In 2011 the radioactive waste directive was adopted requiring EU
countries to develop programmes for waste management according to
the high safety standards. The programmes shall be ready in 2015.
The directive works together with the radioactive waste transport
directive from 2007
of this Page:
on the Management of Radioactive Waste
of Radioactive Waste
Recommendations Regarding Original Proposal. Read
Bit of History
on the Management of Radioactive Waste
The directive on "establishing a Community framework for
the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste"
was adopted in
July 2011 as directive 2011/70/EURATOM. Its main elements are that countries
shall set a high safety standard for safety of radioactive waste management
and that they shall::
· Have national policies on spent fuel and radioactive waste management;
responsibility for the radioactive waste they generate, also it if it is
shipped for reprocessing in another country;
that costs of radioactive waste management is covered by those that generate
· Ensure the radioactive waste is not shipped to
countries forbidden by Directive 2006/117/Euratom (see below);
a national legislative, regulatory and organisational framework for radioactive
· Make a self-assessment every 10 year of their national framework, including
an international peer review
· Have a national programme for radioactive waste
management, including important milestones, plans or concepts for radioactive
waste management, and assessment
· Give responsibility of radioactive waste
to the generators of
· Have national requirements for public information
and participation, ensuring workers and the public are informed and can
participate in decision-making
processes regarding radioactive waste management.
· Have a regulatory authority for the safety of
radioactive waste management with enough resources and separated from
any body promoting or using nuclear
· Have a licensing system for radioactive waste
management and/or facilities;
· Ensure the radioactive waste license holders maintain adequate resources
to fulfill their obligations for safety of radioactive waste management
The directive, including the national plans, shall be
implemented nationally in August 2015.
Read EU Commission Page
Directive on the Supervision and Control of Shipments of Radioactive
Waste and Spent Fuel
This Directive, 2006/117/Euratom, provides a compulsory and common system
standard control document for the shipments (e.g. procedures of authorization,
application for transit). The Directive covers shipments above a certain quantity,
which have a point of departure, transit or destination into the Community. However,
the Directive does not apply in some cases:
· Shipments of sources being returned to a supplier,
manufacturer or authorized
· Shipments of radioactive substances recovered through
reprocessing and destined
for a different use
· Shipments of natural radioactive substances, which
do not result from treatment
A Member State can refuse a shipment if its decision is justified by the legislation.
However, for shipments within the Community, it is not possible to impose conditions
which are more stringent than those laid down by the national law of a Member
State. Consequently, the Directive simplify administrative procedures, but it
introduces little progress regarding the protection of its citizens.
Directive forbids shipments to
African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, to Antarctica, and to any
third country which does not have the resources to treat radioactive
directive is supplemented with the Commission Recommendation 2008/956/Euratom
on criteria for the export of radioactive waste
and spent fuel to third countries and with the Commission standard
document for the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive
waste and spent fuel 2008/312/Euratom.
the EU Commission Page
radioactive waste directive leaves a crucial aspect unregulated.
There is no regulation for the establishment and use of waste management
plants. This lack of
regulation gives an unhealthy distortion of the internal electricity
markets, where some power companies have these funds at their disposal
for decades until they are needed for decommissioning.
This market distortion must be stopped. Thus we propose that the EU Commission
introduce legislation to ensure that utilities create separate legal entities
to protect the decommissioning and radioactive waste management funds.
Under no circumstances must these funds remain under the control of the utilities.
cannot agree with the proposals for export of radioactive waste. Export
of nuclear waste for final disposal outside the EU should be prohibited;
it will increase
that the environment
original (2002) directive proposal set an arbitrary date (2018) for
the operation of disposal sites for high-level radioactive
waste that must
for a hundred thousand years. INFORSE-Europe is against that.
Furthermore, the proposed dates may interfere with the scientific analysis
process necessary for the creation of the most suitable storage facilities.
This requirement is not included in the adopted directive
Read also: INFORSE
response, 31 May 2010, (pdf
file 100 kB)
bit of history
The directive on radioactive waste was adopted after substantial changes,
such as the deletion of a fixed deadline for
the start of operation of final
After long negotiations on radioactive waste management the Council
stakeholders in the period in 2010. Soon after
the consultations the negotiations on the radioactive waste management
November: European Council called on the European Commission to continue
its work towards a Community approach in this field. The European Parliament
also asked to submit a new proposal for a Directive on Radioactive
Waste Management, taking into account the "polluter-pays" principle.
the European Commission organised an Impact Assessment
through an open consultation for the evaluation of a potential (new)
legislative measure in
the area of Transport of Radioactive Materials (TRAM).
The directive on radioactive waste transport was adopted.
The EU ministers discussed the "EU Nuclear Package" including
the directive on radioactive waste management. They concluded that
rather than work further with the directives, they will " engage
in a wide ranging consultation process facilitating the choice of instrument(s),
in the framework of the Euratom Treaty. Then the Commission proposed
directive proposal, but the countries concluded not to start negotiations
and instead stick to their prior decision on a consultation process.
2003. The Commission
released a revised version of the directive which was discussed
among the EU countries, and in the EU
November 6: the EU Commission proposed a Directive on radioactive waste,
of a "nuclear package"
to EU Energy Policy