Proposal for a Council Directive (Euratom) on the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste
/* COM/2003/0032 final - CNS 2003/0022 */
|Bilingual display: DA DE EL EN ES FI FR IT NL PT SV|
Proposal for a COUNCIL DIRECTIVE (Euratom) on the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste
(presented by the Commission)
The use of nuclear energy to generate electricity results in the production of spent (i.e. irradiated) nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. The most hazardous and radiologically toxic forms of this material are presently held in temporary storage facilities. None has yet been disposed of, and there are no immediate plans for disposal in any Member State. In the meantime, accumulations of this material continue to grow.
In the Commission's recent Green Paper  on the future security of energy supply in the European Union (EU), the need to find acceptable solutions to the management of radioactive waste was identified as the principle concern affecting the nuclear option. Also highlighted was the need for maximum transparency in the identification of solutions and that further research was an essential ingredient in resolving the outstanding technical issues and also in raising the level of public and political confidence in the solutions. A recent EU-wide public opinion survey  has confirmed the importance of the radioactive waste issue in the eyes of the public.
 COM(2000)769, 29 November 2000; "Towards a European strategy for the security of energy supply", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2001, ISBN 92-894-0319-5
 Eurobarometer no. 56, 2001 - Europeans and Radioactive Waste (http://europa.eu.int/comm/energy/nuclear/ pdf/eb56_radwaste_en.pdf)
Irrespective of future strategies regarding energy production, the waste that exists now must be dealt with in a way that respects the basic principles of protection of human health and the environment. Action must be taken very soon to ensure that the responsibility and burden of managing the growing quantities of spent fuel and waste held in temporary storage are not passed on to future generations.
Current policy in most Member States and candidate countries does not adequately address these issues.
2. SITUATION IN THE EU MEMBER STATES AND CANDIDATE COUNTRIES
All Member States and candidate countries produce radioactive waste. The principal activities giving rise to this waste are:
- nuclear electricity generation, including back-end nuclear fuel-cycle activities and decommissioning of nuclear facilities;
- the operation of research reactors;
- the use of radiation and radioactive materials in medicine, agriculture, industry and research;
- processing of material containing naturally-occurring radioactivity.
Situation in the European Union
In total, about 40,000 m3 of radioactive waste are produced per year in the EU as a whole , the majority originating from activities associated with nuclear electricity generation.
 See reference in footnote 11 for more detailed information on waste arisings in the EU
Though disposal of the less hazardous category of waste  is now well established, it is currently only practised in five Member States with active nuclear power programmes (Finland, France, Spain, Sweden and UK). In Germany, disposal operations have taken place in the past, but neither Belgium nor the Netherlands has developed any disposal capabilities for this category of waste and both countries are currently storing their accumulations in centralised national depots. Indefinite interim storage is also practised in Member States without nuclear power programmes.
 Refer to Commission Recommendation of 15 September 1999 on a classification system for solid radioactive waste (SEC(1999) 1302 final, 1999/669/EC, Euratom). The less hazardous category of waste is usually classified as short-lived low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste. This can usually be disposed of in regulated disposal sites either at or near the surface. After closure of the site, regulatory (or institutional) control would normally be maintained for about 300 years to prevent human activities from disturbing the waste while a radiological hazard persists.
In the case of the more hazardous waste , all accumulations are being stored in surface or near-surface facilities pending the availability of a more permanent solution. No country in the world has yet implemented disposal of these wastes, and the degree of progress towards this permanent solution varies considerably from country to country. In the EU, Finland and Sweden are perhaps the most advanced, with long-established programmes for the development of deep disposal. Some Member States are reassessing all their options as well as the associated decision-making processes. Others, however, are following a policy of "wait and see".
 See also reference in footnote 4. The more hazardous wastes are classified as high-level and long-lived radioactive wastes. Spent nuclear fuel can be processed to remove waste materials, allowing the unused uranium and plutonium to be recycled in the manufacture of fresh nuclear fuel. This process is known as "reprocessing". The highly active waste materials are usually fused into glass - "vitrification" - to leave them in a form suitable for prolonged storage and, ultimately, disposal. This vitrified waste, or the spent fuel itself if reprocessing is not practised, is regarded as high-level radioactive waste. This type of waste remains hazardous for thousands of years.
Situation in the candidate countries
In those candidate countries operating Russian-designed nuclear power plants and research reactors, spent fuel management has become a crucial issue in the last decade because shipments back to Russia for reprocessing or storage are no longer possible. As a matter of urgency, these countries had to construct temporary storage facilities for their spent fuel. Little, if any, progress has been made regarding implementation of programmes for longer-term management and ultimate disposal of this spent fuel.
Regarding the less hazardous operational waste from nuclear power plants, only the Czech Republic and Slovakia have operational disposal sites. Several countries have Russian-style repositories for institutional (i.e. non-fuel cycle) radioactive waste. However, these facilities often do not meet current safety standards. In some cases, waste may have to be retrieved and disposed of elsewhere.
3. CURRENT COMMUNITY AND INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS
The overriding principles in the management of any hazardous waste consist of maintaining high levels of public and worker safety and environmental protection. In the case of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, these management principles must ensure that individuals, society and the environment are protected from the harmful effects of ionising radiation.
In recent years, these principles have also been the focus of action at Community and international level, involving research, legislative and policy initiatives.
Underpinning the harmonising of these fundamental principles are the Basic Safety Standards for the protection of health of the general public and workers against the dangers of ionising radiation, which provide a common and internationally approved level of radiological protection throughout the EU. The most recent revision of the Basic Safety Standards dates from 1996 , with implementation in national law by 13 May 2000. Also under Chapter 3 of Title II of the Euratom Treaty there is an established Community system of supervision and control of international shipments of radioactive waste . Under the environment chapter of the EC Treaty, the environmental impact assessment Directive and amendment ,  is also of considerable relevance in the radioactive waste sector.
 Council Directive 96/29/EURATOM of 13 May 1996
 Council Directive 92/3/EURATOM of 3 February 1992
 Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985
 Council Directive 97/11/EEC of 3 March 1997
The approach adopted in the Community Plan of Action  and the associated strategy has been to encourage harmonisation and co-operation amongst Member States to ensure an equivalent and acceptable level of safety throughout the EU. The most recent report on the situation regarding radioactive waste management in the EU was published in 1999 . A similar report on the candidate countries has also recently been published by the Commission .
 Council Resolution (92/C 158/02) of 15 June 1992 on the renewal of the Community Plan of Action in the field of radioactive waste.
 Communications from the Commission to the Council "Communication and fourth report on present situation and prospects for radioactive waste management in the European Union", COM(98)799 of 11/01/1999.
 "Radioactive Waste Management in the Central and East European Countries", EUR19154, European Commission report, July 1999, ISBN 92-828-7760-4
Within the Community's Euratom Framework Programmes, the subject of radioactive waste management has been and remains one of the principal topics of research. A key aspect is the support for research carried out in underground research facilities, which provides knowledge of processes and data necessary to confirm the feasibility of future deep repositories. Advanced techniques for the chemical and nuclear separation and minimisation of long-lived waste (usually collectively referred to as "partitioning and transmutation") are also important areas of research.
In addition, there are a number of international conventions that have a major role to play in establishing common practice and levels of safety in the international arena. The most important is the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management  (referred to hereinafter as the Joint Convention), opened for signature by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on 29th September 1997 and which entered into force on 18th June 2001. The adhesion by both the European and Euratom Communities to this Convention is currently the subject of a proposal by the Commission . In addition, the IAEA is in the process of completing a series of safety documentation on radioactive waste management, including recommendations regarding safe disposal of all categories of radioactive waste.
 TEXT AVAILABLE FROM IAEA - INFCIRC/546 (24 DECEMBER 1997)
 COM(2001) 520 FINAL, 15 OCTOBER 2001
4. NEED FOR FURTHER ACTION
Even though significant quantities  (almost 2,000,000 m3) of the less hazardous categories of radioactive waste have been disposed of in the EU in the past, not all countries have access to disposal sites. These wastes, which account for significantly larger accumulations by volume than the more hazardous categories, present no major technical challenges regarding their disposal but nonetheless require close supervision while in temporary storage.
 See reference in footnote 11 for more detailed information on waste arisings in the EU
In the case of the more hazardous waste, there is a broad international consensus amongst technical experts that disposal by isolation deep in stable geological formations is the most suitable management option. Through a system of multiple containment barriers and a careful choice of host rock formation , these wastes can be isolated for extremely long periods of time, thus ensuring that any residual radioactivity escapes only after many thousands of years and at concentrations insignificant compared with natural background levels. Numerous studies have confirmed that the concepts being considered today can, when realised, provide the required isolation of the waste over these very long time-scales. Such a strategy of deep disposal greatly reduces the risk of accidental human intrusion and is essentially passive and permanent, with no requirement for further human intervention or institutional control.
 Suitable host rock formations may include crystalline and volcanic rocks, clays and salt formations.
However, the delay being experienced in a number of Member States in the identification and authorising of suitable disposal sites, in particular for deep geological disposal, is cause for concern. In the meantime, the quantities of spent nuclear fuel and waste held in interim storage at or near the surface continue to grow. These surface facilities require active measures such as monitoring and maintenance to ensure a high level of safety and environmental protection. This represents an unacceptable burden to pass on to future generations that will reap no benefit from the electricity generated by the reactors that produced the waste. Furthermore, following the events of September 11th 2001, the possible vulnerability of such surface facilities to terrorist attack has also highlighted the need to act now.
Essential research and technological development (RTD) must continue in order to investigate fully individual sites and to understand the relevant geological, geochemical, and hydrogeological processes and the long-term performance of the engineered containment barriers in the actual repository environment.
Disposal in deep geological formations can isolate radioactive wastes from man and his environment for the very long periods required and will be needed for a number of waste forms that already exist and others that will be generated in future. It is the best available option for long term management of many of the more hazardous forms of waste. However, it is important that the bringing into operation of geological repositories must not be seen as the end of the road for radioactive waste management. Therefore, progress towards disposal in deep geological formations must not lead to a reduction in the level of RTD in other areas of radioactive waste management, such as new technologies for minimising the quantities of such waste, from which new options might conceivably emerge in the future.
The financial commitment must be sustained, indeed increased in some Member States, and more effective co-operation between these individual programmes is needed, in recognition of the importance to the Union as a whole of progress in this field. By providing a framework for improved co-operation and co-ordination in this field, the overall cost-effectiveness will be improved together with the all-important credibility and public acceptability of the RTD as a whole.
While the Community's Framework Programme will continue to play an important role in promoting research in these fields, on its own it is unlikely to be sufficient to guarantee success. Several Member States do have their own RTD programmes funded either from national budgets or by the nuclear sector. However, at the present time, the adequacy of these individual national programmes in addressing all the outstanding issues is not clear. It is likely that the financial commitment will have to be significantly increased. The Commission will continue to encourage co-operation between the Member States in common areas of research and technological development. In addition, the Commission intends to propose to the Council the setting-up of a Joint Undertaking under Chapter 5 of Title II of the Euratom Treaty to manage the funds and organise the research. Industry and Member States would participate on a voluntary basis in this Joint Undertaking, which would bring together funding from the Joint Research Centre, Member States and industry.
Further delays in decisions on the development of repositories for the disposal of radioactive waste cannot be justified. On the contrary, there is a sound basis on ethical, environmental and nuclear safety grounds for the rapid development of these facilities. Any delays that could be interpreted as passing on to future generations the responsibility for disposing of our wastes should be avoided, especially since such delays, particularly in the case of the more hazardous wastes, may also increase the potential risk of accidents and terrorist attacks.
Consequently, Member States should develop appropriate strategies and prepare detailed programmes for the long-term management of all the waste types under their jurisdiction. Though the Community as a whole should maintain the capacity to store its wastes, the emphasis of these programmes should be on the development of repositories for the disposal of radioactive waste. Open and comprehensive public information and involvement together with respect for the "polluter pays" principle are crucial aspects of these programmes.
Member States should ensure that the necessary RTD is carried out to enable the deadlines for implementing their programmes to be met. For the further extended use of nuclear energy it might also be beneficial to explore alternative technologies that would produce less waste for possible application in the future.
While Member States should certainly aim to be self-sufficient in the management of their own radioactive waste, there should be greater collaboration between Member States, especially where this would help guarantee or reinforce the necessary high level of nuclear safety and environmental protection. An approach involving two or more countries could also offer advantages especially to countries that have no or limited nuclear programmes, insofar as it would provide a safe and less costly solution for all parties involved. However, no Member State should be obliged to accept imports of radioactive waste from other Member States.
6. PROVISIONS OF THE PRESENT PROPOSAL
The Euratom Treaty, in particular Articles 31 and 32, provides the legal basis for the present proposal.
Article 2b of the Euratom Treaty sets out that the Community shall "establish uniform safety standards to protect the health of workers and of the general public and ensure that they are applied". Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty lays down the procedure for establishing the standards or for supplementing them as provided for by Article 32.
The validity of this legal basis is endorsed by the recent judgement of the Court of Justice (case C-29/99, delivered on 10 December 2002) regarding Community competence in the field of nuclear safety, which states that "it is not appropriate, in order to define the Community's competences, to draw an artificial distinction between the protection of the health of the general public and the safety of sources of ionising radiation". Within the context of the present proposal, such sources would include all radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.
Purpose and Scope (Article 1)
The purpose of the Directive is to contribute to the establishing of best practice in the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste in the Member States that reflect the fundamental principles of:
- protection of human health and the environment both now and in the future (point 1(a));
- nuclear safety and environmental protection through application of precautionary and preventive measures (point 1(b));
- public information, dialogue and, where appropriate, participation in the decision-making process as an essential aspect of the application of governance in the radioactive waste sector (point 1(c)).
The specific nature of the general requirements is elaborated in Article 3. More specific requirements regarding radioactive waste in particular are presented in Articles 4 and 5.
Member States and candidate countries have different policies regarding spent nuclear fuel. Some regard it as waste, others regard it as a resource from which valuable quantities of fissile and fertile material can be extracted, while a third group have not yet defined their policy. In recognition of these differences, this Directive does not refer to all spent nuclear fuel as waste. However, the provisions of this Directive apply to material declared as waste as well as all spent nuclear fuel produced within the EU Member States. Irrespective of the policy adopted by Member States regarding spent nuclear fuel, this material must be subjected to an equivalent level of control and supervision throughout the Member States.
In accordance with the Joint Convention, the present proposal defines radioactive waste as material in solid, liquid or gaseous form. The programme for radioactive waste management as defined under Article 4 of this proposal therefore also covers the practice of environmental discharges. However, in a departure from the definition in the Joint Convention, the term disposal as defined in the present proposal refers only to the practice of emplacing solid or solidified waste, including in the form of spent nuclear fuel, in a suitable repository.
Also in line with the provisions of the Joint Convention, waste that contains only naturally occurring radioactive materials is excluded from the scope unless such waste also originates from the nuclear fuel cycle. This means that waste from the mining and milling of uranium ore is covered by the provisions of this Directive, whereas waste from, for example, oil extraction is excluded unless it is declared as radioactive waste by the Member States in line with Title VII Article 40 of the Basic Safety Standards (Directive 96/29/Euratom).
Definitions (Article 2)
Terminology used in this Directive has, where possible, been standardised with that in the Joint Convention (though note reference to disposal in section 6.2 above).
General requirements for the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste (Article 3)
The list of general requirements specifies measures to be taken by Member States in order to achieve the stated purpose in Article 1 of the Directive. These measures can be considered as constituting established international best practice in the field of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste management, and cover such aspects as public health, environmental protection, nuclear safety, financing and governance. Such measures are a part of current policy in many Member States.
Programme for the management of radioactive waste (Article 4)
This programme addresses the root of the outstanding problems in the EU associated with the management of present and future stocks of radioactive waste, including spent nuclear fuel if reprocessing is not foreseen. All Member States will be obliged to define a long-term management programme for this material that respects the fundamental and internationally agreed principles of waste management. In line with the reasoning given in Section 4 above, this programme should be oriented towards disposal of waste wherever possible. Long-term indefinite storage at or near the surface for the most hazardous waste, in facilities requiring permanent active measures such as regular maintenance and continuous monitoring and surveillance, is in the long run unsustainable and passes on an unacceptable burden to future generations. The Article prescribes dates by which authorisation, by the respective national regulatory authorities, should be given both for the development of any new disposal sites and the eventual start of operation of these facilities. In recognition of the much greater time required for site studies in the case of deep disposal, the date for start of operation of geological repositories is later than that for surface facilities. The dates proposed in this Article have been determined on the basis of the present situation in the Member States but also taking into account the need for action. All dates are subject to review and revision by the Council on a proposal by the Commission. The Annex to the Directive provides additional information on the typical steps required during development of new disposal facilities.
In some countries, repositories for the disposal of spent fuel and radioactive waste are being designed in such a way that the emplacement could be more easily reversed and the material recovered for further processing if this were to prove feasible and beneficial. One of the advantages of the "concentrate and confine" method of disposal over that of "dilute and disperse" is that the waste remains isolated for very long periods of time during which the emplacement of the waste packages could be reversed, even though the economic costs of doing so would undoubtedly be high.
The provisions of this Article together with those for reporting under Article 7 also address the other concerns identified in the Commission's Green Paper related to the need for greater transparency in dealing with these issues.
Export of waste is also specifically mentioned in the Article. It is recognised that for certain Member States with very limited accumulations of waste, export to other countries probably represents the most viable option from the environmental, safety and economic points of views. However, these transfers can only be sanctioned providing the very strict conditions listed in the Article are respected. These conditions include the limitations and criteria concerning export of radioactive waste to third countries included in Euratom Directive 92/3. The proposal does not seek to limit a country's right to be self sufficient in all matters of management of its waste, but does seek to encourage the sharing of facilities and services wherever possible.
Research and technological development in radioactive waste management (Article 5)
Specialised and in-depth research and technological development (RTD) is required both to carry out in a timely fashion the programme for the management of radioactive waste and to achieve the general objectives of the proposed legislation. It is the responsibility of Member States to ensure an adequate level of RTD funding. In full respect of the "polluter pays" principle, this money may be raised through a levy on nuclear electricity production, thus ensuring that the funding is proportional to the amount of nuclear electricity produced. In view of the current levels of funding in the Member States, the likely adequacy of this funding and the degree of progress in the respective radioactive waste management sectors, it is estimated that EUR0.5M per terawatt-hour of nuclear electricity generated is sufficient to cover the necessary RTD. However, this level of research funding is likely to diminish in the future as countries begin to implement actual disposal options. In view of the fundamental importance of these RTD activities and in order to achieve the highest possible level of co-operation and co-ordination between activities in Member States, the Commission will encourage co-operation between the Member States in common areas of research and technological development in line with the provisions of Chapter 1 of Title II of the Treaty. To this end specific tasks may be entrusted to one or more Joint Undertakings to be established under Chapter 5 of Title II of the Treaty. Such Joint Undertakings would be responsible for performing RTD in areas of common interest.
Investments (Article 6)
The provisions laid down in Chapter 4 of Title II of the Euratom Treaty will be fully applied to the situation regarding investments in the management of radioactive waste. In this context, it is clear that further development in the nuclear sector should only be supported if there has been significant progress towards the implementation of a programme of long-term management of all spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.
Reporting (Article 7)
The reporting provisions will replace those that existed under point 1 of the Community Plan of Action and will take fully into account the discussions under the Joint Convention. Information on RTD activities constitutes an important aspect of this reporting. Article 5 of the Euratom Treaty already provides a basis for the Member States to communicate to the Commission the information on relevant research.
Implementation (Article 8)
In view of the need to make rapid progress in this area, the implementation should take place as soon as possible. A date of 1 May 2004 could be proposed.
Proposal for a COUNCIL DIRECTIVE (Euratom) on the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, and in particular Articles 31 and 32 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission , drawn up after obtaining the opinion of a group of persons appointed by the Scientific and Technical Committee from among scientific experts in the Member States, in accordance with Article 31 of the Treaty, and after obtaining the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee ,
 OJ C [...], [...], p. [...]
 OJ C [...], [...], p. [...]
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament ,
 OJ C [...], [...], p. [...]
(1) Article 30 of the Treaty requires basic standards to be laid down within the Community for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionising radiation.
(2) Council Directive 96/29/Euratom  lays down basic safety standards for the protection of health of the general public and workers against the dangers of ionising radiation.
 OJ L 159, 29/06/1996, p. 1
(3) Council Directive 92/3/Euratom  already sets up a supervision and control system of shipments of radioactive waste between Member States and into and out of Community, including a compulsory and common notification procedure for shipments of such waste, and very strict limitations and criteria regarding the third countries to which radioactive waste may be exported.
 OJ L 035, 12/02/1992, p. 24
(4) Council Directive 85/337/EEC  on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, including those involving disposal and long-term storage of radioactive waste, requests Member States to adopt all measures necessary to ensure that, before consent is given, projects likely to have significant effects on the environment, by virtue, inter alia, of their nature, size or location are made subject to a requirement for assessment with regard to their effects.
 OJ L 175, 05/07/1985, p. 40, as amended by Council Directive 97/11/EC, OJ L 073, 14/03/1997, p. 5
(5) Existing community legislation does not provide for specific rules ensuring that at all time spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste is safely managed in an effective and consistent manner throughout the European Union, and existing Community rules should therefore be supplemented.
(6) The Commission Green Paper "Towards a European Strategy for the security of energy supply"  stresses that a satisfactory solution has to be found for the radioactive waste issue with maximum transparency.
(7) The Commission's final report on the Green Paper  stresses that rapid progress towards lasting solutions to the management of radioactive waste can be assured by fixing precise deadlines at Community level for the introduction of more effective radioactive waste disposal systems at national level.
 COM(2002)321 final
(8) The International Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, which entered into force on June 18 2001, aims at achieving and maintaining a high level of safety world-wide in spent fuel and radioactive waste management through the enhancement of national measures and international co-operation.
(9) The production of nuclear energy generates spent nuclear fuel and radioactive wastes.
(10) Radioactive waste is generated also in the use of radionuclides in medicine, research and industry.
(11) Releases of radionuclides from spent fuel and radioactive waste may have consequences beyond national borders.
(12) Each Member State remains responsible for the management of all spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste under its jurisdiction.
(13) The safe management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste would be enhanced by greater co-operation and co-ordination between Member States.
(14) The Council Resolution of 15 June 1992  invited the Commission to develop a common approach and to work with Member States towards harmonisation at Community level of radioactive waste management strategies and practices wherever possible.
 OJ C 158, 25/06/1992, p. 3
(15) There is a very broad international consensus amongst technical experts that, on the basis of present knowledge, geological disposal is the most suitable method for long-term management of the most hazardous forms of solid and solidified radioactive waste.
(16) The setting of deadlines at Community level for the implementation of appropriate disposal systems will ensure that undue burdens are not imposed on future generations while at the same time respecting, both now and in the future, the basic principles of radiation protection laid down in Chapter 1 of Directive 96/29/Euratom.
(17) In the field of research and technological development in the various fields of radioactive waste, including minimisation, there are common issues facing many Members States that can be beneficially treated at Community level in a way that complements the research and development co-ordinated through the Community Framework Programmes.
(18) To facilitate the necessary research and technological development in the field of radioactive waste management, the Commission should encourage joint financing by the Member States and, to that end, it is appropriate to make provision for the possibility of entrusting research and development in the areas of common interest to Joint Undertakings.
(19) The application of this Directive should be reviewed by means of regular reports from the Member States,
HAS ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:
Article 1 Purpose and Scope
1. This Directive establishes requirements for the safe management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, so as:
(a) to ensure that all spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste is safely managed so that workers, the general public and the environment are adequately protected from harmful effects of ionising radiation, both now and in the future;
(b) to achieve and maintain a high level of safety in the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste in order to protect human health and the environment by taking all necessary precautionary and preventive measures, and with a view to ensuring adequate levels of protection are achieved throughout the Community in a consistent and effective manner;
(c) to enhance effective public information and, where appropriate, participation in order to ensure the required transparency in the relevant decision-making processes.
2. This Directive shall apply to all stages of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste management.
The Directive does not apply to waste that contains only naturally occurring radioactive materials and that does not originate from the nuclear fuel cycle, unless it is declared as radioactive waste for the purposes of the present Directive by a Member State.
Article 2 Definitions
For the purpose of this Directive:
(1) "decommissioning" means all steps leading to the release of a nuclear facility, other than a disposal facility, from regulatory control. These steps include the processes of decontamination and dismantling;
(2) "discharges" means planned and controlled releases directly into the environment, as a legitimate practice, within limits authorised by the regulatory body, of liquid or gaseous radioactive wastes that originate from regulated nuclear facilities during normal operation;
(3) "disposal" means the emplacement of solid or solidified radioactive waste, including spent fuel, in an appropriate facility without the intention of retrieval;
(4) "geological disposal" means disposal in a geological repository;
(5) "geological repository" means a disposal facility constructed in a geologically stable rock stratum and at a depth such that, during the period over which the waste remains a radiological hazard, the erosion of the site through such natural processes as weathering and glaciations can be ignored and the probability of human intrusion into the repository is minimised even if institutional control over the site is lost;
(6) "ionising radiation" means the transfer of energy in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves of a wavelength of 100 nanometer or less or a frequency of 3 x 1015 Hertz or more capable of producing ions directly or indirectly;
(7) "nuclear facility" means a facility and its associated land, buildings and equipment where radioactive materials are produced, processed, used, handled, stored or disposed of on such a scale that consideration of safety is required;
(8) "nuclear fuel cycle" means all stages in the cycle of production, use and treatment of the fuel used in nuclear reactors, including such steps as mineral extraction, conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication, energy production, interim storage of spent fuel and/or reprocessing followed by recycling of fissile and fertile material and interim storage of vitrified and other radioactive wastes, conditioning and encapsulation of spent fuel and/or other radioactive wastes and, ultimately, disposal;
(9) "radioactive waste" means radioactive material in gaseous, liquid or solid form for which no further use is foreseen by the Member State or by a natural or legal person whose decision is accepted by the Member State, and which is controlled as radioactive waste by a regulatory body under the legislative and regulatory framework of the Member State. The different reporting categories of solid radioactive waste are explained in Commission Recommendation of 15 September 1999 on a classification system for solid radioactive waste, SEC(1999) 1302 final, 1999/669/EC, Euratom ;
 OJ L 265, 13/10/1999, p. 37
(10) "radioactive waste management" means all activities, including decommissioning activities, that relate to the handling, pre-treatment, treatment, conditioning, storage, or disposal of radioactive waste, excluding off-site transportation. It may also involve discharges;
(11) "regulatory body" means any body or bodies given the legal authority by the Member State to regulate any aspect of the management of spent fuel or radioactive waste including the granting of licences;
(12) "reprocessing" means a process or operation, the purpose of which is to extract nuclear material from spent fuel for further use;
(13) "shipment" means all of the operations involved in moving radioactive waste from the place of origin to the place of destination, including transport, loading and unloading for disposal or storage;
(14) "spent (nuclear) fuel" means nuclear fuel that has been irradiated in and permanently removed from a reactor core;
(15) "storage" means the holding of radioactive waste or spent nuclear fuel in a facility that provides for its containment, with the intention of retrieval.
Article 3 General requirements for the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste
1. Member States shall take all necessary measures to ensure that spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste are managed in such a way that individuals, society and the environment are adequately protected against radiological hazards.
2. Member States shall ensure that the production of radioactive waste is kept to the minimum practicable.
3. Member States shall take all the necessary legislative, regulatory and administrative measures and other steps required to ensure the safe management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.
4. Member States shall establish or designate a regulatory body entrusted with the implementation of the legislative and regulatory framework, and provided with adequate authority, competence and financial and human resources to fulfil its assigned responsibilities.
5. Member States shall ensure that adequate financial resources are available to support the safe management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, including that from decommissioning activities, and that financing schemes respect the "polluter pays" principle.
6. Member States shall ensure that there will be effective public information and, where appropriate, participation in order to achieve a high level of transparency on issues related to the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste under their jurisdiction.
Article 4 Programme for the management of radioactive waste
1. Each Member State shall establish a clearly defined programme for radioactive waste management that includes all radioactive waste under its jurisdiction and covers all stages of management. In the context of this programme, radioactive waste shall also include all spent nuclear fuel that is not subject to reprocessing contracts or, in the case of research reactor fuel, take-back agreements.
2. The programme shall cover, in particular, all aspects of the long-term management and, in the case of solid or solidified radioactive waste, disposal with a definite timetable for each step of the process.
3. Where there is no suitable alternative to disposal, and where such a disposal option is not yet available, Member States shall integrate the following decision points into their programmes:
(a) authorisation for development of appropriate disposal site(s) to be granted no later than 2008. In the case of geological disposal of high-level and long-lived radioactive waste, this authorisation may be conditional upon a further period of detailed underground study;
(b) in the case of short-lived low and intermediate-level radioactive waste, if this is to be disposed of separately from high-level and long-lived radioactive waste, authorisation for operation of the disposal facility to be granted no later than 2013;
(c) in the case of high-level and long-lived radioactive waste, to be disposed of in a geological repository, authorisation for operation of the disposal facility to be granted no later than 2018.
4. Based on the regular reports by Member States and the Commission required under Article 7, the Council may decide, on a proposal by the Commission, to modify the dates referred to in paragraph 3 in the interest of enhanced nuclear safety within the European Union.
5. The programme shall pay special attention to the general requirements listed in Article 3 and take into account the different steps in the disposal process described in the Annex. In this context, indefinite surface or near-surface storage of spent nuclear fuel that is not to be reprocessed is not considered a suitable or sustainable alternative to disposal.
6. The programme may include shipments of radioactive waste or spent fuel to another Member State or third country if such shipments are fully in compliance with existing EU legislation, principally Directive 92/3/Euratom, and International commitments, are covered by firm contracts and only take place to States with appropriate facilities that meet accepted norms and standards of the Member State of origin and, in the case of material within the meaning of Article 197 of the Treaty, are under adequate safeguards.
Article 5 Research and technological development in radioactive waste management
1. The programme for the management of radioactive waste within the meaning of Article 4 of this Directive shall take due account of the research and technological development in the field of radioactive waste.
2. Based on the regular reports by Member States required under Article 7 of this Directive, the Commission shall identify common areas of research and technological development that could be co-ordinated at the Community level, taking fully into account the activities under the research and training programmes adopted pursuant to Article 7 of the Treaty.
3. The Commission shall encourage co-operation between the Member States in common areas of research and technological development in line with the provisions of Chapter 1 of Title II of the Treaty. To this end specific tasks may be entrusted to one or more Joint Undertakings to be established under Chapter 5 of Title II of the Treaty.
Article 6 Investments
When exercising its responsibilities under the Treaty and in particular those defined under Chapter 4 of Title II, the Commission shall take into consideration the progress made by Member States towards meeting the targets set out in Article 4 for authorisation of a disposal facility or disposal facilities for the different forms of radioactive waste.
Article 7 Reporting
1. Every three years, and for the first time one year following the date referred to in Article 8 paragraph 1, each Member State shall submit a report to the Commission on the status of management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste under its jurisdiction and the progress towards application of this Directive, including the information referred to in the Annex if appropriate.
2. Pursuant to Article 5 of the Treaty, the report shall also describe all research and technological development in the field of radioactive waste management that is being carried out or is planned within the Member State, including information regarding costs, sources of financing and expected duration and dates of completion.
3. The Commission shall integrate the information contained in these reports into a status report on the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste in the European Union to be published every three years.
Article 8 Implementation
1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations, and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive before ...[before 1 May 2004]. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.
2. When Member States adopt these provisions, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or shall be accompanied by such reference on the occasion of their official publication. The methods of making such reference shall be laid down by Member States.
3. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main laws, regulations or administrative provisions that they adopt in the field governed by this Directive.
This Directive shall enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
This Directive is addressed to the Member States.
Done at Brussels, [...]
For the Council
Disposal of Radioactive Waste
It is envisaged that a step-wise approach to the development, technical demonstration and implementation of a radioactive waste disposal system will be both necessary and unavoidable.
Recent experience has shown that ultimate success will depend on the decision-making processes being as transparent and open as possible. Therefore, all the steps to be taken should be identified as clearly as possible right at the outset. In addition, there needs to be a well-developed timetable with specific milestones.
A key element in the process is the siting of a repository. This is a complex and controversial issue that requires very detailed technical work and extensive discussions and consultations with a wide variety of stakeholders, in particular local communities.
Important stages and milestones in the process would normally include:
- selection of disposal principles and repository concept;
- design evaluation (e.g. of alternative barrier materials, rock types etc.);
- definition of system design and safety criteria for selected barriers;
- adaptation of system to possible sites, design optimisation;
- detailed site investigations at one or more possible sites;
- authorisation for development of the chosen site (in the case of geological disposal, authorisation will probably be conditional on a further period of more detailed underground investigation, entailing the prior construction and operation of an underground laboratory)
- construction of repository;
- authorisation for operation of repository (possibly initially as a pilot facility in the case of geological disposal).
Depending on national legislation and regulations, there may be other identifiable intermediate steps in the process. Particularly important will be the involvement of the local communities in the region around potential and selected sites and sufficient time must be allowed for full consultation and stakeholder interaction in the decision-making process. In addition, selection of a site for high-level and long-lived radioactive waste will normally take longer than for low and intermediate level short-lived radioactive waste because a wider range of geological factors and engineered barriers needs to be investigated.
For this reason, there is clearly no optimum time for the completion of the above process. However, Member States shall set realistic and well-defined target dates for each stage in the process.
Key milestones in the process are those concerning authorisation for development of a site and for operation of a facility. In this regard, Member States shall ensure that their schedules for management of radioactive waste and spent fuel not covered by reprocessing contracts respect the deadlines defined in Article 4 of this Directive.
LEGISLATIVE FINANCIAL STATEMENT
Policy area(s): Nuclear safety
Activity(ies): Management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste
Title of action: Council Directive on the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste
1. BUDGET LINE(S) + HEADING(S)
2. OVERALL FIGURES
2.1. Total allocation for action (Part B): EUR million for commitment
2.2. Period of application:
2.3. Overall multiannual estimate on expenditure
a) Schedule of commitment appropriations/payment appropriations (financial intervention)
EUR million (to 3rd decimal place)
b) Technical and administrative assistance and support expenditure(see point 6.1.2)
c) Overall financial impact of human resources and other administrative expenditure
2.4. Compatibility with the financial programming and the financial perspective
|X| Proposal compatible with the existing financial programming
| | This proposal will entail reprogramming of the relevant heading in the financial perspective
| | This may entail application of the provisions of the Interinstitutional Agreement.
2.5. Financial impact on revenue:
|X| No financial implications (involves technical aspects regarding implementation of a measure)
| | Financial impact - the effect on revenue is as follows:
Note: All details and observations pertaining to the method of calculating the effect on revenue should be included in a separate annex.
(Please state each budget line involved, adding the appropriate number of rows to the table if there is an effect on more than one budget line)
3. BUDGET CHARACTERISTICS
4. LEGAL BASIS
Euratom Treaty, in particular Articles 31 and 32.
5. DESCRIPTION AND GROUNDS
5.1. Need for Community intervention
Action is needed at the Community level to help avoid further delays regarding the implementation of programmes for the save long-term management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in the Member States of the European Union.
5.2. Actions envisaged and arrangements for budget intervention
5.3. Methods of implementation
6. FINANCIAL IMPACT
6.1. Total financial impact on Part B - (over the entire programming period)
(The method of calculating the total amounts set out in the table below must be explained by the breakdown in Table 6.2. )
6.1.1. Financial intervention
Commitments in EUR million (to the 3rd decimal place)
6.2. Calculation of costs by measure envisaged in Part B (over the entire programming period) 
 For further information, see separate explanatory note
(Where there is more than one action, give sufficient detail of the specific measures to be taken for each one to allow the volume and costs of the outputs to be estimated).
Commitments in EUR million (to the 3rd decimal place)
If necessary explain the method of calculation
7. IMPACT ON STAFF AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURE
7.1. Impact on human resources
7.2. Overall financial impact of human resources
The amounts are total expenditure for twelve months.
7.3. Other administrative expenditure deriving from the action
The amounts are total expenditure for twelve months.
(1) Specify the type of committee and the group to which it belongs.
Human and administrative requirements will be covered within DG TREN's total allowance in the annual allocation procedure.
8. FOLLOW-UP AND EVALUATION
8.1. Follow-up arrangements
8.2. Arrangements and schedule for the planned evaluation
9. ANTI-FRAUD MEASURES