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Enforcement of provisions

Supervisory orders

The supervisory authority may order the licence holder to discontinue a situation which is contrary to the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, the ordinances issued under the Act, the terms and conditions of the licence or to any subsequently imposed obligation, or which may constitute a hazard to life, health or property.

Depending on the specific circumstances of the individual case, it may, in particular, order that

  • specific protective measures be taken,
  • that the operation of the plant be restricted or that the plant may continue to operate solely if specific conditions are met, or
  • the operation of the plant be suspended.

In the event of the operator’s non-fulfilment of the licensing provisions or supervisory orders, the authority may enforce compliance by coercive administrative measures.

Imposition of conditions / revocation of licence

In certain circumstances, the licensing authority may impose conditions to ensure safety even after a licence has been granted. If it is suspected that a nuclear installation poses a substantial risk to employees or the general public which cannot be removed within a reasonable time by appropriate measures, the nuclear licensing authority may revoke the licence. Revocation is also possible if the criteria for the granting of the licence cease to be met at a later time or if the licence holder violates legal provisions or decisions by the authorities.

Prosecution of violations

Criminal offences

Penalties may be imposed for violations of laws pertaining to the nuclear sector. These penalties are set forth in the Criminal Code, the Atomic Energy Act and the nuclear ordinances. For example, anyone who

  • operates, otherwise holds, modifies or decommissions a nuclear installation without the required licence,
  • knowingly constructs a defective nuclear installation,
  • handles nuclear fuel without the required licence,
  • releases ionising radiation or causes nuclear fission processes capable of damaging the life and health of others,
  • procures or manufactures nuclear fuel, radioactive materials or other equipment in order to commit a criminal offence, is liable to imprisonment or a fine.

Administrative offences

Administrative offences are regulated by the Atomic Energy Act. For example, an administrative offence is committed by any person who, deliberately or negligently,

  • constructs nuclear installations without a licence,
  • acts in violation of a regulatory order or obligation imposed,
  • handles radioactive material without a licence,
  • as the responsible person, fails to ensure compliance with the provisions on monitoring and protection set forth in the Radiation Protection Ordinance.

Fines of up to 50,000 euros may be imposed on a person committing an administrative offence.