Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Decision makers and society need to be informed about the environmental impact of implementing a proposed initiative. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) identifies and evaluates the impact on the physical environment, besides the social, cultural and health impacts. Mitigating measures are also considered before major decisions are taken and commitments entered into.

In most countries, an EIA forms part of the licence application for new or planned modifications to existing nuclear facilities. However an EIA is not always required. Even where there is no legal obligation to perform an EIA, it may be wise to prepare one. A successful EIA process ensures an informed decision and often creates social support for the initiative.

Our safety and licensing experts provide support in:

  • Preparing / reviewing the Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Determining the radiological consequences of a new or modified nuclear facility
  • Coordinating the whole EIA
  • Meetings between the initiator and regulatory authority

We aim to promote a smooth EIA, in close alignment with the licence application.

The general outlines of an EIA
The EIA usually consists of a set of procedural steps culminating in an EIA report. This report helps the decision-maker (usual the regulatory authority) decide whether to approve or reject a proposed initiative. In general, the following steps are taken:

  • Determining whether a particular initiative warrants preparation of an EIA.
  • Informing the public and other interested parties about the initiative. These parties should be given the opportunity to identify key environmental issues to be addressed in an EIA. This is used by the regulatory authority to provide guidelines for the scope and level of detail of the EIA.
  • The initiator prepares the EIA report. This document is a part of the licence application relating to the initiative and is submitted to the regulatory authority. The public as well as other interested parties may comment on the EIA.
  • The regulator decides to approve or reject the initiative.


COVRA, Netherlands (2013)
– preparing the nuclear parts of the Environmental Impact Assessment report for the extension of the high radioactive storage building (HABOG). NRG determined the radiological consequences of the extension. In 2015, COVRA received the associated permit.

EPZ, Netherlands (2010) – support the licence application and the associated EAI process for fuel diversification (use of MOX fuel). Together with KEMA, NRG prepared the Environmental Impact Assessment report. For this, NRG determined the radiological consequences of using MOX fuel during normal operation, design and design base accidents (DBAs) as well as transport. The licence for using MOX fuel was granted to EPZ in 2013.

NRG, Netherlands (2009) – preparing the official notification for surveying and building a new research reactor, called PALLAS. This memorandum was the starting point for the environmental impact assessment.