52003PC0032(01)

Proposal for a Council (Euratom) Directive Setting out basic obligations and general principles on the safety of nuclear installations /* COM/2003/0032 final - CNS 2003/0021 */


Proposal for a COUNCIL (Euratom) DIRECTIVE Setting out basic obligations and general principles on the safety of nuclear installations

(presented by the Commission)

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

Context

The Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) contains provisions allowing the Community to regulate the use of nuclear energy by the Member States, in particular as regards nuclear safeguards (Chapter 7) and health protection (Chapter 3).

Pursuant to Article 2(b) of the Euratom Treaty, the Community shall, as provided in this Treaty: "establish uniform safety standards to protect the health of workers and of the general public and ensure that they are applied." Chapter 3 of Title II of the Treaty, concerning health protection, contains provisions concerning basic standards with regard to protection against ionising radiation. This chapter has been used in the main with regard to radiation protection. However, health protection covers both radiation protection and nuclear safety. These two disciplines have in fact a common objective, protection against ionising radiation.

The Commission has actively intervened in connection with the harmonisation of nuclear safety practices for over 25 years, in particular under the Council resolutions of 22 July 1975 [1] and 18 June 1992 [2] on the technological problems of nuclear safety. Despite these efforts towards harmonisation, however, nuclear safety measures still differ considerably from one Member State to another.

[1] OJ No C 185 of 14 August 1975, p. 1.

[2] OJ No C 172 of 18 June 1992, p. 2.

Following the Chernobyl accident in 1986, which was undoubtedly the most serious accident in the history of atomic energy, and the G-7 Summit in Munich in 1992, the EU began to concern itself with the safety of nuclear installations in the Central and Eastern European countries and the Republics of the former Soviet Union.

The forthcoming enlargement, its first stages scheduled for 2004, bringing in Central and Eastern European countries, is without precedent in the history of the building of the Community. The history of these countries in the course of the 20th century and the nature of their economic development have highlighted in particular a subject which received little attention in previous enlargements, namely the nuclear sector.

The work carried out in the Community framework in order to bring nuclear installations in the candidate countries up to a high level of safety allowed a European perspective to emerge in this context. This perspective, developed for the candidate countries, is universal.

The technical standards drawn up under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency make an important contribution to improving nuclear safety. They reflect an international consensus, but are not legally binding. Moreover, the Community adoption and adaptation processes are much quicker than the intergovernmental decision making mechanisms. This is a problem with which the European Community has already been confronted in the maritime and aviation spheres.

Protection from ionising radiation is also a concern after the end of the active life of a nuclear installation. In practice, final shutdown of a nuclear installation marks the start of a new phase with the objective of lifting the radiological protection restrictions imposed while it was in operation. These restrictions are due to the presence of large quantities of radioactive materials in the form of structural materials , equipment, operational waste and spent fuel.

It is therefore necessary to remove these materials and to subject them to the treatment appropriate to their physical characteristics and their levels of radioactivity, in accordance with safety standards in force. All activities involved in decommissioning produce large quantities of waste. It is the ultimate management and disposal of these wastes which accounts for the majority of the costs of decommissioning.

Decommissioning work therefore involves major financial resources. In order to avoid risks to human health and to the environment it is necessary to guarantee, at Community level, that financial resources will be available for the completion of decommissioning work in conformity with safety standards. To this end, specific regulations must be put in place for the creation of decommissioning funds, to which the operators of nuclear installations will have to contribute throughout the active life of the installation. These regulations must guarantee the availability and adequacy of funds at the time of decommissioning operations.

It is necessary to consider nuclear safety in a Community perspective . Only a common approach can guarantee the maintenance of a high level of safety in nuclear installations, from conception to decommissioning, in an enlarged EU. The legal basis for action of this kind, complementing the basic standards provided for in Article 30, is Chapter 3 of Title II of the Euratom Treaty.

The need for a global approach to nuclear safety in the enlarged EU

Along the lines of the existing national systems, a Community approach to the safety of nuclear installations should comprise two aspects. On the one hand, a set of standards and, on the other, a mechanism for the verification of compliance with the standards.

1. Common standards

A Community approach to the safety of nuclear installations does not necessarily entail laying down detailed technical safety standards. A system of this kind should not duplicate what exists already within the Member States.

a) Existing standards

There exists a set of principles which can constitute the basis for a legally binding Community approach. These could be incorporated into a framework Council directive based in the main on elements contained in the Nuclear Safety Convention concluded under the auspices of the IAEA. This Convention does not contain detailed technical rules. However, it lays down a precise legal framework constituting the basis for a nuclear safety system. All the Member States and the majority of the candidate countries (with the exception of Estonia and Malta) are parties to the Nuclear Safety Convention

However, it should be noted that the Convention applies only to nuclear power stations. Given the development of the European nuclear industry, it would be desirable to broaden the scope to include all nuclear installations. However, the broadening of the scope will be limited to nuclear fuel cycle and research facilities With this new approach it was not considered appropriate to include small users of radioactive materials, materials which consist essentially of sealed sources. Formalising these principles in a Community text would supplement the basic standards provided for in Article 30 of the Euratom Treaty so as to cover the safety of nuclear installations. Since the Treaty entered into force, several directives have revised the standards, the last one dating from 13 May 1996 (Directive 96/29 Euratom) [3]. However, it will not be a question of revising that directive, which lays down basic standard, but of drafting a new directive to supplement them.

[3] OJ No L 159 of 29 June 1996, p.1.

The European Court of Justice confirmed this analyse in its judgement dated 10 December 2002 in case C-29/99. The Court declares on the one hand that "it is not appropriate, in order to define the Community's competencies, to draw an artificial distinction between the protection of the health of the general public and the safety of sources of ionising radiation. [4]" The Court confirms on the other hand the technical competence of national safety authorities to authorise the construction or operation of nuclear facilities. However the Court recognises that this technical competence does not prevent the Community from legislating in this field. The Court judgement is on this point explicit : "Even though the Euratom Treaty does not grant the Community competence to authorise the construction or operation of nuclear installations, under Articles 30 to 32 of the Euratom Treaty the Community possesses legislative competence to establish, for the purpose of health protection, an authorisation system which must be applied by the Member States. Such a legislative act constitutes a measure supplementing the basic standards referred to in that article. [5]" The "basic standard" concept covers both radiation protection and the safety of nuclear installations.

[4] Point 82 of the Judgement

[5] Point 89 of the Jugement

Clearly, such a Community approach to safety cannot, ultimately, be restricted simply to taking over the relevant provisions of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. However, the latter can provide a starting point on which there should be agreement since all the Member States have to implement them already, supplemented by other elements.

b) Evolving standards

Developing common standards with regard to the safety of nuclear installations entails revising them, and therefore, in accordance with Article 32 of the Euratom Treaty, a specific procedure has to be followed. Article 31 provides that basic standards are to be worked out by the Commission after obtaining the opinion of a group of persons appointed by the Scientific and Technical Committee from among scientific experts in the Member States and after consulting the Economic and Social Committee. After consulting the European Parliament, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, establishes the basic standards, acting by a qualified majority.

In practical terms, the development of European safety standards will take into account the results of the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the field of nuclear safety. The IAEA has been working in this area for many years. It will also be necessary to take into account in particular the results of the work of the Nuclear Regulators Working Group (NRWG), and especially the common positions adopted it, together with the work of the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) with regard to harmonisation. The methodology worked out by the Commission and the Council to evaluate the safety of the nuclear installations in the candidate countries will also be an important element to be taken into consideration.

As this is an area in which there are already major national provisions, it is desirable that the Commission should be able to benefit from the experience of safety experts in order to ensure that the common standards evolve in a harmonised fashion. To this end, it will rely on the Committee envisaged under Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty. The Community system will be based on basic obligations and general principles. It will establish a legal framework comprising a mechanism allowing an evolution . One of the first tasks of the Article 31 Committee will therefore be to work out a corpus of operational standards, on the basis of the above mentioned studies to serve as a common reference point. On the basis of these standards, verifications can be carried out within the Member States. To avoid any difference of treatment between the current Member States and the new Member States, the legal regime will need to be operational on the date of the enlargement of the Union, i.e. 1 May2004. That date will mark the start of the practical application of this Community approach, which will subsequently evolve.

The common standards are part of an ongoing process. The objective of the standards will be to ensure the maintenance of a high level of nuclear safety within the EU. It is therefore necessary that this system should rely on the expertise of the national safety authorities. The Community system is complementary to national systems.

c) Regular reports

In accordance with the Nuclear Safety Convention and the conclusions of the Laeken European Council, the Member States will be obliged to transmit reports on the measures taken to meet their obligations and on the state of safety of installations under their supervision. These reports will be examined by Member States and the Commission in the framework of a "Peer Review" mechanism.

2. A system of independent verification

Establishing a system of independent verification is an essential element for the credibility and effectiveness of a Community approach to the safety of nuclear installations. The verification system should, in the main, be based on the technical expertise of the national safety authorities. The Community system would address the way in which the safety authorities carry out their tasks. It would not be part of its purpose to verify safety conditions in nuclear installations on-site.

The Member States will be obliged to propose experts, specifying their expertise, to be called upon by the Commission for independent verifications within the Member States. Clearly, the Commission alone will be responsible for deciding what to verify and deciding on any subsequent action. To ensure the independence of the verifications, it is necessary that experts from one Member State are not allocated to verification activities in their Member State of origin.

On the basis of the reports following the verifications, the Commission will be able to make observations which may lead to the necessary measures being taken to ensure safety at installations. The Commission will also be obliged to publish, every two years, a report on the state of nuclear safety within the EU.

The Community approach is not an additional layer of control on nuclear installations. This approach, qualitative by nature, implements a cross check of safety authorities that will allow the Community to satisfy itself that the level of safety is the same in all Member States. This system will also allow the granting of a Community stamp that should strengthen the public confidence on safety of nuclear facilities. This approach, unique at this time, offers the advantage to organise verifications in a Community frame carried out by safety authorities. It is based on a Peer review principle, regarding both the cross checks, and the examination of the regular reports under Peer reviews. The Community will in no way substitute for the safety authorities of the Member States.

II. Adequate financial resources

Maintaining a high level of safety in nuclear installations, during their active life as in the decommissioning phase, requires adequate resources to be available.

Decommissioning a nuclear installation is a major industrial undertaking which can take many years. The cost of decommissioning operations can be very high. To deal with these it is necessary that financial resources should be available. These will have to be provided for by the operator during the active life of the nuclear installation. It is essential that decommissioning operations can take place in conformity with a high level of safety.

It is also essential to avoid any possibility that the decommissioning of a nuclear installation will not be able to start as planned, is not carried out according to the appropriate procedures, or is abandoned before completion due to a lack of resources.

The consequence of such a situation would be that a substantial quantity of radioactive material would not be monitored or managed in an acceptable way, with severe implications for radiological safety. Under such circumstances, one of the fundamental objectives of the Euratom Treaty would not be met. In fact, as already mentioned, the Community must, under article 2 of that Treaty, "establish uniform safety standards to protect the health of workers and of the general public and ensure that they are applied". The Community has adopted basic standards in the field of radioprotection [6] for this purpose. Chapter 3 of the Euratom Treaty therefore provides the legal base for Community action in this field.

[6] COM 96/29 Euratom

At present, operators make use either of company resources or of contributions to externally managed funds set up by various mechanisms for this purpose.

Even if reserves are set aside to enable decommissioning to be undertaken and to ensure the management of radioactive waste and of spent fuel cells, the fundamental question is to ensure the availability of these resources in the long term, several decades hence. To this end, the creation of decommissioning funds independent from the operators and specifically earmarked for the decommissioning of their nuclear installations is the best option to achieve the objective of decommissioning the installations in conformity with all the necessary safety conditions. In the case where exceptional and duly justified reasons make such a separation of funds impossible, the management of funds could continue to be undertaken by the operator, provided that the availability of assets to cover the costs of decommissioning operations is guaranteed.

On the basis of regular information from Member States, to be provided every three years, the Commission will produce a periodical report on the state of the funds and will undertake, if necessary, measures to address irregularities which could either compromise the completion of decommissioning or create distortions in the electricity market.

The creation of external funds, managed on prudential principles, enables the long term availability of funds to ensure the maintenance of a high level of nuclear safety throughout the decommissioning phase to be guaranteed.

The need to harmonise the methodology for estimating future decommissioning costs has already been emphasised. It is also necessary to provide for transitional measures to enable the enterprises involved, where necessary, to minimise the impact of the transfer of significant resources to external funds.

The Commission envisages a transitional period of [three years] after the entry into force of the provisions of measures undertaken by Member States as a result of the adoption by the Council of this Directive.

Conclusion

On the eve of an unprecedented enlargement, at a time when there are vital nuclear safety issues at stake, it is time for the Community to clearly shoulder its responsibilities with regard to the safety of nuclear installations and adopt legally binding rules.

Enshrining the existing rules and principles in Community legislation will make it possible to reconcile efficiency and speed of implementation. Having recourse, to some extent, to experts from the national safety authorities to carry out the tasks connected with the verifications will make it possible to provide undisputed technical expertise. Interlinking the national systems and the Community system will guarantee the maintenance of a high level of safety for nuclear installations in the enlarged EU.

It is also essential to guarantee that the final phase of the nuclear cycle should be managed in accordance with radiological safety standards and on the basis of transparency in the use of financial resources. To this end, it is necessary to create a framework for national regulations. Definition of criteria for the creation and management of funds for the decommissioning of nuclear installations will enable the maintenance of a high level of nuclear safety throughout the decommissioning phase to be guaranteed. In the light of the above considerations, the Commission invites the Council to approve the proposal for a Directive attached.

2003/0021(CNS)

Proposal for a COUNCIL (Euratom) DIRECTIVE Setting out the basic obligations and general principles on the safety of nuclear installations

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, and in particular Articles 31, 32 and 187 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission [7], 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 [8],

[7] OJ C [...], [...], p. [...].

[8] OJ C [...], [...], p. [...].

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament [9],

[9] OJ C [...], [...], p. [...].

Whereas:

(1) Article 2(b) of the Treaty stipulates that the Community shall, as provided in this Treaty, establish uniform safety standards to protect the health of workers and of the general public and ensure that they are applied.

(2) Article 30 of the Treaty stipulates that basic standards shall be laid down within the Community for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionising radiations. Article 32 provides for the basic standards to be supplemented in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 31.

(3) Article 187 of the Treaty stipulates that the Commission may, within the limits and under the conditions laid down by the Council in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty, collect any information and carry out any checks required for the performance of the tasks entrusted to it.

(4) Directive 96/29/Euratom of the Council [10] lays down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of the general public and of workers against the dangers arising from ionising radiation.

[10] OJ L 159, 29.6.1996, p. 1.

(5) The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in 1986 highlighted the need for the Community to supplement the basic standards in force at the time with provisions applying in case of a radiological emergency. Accordingly, Council Decision 87/600/Euratom [11] established arrangements for the early exchange of information in the event of a radiological emergency while Council Directive 89/618/Euratom [12] imposed obligations on the Member States on informing the general public in the event of a radiological emergency.

[11] OJ L 371, 30.12.1987, p. 76.

[12] OJ L 357, 7.12.1989, p. 31.

(6) The basic standards were further supplemented by Directive 92/3/Euratom on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste between Member States and into and out of the Community [13] and by Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1493/93 of 8 June 1993 on shipments of radioactive substances between Member States [14].

[13] OJ L 35, 12.2.1992, p. 24.

[14] OJ L 148, 19.6.1993, p. 1.

(7) Although the radiation protection system created by the basic standards in force ensures a high level of protection for the health of the population based on current scientific knowledge on this subject, this must be supplemented by strict application of safety standards designed to anticipate and control the risks of exposure for the population. In nuclear installations in particular, keeping up high safety standards at all stages from conception to decommissioning by maintaining effective defences against radiological risks and preventing accidents which could have radiological consequences is a sine qua non in order fully to attain the objectives of health protection set out in Article 2(b) of the Treaty.

(8) Despite a degree of harmonisation, today the nuclear safety measures still vary widely from one Member State to another. This diversity becomes even greater in view of the forthcoming enlargement of the European Union. At present, this diversity of standards does not allow the Community to satisfy itself that the health protection requirements of Article 2(b) of the Treaty are always applied in the best possible way. In order for the Community to ensure that the uniform safety standards as required by this provision are applied, these basic standards for radiation protection must be supplemented by common safety standards to the extent necessary to eliminate hazards to the life and health of the public.

(9) As well as during the active life of a nuclear installation, dangers from ionising radiation may also arise as a result of decommissioning operations. In order to deal with the risks attached to the disposal of radioactive materials, it is necessary to ensure the safe decommissioning of nuclear installations including the long-term management of radioactive waste and of spent fuel.

(10) In order to attain the Community objectives regarding radioprotection mentioned above, it is essential as a first stage to define the basic obligations and general principles on the safety of nuclear installations.

(11) Safe decommissioning of nuclear installations, including the long-term management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, calls for substantial financial resources. In order to avoid any danger to human health or to the environment, it is necessary to guarantee at Community level that sufficient financial resources will be available to complete decommissioning activities at nuclear installations in conformity with safety standards. To this end, specific rules must be put in place for the establishment of decommissioning funds to which operators of nuclear installations will have to contribute regularly throughout the productive service life of the installations. In order to guarantee the availability and the adequacy of funds for decommissioning operations it is necessary to set up, except in specific and properly justified cases, funds with their own legal personality separate from the operator of the installation.

(12) This Directive is consistent with the logic of the regime established by the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which entered into force on 24 October 1996 and to which all the Member States are parties. By the Commission decision 1999/819 Euratom the European Atomic Energy Community acceded to the Convention on 31 January 2000 [15]. Since the scope of this Convention is limited to nuclear power plants, this Directive extends the principles laid down therein to all nuclear installations.

[15] OJ L 318, 11.12.1999, p. 20.

(13) In the same context, the Joint International Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management [16], which entered into force on 18 June 2001, specifies in Article 26 that each contracting party shall take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of decommissioning of a nuclear facility. Such steps shall ensure that ... qualified staff and adequate financial resources are available. Article 22(ii) of the Convention calls on each Contracting Party to take the appropriate steps to ensure that adequate financial resources are available to support the safety of facilities for spend fuel and radioactive waste management during their operating lifetime and for decommissioning.

[16] OJ C [...], [...], p. [...].

(14) In order to monitor application of rules set up in conformity with this Directive, the Commission must be able to check the manner in which safety authorities carry out their duties and to meet their obligations under this Directive and to receive reports from the Member States indicating the measures which they have taken,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

1. In order to ensure the protection of the general public and of workers against the dangers of ionising radiation from nuclear installations, this Directive sets out the basic obligations and general principles which allow the Community to satisfy itself by ensuring a high level of safety of nuclear installations that the basic standards laid down under Article 30 of the Treaty are applied.

2. This Directive applies to all nuclear installations, including after the end of their operation.

Article 2

For the purposes of this Directive:

(1) "Nuclear installation" means any civil facility and its land, buildings and equipment where nuclear materials, within the meaning of Article 197 of the Euratom Treaty, are produced, processed, used, handled or stored temporarily or permanently on such a scale that consideration of safety is required. This definition applies until the moment it is released from any radiological restrictions imposed upon it;

(2) "Common safety standards" means all the rules drawn up in accordance with this Directive on the basis of the general principles set out in Title III;

(3) "Safety authority" means, for each Member State, the competent authority, or authorities, designated by the Member State to grant licences and to monitor application of the regulations on siting, design, construction, commissioning, operation or decommissioning of nuclear installations;

(4) "Licence" means any authorisation granted by the safety authority to the applicant to confer the responsibility for the siting, design, construction, commissioning, operation or decommissioning of nuclear installations;

(5) "Undertaking responsible for the nuclear installation" means any natural or legal person operating a nuclear installation and legally responsible, under the national legislation, for the practices employed in relation to any such installation,

(6) "Final shutdown (of a nuclear installation)" means the status in which a nuclear installation is no longer authorised to operate, by decision of the competent authorities;

(7) "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;

(8) "decommissioning fund" means financial resources intended specifically to cover the expenditure necessary for decommissioning nuclear installations, including long-term management of the radioactive waste and spent fuel, while meeting the safety standards;

(9) "spent fuel" means nuclear fuel that has been irradiated in and permanently removed from a reactor core;

(10) "conventional decommissioning waste" means the non-radioactive wastes produced in the course of decommissioning activities and which must be processed and disposed of in accordance with the standards in force;

(11) "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;

(12) "radioactive (decommissioning) waste" means the radioactive wastes produced in the course of decommissioning activities;

(13) "Practice" means a human activity that can increase the exposure of individuals to radiation from an artificial sourecs, or from a natural radiation source where natural radionuclides are processed for their radioactive, fissile or fertile properties, except in the case of an emergency exposure;

(14) "reprocessing" means a process or operation, the purpose of which is to extract radioactive isotopes from spent fuel for further use;

(15) "decommissioning strategy" means the time plan for decommissioning activities, from the final shutdown of the installation;

Article 3

Independence of the safety authority

Member State shall establish a safety authority. The safety authority shall be independent in its organisation, legal structure and decision-making from any other body or organisation, whether private or public, concerned with the promotion or utilisation of nuclear energy.

Article 4

Role of the safety authority

The safety authority shall supervise and regulate safety in nuclear installations. It shall grant licences and monitor application of the regulations on siting, design, construction, commissioning, operation or decommissioning of nuclear installations.

Article 5

Safety in nuclear installations

Member States shall take all the measures necessary :

(a) to establish and maintain effective arrangements in nuclear installations against potential radiological hazards in order to protect individuals, society and the environment from harmful effects of ionising radiation from such installations;

(b) to prevent accidents with radiological consequences and to mitigate such consequences should they occur;

(c) to implement all further measures to guarantee safety in nuclear installations; and

(d) to ensure the long term management of all materials, including radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel , produced in the course of decommissioning, in accordance with the basis standards for the protection of the general public and of workers against dangers arising from ionising radiation.

Article 6

Priority to safety

1. Member States shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that in the course of all practices directly related to nuclear installations due priority is given to nuclear safety.

2. The measures for operational protection of the population pursuant to Article 44 of Directive 96/29 Euratom take account of all aspects of the nuclear safety of installations

.Article 7

Obligations of undertakings

1. Member States shall require the undertakings responsible for the nuclear installations to operate them in accordance with the common safety standards applicable to them and with the regulations laid down by the safety authority and any measures taken by the same authority.

2. Member States shall require the undertakings responsible for the nuclear installations to establish quality assurance programmes - the content and implementation of which shall be submitted to the safety authority for verification - and to implement them with a view to providing confidence that specified requirements for all activities important to nuclear safety are satisfied throughout the life of a nuclear installations.

3. Member States shall take the necessary measures for the allocation of responsibility for the decommissioning of nuclear installations, including in those cases where the parties originally responsible are no longer able to meet their commitments.

Article 8 Inspection

Member States shall ensure that nuclear safety inspections are carried out by the safety authority in nuclear installations, including during their decommissioning, and that the undertaking responsible for the nuclear installation submits to such inspections.

Article 9 Financial resources

(1) Member States shall take the appropriate steps to ensure that adequate financial resources are available to support the safety of nuclear installations.

(2) Member States shall ensure that financial resources sufficient to cover decommissioning costs of each nuclear installation, taking into account the length of time required, are available as decommissioning funds at the time envisaged. These funds must meet the minimum criteria set out in the annex.

(3) In the case of nuclear installations whose main purpose is other than the sale of products or services, in particular research reactors, Member States determine the means of meeting the specific decommissioning resource requirements.

Article 10 Safety experts

1. Member States shall take the appropriate steps to ensure that nuclear safety experts are available for all nuclear safety-related activities.

2. Member States shall ensure that appropriate curricula are established and that opportunities for continuous theoretical and practical training exist for the staff concerned.

Article 11 Operating incidents

1. Member States shall require the establishment of procedures approved by the safety authorities to deal with operating incidents and accidents in order to reduce the possible effects on the population and the environment of any radiological emergencies resulting from operation of nuclear installations.

2. Member States shall require the undertaking responsible for the nuclear installation to notify the safety authority forthwith of any incidents significant to safety and of the corrective measures taken in response.

Article 12

Monitoring of application

1. In order to ensure the maintenance of a high level of nuclear safety in Member States, the Commission shall carry out verifications of safety authorities. Member States shall ensure that safety authorities comply with these verifications.

2. Member States shall send the Commission a list of experts, indicating their fields of expertise, on whom the Commission shall call to carry out the verifications provided for in paragraph 1.

3. The experts shall obtain prior approval from the safety authorities in the Member State where the verification is to be carried out before they may carry out the verifications provided for in paragraph 1. Experts shall not be allocated for verifications within their Member State of origin.

4. Prior to the verification , the Commission shall inform the Member State concerned of the verification , specifying the subject-matter, the purpose of the inspection, the date on which it is to begin and the names of the approved experts.

5. The Commission shall forward the verification reports to the Member State concerned which, within three months of receipt, shall indicate the measures taken to remedy any shortcoming.

6. The Commission may submit comments to the Member States or request further information following verifications in order to clarify all or part of the reports.

Article 13

Reports

1. Member States shall submit a report to the Commission every year from the date provided for in Article 15 paragraph 1 on the measures taken to fulfil their obligations under this Directive and on the safety situation in nuclear installations located on their territory. The Commission shall organise meetings with Member States in order to examine these reports.

2. The Commission shall submit a report to the Council and to the European Parliament every two years from the date provided for in Article 15 paragraph 1 on the application of this Directive and on the nuclear safety situation in the Community, based on the reports submitted by the Member States and the inspection reports.

Article 14

More stringent measures

Member States may apply more stringent measures than those laid down in this Directive. In such a case they shall notify the Commission of the nature of these measures and the reasons why they were taken.

Article 15

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 a reference on the occasion of their official publication. The Member States shall lay down the manner in which such references shall be made.

3. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of domestic law which they adopt in the field governed by this Directive.

Article 16

Entry into force

This Directive shall enter into force the twentiest day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

Article 17

Addressees

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at Brussels, [...]

For the Council

The President

[...]

ANNEX

The following minimum criteria shall apply to the decommissioning funds referred to in Article 9 of this Directive:

1. The funds shall be created from contributions by operators of nuclear installations during their operation, in order to reach a level of resources, at the time of the final shutdown, sufficient to cover all expenses related to decommissioning as defined in paragraph 2.

2. Contributions shall be made to the fund in line with the estimated service life of the installation and with the decommissioning strategy chosen, in such a manner as to cover, in particular, decommissioning of the installation; safe, long-term management of the conventional and radioactive wastes from decommissioning of the installation; and safe, long-term management of the spent fuel from nuclear power stations and of the wastes from reprocessing operations not already fully covered as an operational cost.

3. The assets of the funds shall be managed in a manner ensuring liquidity compatible with the timetable for the decommissioning obligations and the costs set out in paragraph 2.

4. The assets of the funds are to be used only to cover the costs set out in paragraph 2 in line with the decommissioning strategy and may not be used for other purposes. To this end the decommissioning funds shall be duly established with their own legal personality, separate from the operator of the installation. If exceptional and duly justified reasons make such legal separation impossible, the fund could continue to be managed by the operator, provided that the availability of assets to meet the costs set out in paragraph 2 is guaranteed.

5. In the case of a nuclear installation whose operation will cease before the entry into force of the legislative, regulatory and administrative provisions set out in article 17 of this Directive; or within... [period to be decided] of the entry into force of these provisions, approaches other than the creation of decommissioning funds as required by this Directive may be taken.

6. Member states shall define the method by which the necessary resources for decommissioning, already accumulated by the operator before the entry into force of measures taken to implement this Directive, shall be tranfered. These transfers must take place within at least 3 years from the date envisaged in Article 15.

LEGISLATIVE FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Policy area(s): Energy and transport (06)

Activit(y/ies):

Title of action: Council (Euratom) Directive setting out basic obligations and general principles on the safety of nuclear installations

1. BUDGET LINE(S)

The commitment will be charged to a new heading to be created when the ABB structure for DG TREN is fully defined. The question of whether to charge to an existing heading or to a heading to be created will be reviewed in the context of discussions about the APB 2004.

2. OVERALL FIGURES

2.1 Total allocation for action (Part B): annual expenditure

The commitment will be charged to the heading referred to in point 1 against the 2004 financial year.

2.2 Period of application

Starting in 2004, ongoing.

2.3 Overall multiannual estimate of expenditure

(a) Schedule of commitment appropriations/payment appropriations (financial intervention) (see point 6.1.1)

euros

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(b) Technical and administrative assistance and support expenditure (see point 6.1.2)

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(c) Overall financial impact of human resources and other administrative expenditure (see points 7.2 and 7.3)

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2.4 Compatibility with financial programming and financial perspective

New action.

2.5 Financial impact on revenue [17]

[17] For further information, see separate explanatory note.

No financial implications (involves technical aspects regarding implementation of a measure).

3. BUDGET CHARACTERISTICS

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4. LEGAL BASIS

Articles 31, 32 and 187 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.

5. DESCRIPTION AND GROUNDS

5.1 Need for Community intervention [18]

[18] For further information, see separate explanatory note.

5.1.1 Objectives pursued

Pursuant to Article 2(b) of the Euratom Treaty, the Community shall, as provided in this Treaty: "establish uniform safety standards to protect the health of workers and of the general public and ensure that they are applied." Chapter 3 of Title II of the Treaty, concerning health protection, contains provisions concerning basic standards with regard to protection against ionising radiation. This chapter has been used in the main with regard to radiation protection.

The Commission has actively intervened in connection with the harmonisation of nuclear safety practices for over 25 years. Despite these efforts towards harmonisation, however, nuclear safety measures still differ considerably from one Member State to another.

It is necessary to consider nuclear safety in a Community perspective. Only a common approach can guarantee the maintenance of a high level of nuclear safety in an enlarged EU.

As this is an area in which there are already major national provisions, it is desirable that the Commission should be able to benefit from the experience of the Member States in order to ensure that the common standards evolve in a harmonised fashion. To this end, it must rely on the Committee envisaged in Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty.

Establishing a system of independent verification is an essential element for the credibility and effectiveness of a Community approach to the safety of nuclear installations. The Commission will call partly on its own staff and partly on experts designated by the safety authorities in the Member States to conduct theverifications. Verifications will be carried out by safety authorities.

Decommissioning operations may also constitute potential threats to human health and to the environment, not only now but also in the future, especially if necessary measures relating to the radiological risks of such operations are not taken in good time.

Safe decomissionning of nuclear installations, including the long term management of radioactive waste and of spent nuclear fuel, requires substantial financial resources which must be guaranteed during the active life of nuclear installations.

It is necessary to guarantee at Community level that sufficient financial resources will be available for the completion of decommissioning activity at nuclear installations in conformity with applicable safety standards.

In order to guarantee the availability of sufficient resources, specific rules must be put in place for setting up decommissioning funds with a legal personality distinct from the nuclear operator. Contributions to these funds will be made on a regular basis throughout the active life of the installation by its operator. They will be specifically earmarked for decommissioning.

5.1.2 Measures taken in connection with ex ante evaluation

None.

5.2 Actions envisaged and budget intervention arrangements

The beneficiaries of the proposed actions will be the operators of nuclear installations and the national safety authorities. The objective of this proposal is to introduce basic obligations and general principles for the safety of nuclear installations.

5.3 Methods of implementation

Direct management by the Commission using regular and outside staff.

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)

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6.2 Calculation of costs by measure envisaged in Part B (over the entire programming period) [19]

[19] For further information, see separate explanatory note.

Each verification is to be conducted by two experts and to last two days (daily allowance: EUR600 + EUR2000 for travel). 15 verifications are planned in 2004 (cost: EUR39 000) followed by 20 verifications per year thereafter (cost: EUR52 000 per year).

7. IMPACT ON STAFF AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURE

7.1 Impact on human resources

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7.2 Overall financial impact of human resources

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The amounts are total expenditure for twelve months.

7.3 Other administrative expenditure deriving from the action

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The amounts are total expenditure for 12 months.

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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

Follow-up audits will be conducted.

8.2 Arrangements and schedule for evaluation

The Commission will seek the cooperation of the national authorities to remedy deficiencies.

Annual reports by Member states. Meetings with Member states to review these reports. Evaluation report from the Commission to the Council and to the European Parliament every two years.

9. ANTI-FRAUD MEASURES

Normal Commission audit system.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT FORM THE IMPACT OF THE PROPOSAL ON BUSINESS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (SMEs)

Title of proposal

Council Directive on the introduction of common safety standards for nuclear installations

Reference No

The proposal

1. Taking account of the principle of subsidiarity, why is Community legislation necessary in this area and what are its main aims?

The objective of the proposed directive is to introduce common safety standards for nuclear installations. Although a start has been made on harmonisation of safety practices, they still vary widely from one Member State to another. Action by the Community is therefore necessary. The prospect of enlargement has further heightened the need for such action.

The impact on business

2. Who will be affected by the proposal?

- Which sectors of business?

The whole of the nuclear industry will be affected by the proposal, plus the safety authorities in the Member States.

- Which sizes of business (what is the concentration of small and medium-sized firms)?

The directive should apply only to large undertakings, not to small and medium-sized firms.

- Are there particular geographical areas of the Community where these businesses are found?

Not every Member State has nuclear installations on its territory. However, enlargement will add to the number of Member States using nuclear energy. By 2004 a total of 13 of the 25 Member States are expected to have nuclear power stations. They are not sited in any particular geographical area but are located in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

3. What will business have to do to comply with the proposal?

To develop and apply procedures.

4. What economic effects is the proposal likely to have?

- on employment

None

- on investment and the creation of new businesses

None

- on the competitive position of businesses

None, since all businesses will be subject to the same measures.

5. Does the proposal contain measures to take account of the specific situation of small and medium-sized firms (reduced or different requirements, etc.)?

No

Consultation

6. List the organisations which have been consulted about the proposal and outline their main views.

None