A majority of legislation relevant to the preparation for the construction, the construction itself, the operation and decommissioning of a nuclear power plant has already been passed and has entered into force.
The key legislation in the area is the Act of Parliament of 29 November 2000 - Atomic Law. The Act establishes the framework for a nuclear power sector in Poland - from the beginning of preparations for construction of a plant to its shutdown and decommissioning. The Atomic Law specifies conditions, which must be fulfilled before the approval of the construction and start-up of a nuclear power plant. It also sets the conditions for management of spent fuel.
Under the Act the key criteria for all decisions and actions related to nuclear power are safety and radiological protection. Oversight of all matters related to nuclear power belongs to the President of the National Atomic Energy Agency. The Atomic Law gives a detailed description of responsibilities and competence of NAEA President.
Detailed principles for the operation of nuclear plants are specified in the resolutions of the Council of Ministers, issued on the basis of the Atomic Law. These are:
A. Council of Ministers Regulation of 10 August 2012 on the detailed scope of assessment of the location intended for a nuclear facility, on the cases where such location must not be considered as meeting the requirements for location of a nuclear facility and on requirements for a location report for the nuclear facility.
The regulation specifies the terms and scope of analysis of locations for the selection of an NPP site. The regulation specifies in detail the characteristics of an area, which eliminate it as a possible location of a nuclear power plant (also known as fatal flaws). It also lists elements to be included in the location report.
B. Council of Ministers Regulation of 11 February 2013 on the conditions for start-up and operation of nuclear facilities.
The regulation specifies how the start-up of an installation is to be conducted, including a detailed description of tests and safety measures, responsibilities, required schedules and instructions. Similar requirements are included in the section related to operation of a nuclear plant, indicating i.a. terms of fire protection, renovations or documentation.
C. Council of Ministers Regulation of 10 August 2012 on positions of particular significance to provision of nuclear safety and radiological protection and the radiological protection inspectors.
The regulation specifies requirements regarding the training and skills of persons directly handling radioactive materials, methods for their training and verification of expertise.
D. Council of Ministers Regulation of 10 August 2012 on activities of particular significance to provision of nuclear safety and radiological protection in organisations conducting activities which involve the start-up, operation or decommissioning of nuclear power plants.
The regulation lists positions related to start-up, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants, which require specific knowledge and skills and sets the terms for verification of their competence.
E. Council of Ministers Regulation of 10 October 2012 on the level of charges against the cost of final management of spent fuel and nuclear waste and the cost of decommissioning of a nuclear power plant, made by the organisation licensed to operate the nuclear power plant.
Atomic Law establishes a system for financing the final management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste and decommissioning of a nuclear power plant. The operator of a nuclear power plant is required to make quarterly payments to a designated decommissioning fund.
F. Council of Ministers Regulation of 11 February 2013 on the nuclear safety and radiological protection requirements during decommissioning of nuclear facilities and on the contents of the report on decommissioning of a nuclear facility.
The regulation describes in detail the manner to proceed with a nuclear power plant once it is out of operation.
The Atomic Law also gave basis for a Regulation issued by the Minister of Economy on 23 July 2012 on the detailed terms of establishing and operating Local Information Committees and cooperation related to nuclear power installations.
The Regulation specifies the scope and manner of operation of Local Information Committees, which may be established by residents of a municipality, where a nuclear power plant is situated. The Committees conduct monitoring of the plant since the beginning of its construction until decommissioning. They also represent the residents in dealings with the investor and later the operator.
Alongside the above legal acts, other valid regulations include:
The Act of 29 June 2011 on Preparing for and Performing Investments Involving Nuclear Power Facilities and Accompanying Investments.
The Act determines general principles and conditions for development and construction of a nuclear power plant. It includes the conditions for issuing a Location Permit as well as the conditions an investor must meet to obtain the title to the site where the plant is to be located. The terms of the Act also regulate the distribution of revenue from the constructed nuclear power plant among the site municipality and the neighbouring municipalities (in general terms the host municipality leaves half of the funds received in property taxes from the plant operator to be distributed among the neighbouring municipalities).
The Council of Ministers Regulation of 12 May 2009 establishing the office of Government Commissioner for Nuclear Power.
The task of the Commissioner is to develop a draft of the Polish Nuclear Power Program and present it to the Council of Ministers. The Commissioner supervises the works related to the development of legal acts necessary for successful implementation of the Program and coordinates the activities of other organs of public administration in the context of development and construction of nuclear power plants. The Commissioner receives the rank of Deputy Minister of Economy.
On 28 January 2014 the Council of Ministers passed a resolution regarding the Polish Nuclear Power Program, developed by the Ministry of Economy. The Program sets forth a list of tasks ensuring safe use of nuclear power in Poland.