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Nuclear energy in chileCONSTITUCIONAL AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK REGULATION REGARDING
THE INSTALLATION OF NUCLEAR ENERGY POWER PLANTS IN CHILE
Hereafter follows the constitutional and legal framework that regulates at present any and all activities related to the use of atomic or nuclear energy in Chile, especially those activities related to the generation of electricity. This report sets forth in detail the general regulatory panorama regarding: a) the constitutional framework that regulates this type of nuclear activity; b) the regulations governing uranium mining in Chile; c) the attributions of the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission; d) the legal regulations establishing the general conditions under which all activities are subject related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy as well as radioactive facilities, substances and materials used in them, and e) the legal and administrative rules of an environmental nature to which these types of activities are subject. It ends with an analysis and a comment on the regulations mentioned and final conclusions. Please be advised that this report is substantially based on current regulations in force applicable both to the extraction of uranium as well as the installation of these types of power plants, and it does not take into account any reports, analyses or bills that the Government (the President of the Republic) or Parliament might happen to be studying at this point in time. Constitutional framework applicable
The Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile ensures that people– including
foreigners – are safeguarded in article 19 with a series of rights and guarantees, prominent among which are the following: “The right to live in an environment free from contamination”, and it is “the State’s duty to make sure that this right is not perturbed and to supervise the preservation of
nature. The law may establish specific restraints on exercising certain rights or
liberties in order to protect the environment” (art. 19 Nº 8);
“The right to go about any economic activity that does not infringe common decency, law and order and national security, abiding by whatever legal rules govern it. The State and its bodies may go about business activities or take part in them only if a qualified quorum allows them to do so. In that case, those activities will be subject to the common legislation applicable to private persons, regardless of any exceptions that, with good grounds, are established by law and which neither shall be subject to a qualified quorum” (Art. 19 Nº21); “Freedom to acquire ownership over all kinds of assets, except those that by their very nature are common to everybody or which belong to the whole of the nation and are declared as such by law” (art. 19 Nº 23), and “The right to ownership in their different guises over all kinds of corporeal Only the law can establish the manner in which the property is acquired, used and enjoyed and the restraints and obligations stemming from their social functions. This includes whenever the nation’s general interests, national security, public health and utilities and the conservation of environmental heritage are at stake”. In paragraph Nine, it also mentions that the “owner’s ownership” of a mining concession is protected by a constitutional guarantee dealt with in this number – the right to ownership -”. (art. 19 Nº 24). Restraints on exploiting Uranium
Article 10 of the Mining Code establishes that:
“The State is entitled, at the price and normal market practices, to the first
purchase option of whatever mining products come out of the mines developed in the
country where thorium or uranium is significantly present …”
If uranium is obtained sporadically, its producer shall notify this fact to the Chilean
Nuclear Energy Commission so that it may exercise that right on behalf of the State and it will thence point out the amount, quality and any other characteristics of the product, its market price and where, when and how it is to be delivered. If uranium is obtained regularly, its producer, by September of each year at the
latest, will notify the Commission of its estimated monthly output programs for the following calendar year, so that it may exercise, on behalf of the State, its right to a first purchase option (art. 10). Noncompliance with the any of the obligations mentioned above will expose the miner to a fine which shall be immediately enforced (art. 11). For the purpose of the previously mentioned articles, the significant presence of a substance in a mining product; i.e. that it can be reduced or separated from a technical and economic point of view, will be understood as being when the total major cost involved in its recovery by means of technically proven procedures, its sale and delivery, is lower than its commercial value (art. 12). Legal regulations of a nuclear nature
Act Nº 16.319 of 1965: the law that created the Chilean Nuclear Energy
The law referred to, that created the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission, grants a
series of attributions of nuclear relevance and defines some important concepts. The Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission: is “an Independent Administration Body of the State. It will be governed by the provisions of this law, its Regulations and by whatever Internal Rules are drafted by its Council. It will be domiciled in the city of Santiago. The Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission will relate to the Government through the Attributions of the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission: Among its - “Encouraging , undertaking or investigating, whichever the case may be and in accordance with current legislation, exploring, exploiting and smelting natural atomic
matter, selling such matter extracted and their concentrates, by-products and compounds,
stockpiling matter that is of nuclear interest and producing and using, for peaceful
means, nuclear energy in all of its forms, such as its application in medical, industrial or
agricultural forms as well as the generation of thermal and electrical energy” (art. 3
letter d) )
- “Exercising in whatever manner the Regulations determine, control over the
production, acquisition, transport, import and export, use and handling of fertile,
fissionable and radioactive elements” (art. 3, letter g).
Atomic Energy: “That which is generated using nuclear processes or
phenomena, such as fusion and nuclear fission and the emission of radiation particles.
For the same purpose, the terms “nuclear energy” and “atomic energy” are
Likewise, a) uranium and thorium are natural atomic matter, as well as any others
determined by law, b) zirconium, niobium, titanium, hafnium, beryllium, cadmium, cobalt, lithium, heavy water, helium, uranium and thorium are matter of nuclear interest; the latter with their radioactive series, gadolinium, as well as any others determined by supreme decree” (art. 2). Controlling and Stockpiling Natural Atomic Matter
“The functions and attributions the law grant the State regarding the
exploring, exploiting and smelting natural atomic matter, selling such matter already
extracted and their concentrates, by-products and compounds as well as stockpiling
matter of nuclear interest, which may only be exercised by the Commission.
PRODUCING NUCLEAR ENERGY FOR PEACEFUL MEANS MAY ONLY
BE UNDERTAKEN BY THE COMMISSION OR WITH ITS PRIOR APPROVAL.
The Commission may produce on its own or through or together with third
parties” (art. 7).
Restraints on going about economic activities
“Due to national interest, natural atomic matter – uranium – and the lithium
extracted and any concentrates, by-products or compounds resulting from the former and
the latter, may not be the object of any legal action of any kind, unless it is undertaken
or entered into by the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission, together with it or with
its prior authorization. If the Commission considers granting an authorization, it will
determine at the same time, the conditions under which it will do so and, except for any
reasons that are set down when it is granted, such authorization may not be modified or
brought to an end by the Commission and nor may it be abandoned by the interested party”
Powers of the Managing Council of the Chilean Nuclear Energy
“It will be up to the Council to administer and manage the Commission with the
widest possible powers. With this in mind, and albeit not limited thereto, as well as the ordinary powers of administration, the Council may:
Acquire, convey, encumber and administer all kinds of movable goods or real
estate, especially matter of nuclear interest and concentrates, by-products and
compounds of such matter and execute or enter into any acts or contracts aimed,
directly or indirectly, at doing so” (art. 10 letter a).
The Managing Council consists of 7 members, all of whom will be appointed by the The following will be exempt from all duties, taxes, rates, encumbrances or
Acquiring or conveying, to anybody else, matter of nuclear interest and its concentrates, by-products and compounds, to which the Commission is party.
Exporting such matter and products by the Commission, and
Documents of any nature in which the acts or contracts mentioned in letters a) and b) above are set forth or which are necessary for carrying them out. Act Nº 18.302 of 1984: the Nuclear Security Act
On the other hand, this law called the “Nuclear Security Law” establishes a new regulation for a series of activities related to nuclear energy and which will be gone into as follows. The law authorizes: “…all activities related to the peaceful use of nuclear
energy and with the facilities and nuclear substances and radioactive matter that are
used in them as well as their transport, aimed at providing protection for health, security
and safeguarding people, assets and the environment and fair compensation or indemnity
for any damage that such activities might cause; forestalling misappropriation and the
illegal use of the energy, nuclear substances and facilities; and making sure that all
international accords or treaties are complied with on the matter to which Chile is party”
Authorized body for supervision and inspection: “Regulating, supervising, controlling and inspecting the activities mentioned in the previous article will come under the responsibility of the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission and the Ministry of Mines, whichever the case may be,” (art. 2). Nuclear Security: “A series of rules, conditions and practices aimed at protecting people, assets and the environment against any radiological risks stemming from the use of nuclear energy, radioactive matter or any other ionizing radiation sources” (art. 3 Nº 4). Radioactive Facilities : “Those in which radioactive matter or equipment
generating ionizing radiations are produced, treated, handled, stored or used” (art. 3
Operator of a Nuclear Facility: “A natural person or a legal body in whose
name the Commission has granted an authorization to operate a nuclear facility”. (art.
3 Nº 11).
Nuclear Accident: “Any event or series of events which, having the same origin, cause nuclear damage” (art. 3 Nº 12). Nuclear Damage: “The loss of human life, bodily, somatic, genetic or psychological injuries affecting persons and the damages that arise in assets as a direct or indirect result of the radioactive properties or a combination of them together with toxic, explosive or any other hazardous properties of nuclear fuels or the products or radioactive waste or products that are found at a facility or the nuclear substances that come from or have their origin in them or which are sent to them”. (art. 3 Nº 14). Authorization: “In order to locate, build, start-up, operate, close down
and dismantle, whichever the case may be, any facilities, plants, laboratory centers,
establishments and nuclear equipment and for importing into or in transit through
national territory, an exclusive economic area, on the high seas or in national air
space, nuclear substances or radioactive matter, an authorization will be needed from
the Commission, with the formalities and in the conditions that are determined in this
law and in its regulations. Nuclear power plants, enrichment plants, processing plants
and permanent storage deposits of radioactive waste should be authorized by a
Supreme Decree issued through the Ministry of Mines.
Storing nuclear or radioactive waste on national soil may not be authorized unless it was produced or it originated on it”. (art. 4). Concerning authorizations: “Licenses or authorizations may not be
revoked, suspended or modified unless there are good grounds as provided in the act
when granted or as a result of any noncompliance with the conditions or requirements
imposed in them, by law or the regulations. In any event the resolution must have good
grounds and be duly notified to the owner of the authorization, who may appeal in the
manner established in articles 36 and onwards. Licenses or authorizations may not be
relinquished prematurely, unless granted, in the Commission’s opinion, with
whatever safeguards and guarantees are necessary and sufficient as regards their
definitive closure and any others mentioned in the regulations” (art. 13).
“The Commission will fix annually the rights that shall be paid for whatever
authorizations are granted, which will be paid into the nation’s coffers” (art. 14).
“Licenses or authorizations are only for certain nuclear acts, operations or
facilities determined in them and for the person or persons obtaining them, who may
not invoke them for any other ends” (art. 15).
“Authorizations that are granted for installing and operating nuclear plants, facilities, centers, laboratories, establishments and equipment will state the person or
persons who, as operator/s, will assume responsibility for any nuclear fallout they
produce. All applications shall identify the operator and his domicile” (art. 16).
Concerning the Commission’s authority to hear and judge any violations of the rules, measures and conditions of nuclear security “It will be up to the Commission to hear and punish any violations of the legal
and regulatory rules concerning nuclear and radiological security and protection as
well as any noncompliance with the conditions and requirements of the authorizations
granted or whatever instructions or measures are adopted” (art. 33).
“The Commission may impose one or more of the following penalties as a result of perpetrating any of the events mentioned in the previous article: A fine, to be paid into the government’s coffers, amounting to between ten and ten thousand Indexation Units (UF), depending on the seriousness of the violation or noncompliance. Suspension of the authorization for any activity related to nuclear energy and Definitive revocation of the authorization” (art. 34). For further information regarding the penalty system, in accordance with articles 35 and onwards of the Law, the intricacies involving all penalties are set down in detail hereafter. Concerning offences against nuclear security Articles 41 to 48 mention a series of offences, punishable with different penalties, against facilities, plants, centers, laboratories or nuclear establishments. By way of example: “Whosoever does anything aimed at violating constitutional law and order or public security or imposes any requirements or extracts any decisions from the authorities or intimidates the population or threatens to cause nuclear damage will be punished with imprisonment in its medium to highest degree” (art. 46). Objective Civil Liability as a result of nuclear damages Articles 49 to 55 distinguish the nature of nuclear responsibility, which will be objective (art.49) and it also makes the “operator of a nuclear facility, plant, center, establishment or laboratory” from whence abandoned, mislaid, stolen, purloined or lost nuclear substances stem which cause some or other damage (art. 52). The maximum limit of liability for any nuclear damage perpetrated in which an operator could incur for each accident, will be equal in local currency to the sum of 75
million US dollars, legal tender of the United States of America, which will be
automatically re-indexed according to what percentage of variation there is in the Special
Withdrawals Rights from the International Monetary Fund between the date of this law and the nuclear accident (art. 60). Concerning Insurance and a financial guarantee All operators shall pledge their responsibility by means of an insurance policy or the establishment of guarantees, up to the maximum limit established in it (art. 60), subject to prior approval from the Commission concerning the insurance and the underwriter, or the guarantee, whichever the case may be. Only once it has been vouched for that the requirements under this article have been complied with, may the operator obtain the authorization that enables him to start-up the nuclear facility and operate it. Regardless of the attributions of the Regulatory Body for Securities and Insurance, insurance companies, to be able to operate regarding matters dealt with in this chapter, will submit for approval by the Commission, the models of the policies and any other conditions of their operations, such as reinsurance and co-insurance (art. 63). Act Nº 19.300 of 1994: the Basic Environmental Law and the
Regulations concerning the Environmental Impact Evaluation System, Supreme
Decree Nº 95
Article 10 of the Basic Environmental Law (Act 19.300) establishes that any projects or activities susceptible to causing an environmental impact, during any of their phases, shall submit an environmental impact declaration to the system. Among such activities are: Energy generating power plants greater than 3MW, and Nuclear reactors and establishments as well as all related facilities. To the foregoing it should be added that any projects or activities previously mentioned will require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Study if they are
going to generate or feature at least one of the following effects, characteristics or
circumstances, prominent among which and among others are (art.11):
Risks to the health of the population as a result of the amount and quality of Significant adverse effects on the amount and quality of any renewable natural resources, including the soil, water or air, and Locations next to populations, protected resources and areas susceptible to being affected as well as the environmental value of the territory where it is going to be located. What is more, article 3 of the Regulations of the Environmental Impact Evaluation System (Supreme Decree 95/2001) that mentions the projects or activities susceptible to
causing an environmental impact, during any of their phases, establishes that the following
projects shall undergo the Environmental Impact Evaluation System:
Energy generating power plants greater than 3 MW (letter c). Nuclear reactors and establishments as well as all related facilities (letter d). Further on, those Regulations state that “…nuclear establishments are those factories using nuclear fuel for producing nuclear substances and factories in which nuclear substances are processed, including the facilities for reprocessing irradiated nuclear fuels. Furthermore, facilities related to permanent storage deposits of nuclear or radioactive substances will be understood as nuclear reactors or establishments” (letter d) sections 2 and 3. International Treaties relating to the development of Nuclear Energy in
The Chilean legal framework that governs the development of nuclear energy in Chile also includes multilateral and bilateral international treaties signed by Chile with
IV1.- Convention On Nuclear Safety.
The Convention On Nuclear Safety signed by Chile entered into effect on 1996. The objectives of this Convention are: i. to achieve and maintain a high level of nuclear safety worldwide through the enhancement of national measures and international co-operation including, where appropriate, safety-related technical co-operation; ii. to establish and maintain effective defences in nuclear installations against potential radiological hazards in order to protect individuals, society and the environment from harmful effects of ionizing radiation from such installations; iii. to prevent accidents with radiological consequences and to mitigate such consequences a) Definition.
“Art 2. Definitions
i) "nuclear installation" means for each Contracting Party any land-based civil nuclear power plant under its jurisdiction including such storage, handling and treatment facilities for radioactive materials as are on the same site and are directly related to the operation of the nuclear power plant. Such a plant ceases to be a nuclear installation when all nuclear fuel elements have been removed permanently from the reactor core and have been stored safely in accordance with approved procedures, and a decommissioning programme has been agreed to by the regulatory body.” The extent of the definition of nuclear energy is interesting because a plant ceases to be a nuclear installation when all nuclear fuel elements have been removed permanently from
the reactor core and have been stored safely. Our legal framework relating to nuclear
energy does not regulate this matter thoroughly.
This Convention sets provisions relating to the design and construction of nuclear installations and the prevention and emergency preparedness in the event of emergencies.
b) Regulatory body. Separation between the functions of the regulatory body and
those of any other body or organization concerned with the promotion or
utilization of nuclear energy.
In accordance to Numbers 1 and 2 of Article 8 of the Convention, each Contracting Party shall establish or designate a regulatory body entrusted with the implementation of the legislative and regulatory framework to govern the safety of nuclear installations, and provided with adequate authority, competence and financial and human resources to fulfill its assigned responsibilities and shall take the appropriate steps to ensure an effective separation between the functions of the regulatory body and those of any other body or organization concerned with the promotion or utilization of nuclear energy. The Chilean legislation is not fully and completely in compliance with the aforementioned article because it has entrusted to the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission with both, the implementation of the legislative and the regulatory framework to govern the safety of nuclear installations and the promotion or utilization of nuclear energy. In our opinion this is a deficiency in our legal framework, since the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission does not only promotes, regulates and controls, but it also imposes sanctions to the infringement of the law. This deficiency constitutes, at least, a threat to the right of due process guaranteed by the Chilean Constitution and a discouragement to private investors to invest in the development of nuclear energy in Chile. IV.2. International Treaties
Chile has signed bilateral treaties with Colombia, Argentina, Guatemala, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Brasil, Corea, América Latina y el Caribe (ARCAL) y Thailand relating to the co – orperation and exchange of scientific information on nuclear energy. It is important to take into account that these treaties are merely political declarations that intent to promote a bilateral collaboration between both countries and not an effective and efficient instrument to ensure the compliance of the obligations agreed by both parties. An analysis and comments on existing regulations.
Of the regulations mentioned above, it appears that there is no prohibition whatsoever expressly mentioned or any legal source in Chilean law against installing and starting up a nuclear power plant. Regardless of this though, the restraints on the private sector and as a counterweight, the prerogatives in favor of the State, are such that legal modifications are needed to suitably encourage the private sector to take part in this economic activity1. So, the insufficiency of real incentives for the private sector and, at times, the contradictions that exist among certain rules, mean that the legalities currently in force on this matter (which date back mainly to 1965 and 1984), are deficient and completely out of tune with the economic model adopted by Chile over the last few years, besides the needs our country currently has as regarding energy issues. So, after reading and especially interpreting the above mentioned rules, the a) Uranium Regulations.
Uranium is a substance freely exploitable and appropriated by any national and/or foreign natural persons or legal bodies (art. 19 Nº 23) and regarding whose concession ownership is constitutionally protected (art. 19 Nº 24), aimed at undertaking any economic activity (art. 19 Nº 21), whatever its end might be. Notwithstanding this though, its exploitation is subject to a special system of regulations (first preferential purchase option to be exercised by the State and subject to its exploitation being habitually conducted as envisaged in the Mining Code) which conspires against the possibility of a suitable exploitation, foreseeably envisaging difficulties for the private sector flexibly and dynamically using wealth beneath the earth as important components that enable the nuclear reactors of a nuclear power plant to be able to operate. 1 See “the Secret Chilean Nuclear Agenda” in the Magazine Qué Pasa of April 19 2008. On the other hand, in letter d) of article 3 of Act 16.319 already mentioned, it mentions that the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission, among others, is authorized to
“foster…the exploration, exploitation and smelting of natural atomic matter”, defining
uranium as a natural atomic matter in its article 2. However, that same law contradicts itself
as well as the Mining Code, when it prescribes in article 8 that because of the nation’s
interests “natural atomic matter – such as uranium and thorium – and the lithium extracted
as well as the concentrates, by-products or compounds from the former and the latter, may
not be the object of any kind of legal action unless they are entered into or executed by
the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission, together with it or with its prior
This means that uranium or thorium, despite being concessionable substances, appropriated as such and constitutionally protected by the right to ownership according to Act Nº 16.319, are substances that cannot be the object of any acts or contracts (a legal prohibition) unless they are executed or entered into by the State, together with it or with its permission. This openly contradicts the Constitution, because in accordance with national interests, today “when the nation’s interest are at stake” (art. 19 Nº 24), the legislator is enabled to only establish restraints or obligations inherent in exercising the attributes and essential powers of a right, but he is not authorized to deprive, dispossess, take away or forbid a private person from exercising his right like, for example, going about an economic activity which he owns (the uranium). The legislator’s field of view is bound and precise and it cannot invoke the social function of the property in order to hide real hidden prohibitions.
As a result of this then, any nuclear power plant for producing electricity that is
to be installed in Chile and which uses uranium or thorium as its basic component for
generating electricity, shall have to abide by the prohibition established in Act 16.319
and the special regulations of the Mining Code which, as we see it, are
It is worth adding that natural uranium, such as that which has been discovered lately in the south of our country, cannot be used in that state in nuclear plants, because first of all, it has to be processed so that it can be transformed into enriched uranium, whose technology is known only to some 12 countries in the world. This enrichment process would also be forbidden according to the regulations previously mentioned, since uranium may only finally be sold through the Commission or with its authorization. Generating Nuclear Energy
Possibly there are no more sensitive rules as those referring to the generation of nuclear energy than those mentioned previously. The reason is because Act Nº 16.319 hands over to the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission, preferentially, the production and acquisition of nuclear energy for peaceful ends or with its authorization or participation. In other words, generating atomic energy in Chile is, unlike the model enshrined in the generation of other types of energy such as electricity, far from the public service model developed by private persons. Generating nuclear energy is the State’s prerogative and the one in charge of generation; albeit it may, if it so wishes, authorize others to do so or enter into an association with them.
Article 7 of Act 16.319 states:
“The functions and the attributions that the law provides the State with
regarding exploring, exploiting and smelting natural atomic matter, selling such
matter already extracted and its concentrates, by-products and compounds as well as
stockpiling any matter of nuclear interest, may only be exercised by the Commission.
Producing nuclear energy for peaceful ends may only be undertaken by the
Commission or with its prior permission.
The Commission may produce on its own or through or together with third
parties” (art. 7 of Act 16.319).
In addition to these regulations are the whole of the authorizing system envisaged in articles 4 and onwards, already transcribed, of Act 18.302 concerning nuclear security which, more modernly, indirectly acknowledges private persons as the cornerstones of this activity, not preferentially envisaging the State as the prime body responsible for generating nuclear energy. Nonetheless, Act 16.319 is still in force and the regulations referred to in Act 18.302 do not expressly repeal, either tacitly or expressly, what is mentioned in article 7 of Act 16.319. Therefore, the State’s exclusivity and/or preference as referred to in Act 16.319 continues to remain in force, unless the activity of generating atomic energy is authorized by the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission to a private person or it forms an association with a private person in developing it. Act 18.302 only complements the previous one inasmuch as it establishes the standards of security and pinpoints, should it begin to operate, the system by which it is authorized to operate. This now leads us to conclude, in accordance with what has been stated previously referring to the regulations on uranium, that the regulations regarding atomic energy are outdated as regards any incentives for private persons to participate in this activity, such as they have done, for example, in other areas of electricity generation. There is no reason to ignore the predominance of the individual and, therefore, the private sector, when it comes to going about this activity. So far as the rest is concerned, going about economic or business activities by the State is an exception according to our laws (art. 19 Nº 21 paragraph 2), which is subject to three basic requirements: - Law of a qualified quorum - Specialty of the authorizing law - Specialty of the state’s business The reason for these three requirements lies in that it is private people who should be given priority when it comes to going about economic activities such as, for example, generating nuclear energy. The State’s role is subsidiary to this and should only be shouldered in the event that private persons are prevented or simply do not wish to do so, something that is not the case here. For that reason, and despite the fact that the State has a law authorizing it to go about this activity, it is frankly unconstitutional, because the law – the first prerequisite – in spite of abiding by the fifth provisional provision in the Construction (which implies that laws currently in force regarding qualified quorum matters themselves comply with these requirements) do not comply with the authorizing specialty – the second prerequisite – that the Constitution calls for. This is because there is nothing that would make us believe that a generic legislative authorization, such as the one we are dealing with, which looks to the future authorizing a state body, would permit the legislator to ponder the de facto circumstances that require activating an exceptional entrepreneurial situation. To end with, the specialty of the business is violated most flagrantly by ascribing to a state body and not to a body especially created by the state for that purpose, the preferential right to generate nuclear energy. So it is that laws such as this one, which grant wide and exclusive powers to state-sponsored bodies for a certain economic activity are the best way in which to show that the individual’s preferential rights in this activity or any other legal activity are just a delusion. If the law “expressly” confers authority and rights on bodies, it should also authorize “specific business” acts; something that does not occur in this case.
Consequently, there is no preferential room, at least for private concerns, to
actively and preferentially take part in developing this activity, because the State,
through the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission, is the one who has the legal
preferential power (contrary to the spirit and text of the Constitution), to actively
develop this type of energy.
The Environmental Impact Evaluation System
As the building of a nuclear energy power plant has to abide by the Environmental Impact Evaluation System, the time it takes to follow this through has to be considered as well as industry permits it is subject to as well as whatever observations the community, within its duty to take part, has to make. Unfortunately, the times some of these types of evaluations take exceed by far what is reasonable for properly developing the activities that are being analyzed. Conclusions
Chile needs to streamline its legislation regarding the use of nuclear energy, especially for generating electricity because, at present, the activity is totally monopolized by the State acting through the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission. Besides the negatives of producing atomic energy, it is evident that a clear regulatory framework must be put in place that guarantees the proper construction, use and sale of all radioactive and nuclear elements used in the process of generating nuclear energy, as well as its safe and secure closure when it stops operating. Nevertheless, what was mentioned in the previous paragraph is not incompatible with the possibility of private persons developing, introducing, operating and selling nuclear energy in Chile, following the guidelines themselves of mining activities and electricity established in the Mining Code and the General Law on Electrical Services which, generally speaking, allows private companies to widely take part in such activities, always provided that they follow the principles of remaining vicarious to the State as established under the Political Constitution of the Republic. For this, Act 16.319 and Act Nº 18.302 have to be modified or repealed, as well as art. 10 of the Mining Code, with the establishment of new regulations that encourage and promote nuclear energy, at least for the generation of electricity on this basis, with all safeguards in place, that ensure that buildings are earthquake-proof, located in safe areas, with cutting-edge technology, clear operating and closure plans and which also comply with all environmental requirements applicable in accordance with already existing regulations on the matter.
Confédération Générale du Travail FORCE OUVRIERE au Comité Central Hygiène et Sécurité Monsieur le Ministre Mesdames, Messieurs La FNEC FP FO vous a saisi à deux reprises sur le sujet qui nous intéresse aujourd’hui. Nous attendons de cette réunion qu’elle réponde à nos interrogations et donc à celles des personnels. Tout d’abord, la FNEC FP FO entend rappeler son a