working on the technical impacts as the feedback will be worked out and their integration into the EUR requirements; but it has also to focus on reactions to the disaster among all stakeholders around the world. And support harmonisation processes broadly, in this respect. This is one way to contribute to better acceptance of nuclear energy, while the control of greenhouse gas emissions remains a major global challenge.
The third challenge for the future of the EUR organisation lies in strengthening of the links and incorporating the views of its members, particularly through collaborative workgroups, so that the Nuclear Option remains open in future decisions to build new power plants wherever accepted. This will involve the organisation in further enhancing its role as a privileged interface for discussions between utilities, vendors and European regulators.
For twenty years the EUR organisation and its members have been able to work together and develop a common vision of the pace of political and economic consolidation of Europe and its enlargement to the East. The pioneers of the approach have been joined by a new generation of contributors. New members have brought their expertise to the organisation. Recently, others have put their participation in standby according to the evolution of their respective nuclear national policy. EUR keeps the way open for future and is proud of being part of nuclear stakeholders promoting standardisation and high quality requirements recognised by the Industry for future new Generation 3 plants.