Nuclear Waste Directive
Analysis of the Transposition of the Nuclear Waste Directive
Client: DG ENERGY
Milieu is conducting a conformity checking for DG ENER, of the transposition of Council Directive 2011/70/EURATOM, (19 July 2011) to establish a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste by all 28 Member States.
All Member States produce radioactive waste, regardless of whether they generate energy by nuclear power plants or not. More than half of the Member States currently have operational nuclear power plants. In addition, there are nuclear reactors under construction, under decommissioning, as well as plans for new builds.
Radioactive waste and spent fuel may also be produced as a consequence of certain beneficial activities, such as radioisotope applications in medicine, industries, agriculture, research and education. Once produced, radioactive waste and spent fuel require adequate treatment and isolation from humans and their environment for a substantially long period of time.
The end-point of the management of radioactive waste should be geological disposal, carried out in an environmentally friendly manner and in adequate facilities in order to ensure the safety of humans and sustainability of the environment. Currently, no disposal facilities for high-level waste from civil activities exist in the world, and outside the EU, none are underway. Directive 2011/70/Euratom aims to establish and maintain national policies on spent fuel and radioactive waste management with a view to protect the health of workers and the general public.
It places the ultimate responsibility for management of the spent fuel and radioactive waste on the Member State that generated them. Milieu assesses whether each Member State has correctly transposed the Directive into national law. The assessment serves the Commission as a basis for taking enforcement actions, where necessary.