Operating experience from the more than 400 nuclear reactors producing electricity worldwide forms a valuable source of information. The European Union has set up a regional network to improve the collecting and implementing of operational experience, called the "EU Clearinghouse". It has been set up in support of EU member state nuclear safety authorities, EU technical support organisations, international organisations and the broader nuclear community, in order to enhance nuclear safety through improvement of the use of lessons learned from operational experience.
The EU Clearinghouse, is organised as a network operated by a centralised office located at the JRC Petten (The Netherlands). It currently gathers seventeen European Safety Authorities (Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine) and four European technical support organisations (Belgium, France, Germany, Ukraine). The setting up of this initiative at EU level allows assembling resources (experts, data), better identifying the Community needs for technical work and its further enhanced coordination.
The activities of the EU Clearinghouse are based on exchange of existing knowledge with key organisations, and on the further processing and in-depth analysis, in order to disseminate recommendations and concrete lessons learned through a centralised knowledge repository, including a web based database coupled with advanced analytical tools.
The main deliverables of the EU Clearinghouse are topical studies which analyse in depth operating experience and propose recommendations for a specific topic such as construction of new nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel, maintenance, and external hazards. The EU Clearinghouse performs also systematic screenings and assessments of worldwide operational event information and delivers the results of these assessments in a Quarterly Newsletter.