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Nuclear energy

Mandate and instruments

Activities in the field of safety of nuclear installations ("Nuclear installation" means any land-based civil nuclear power plant including such storage, handling and treatment facilities for radioactive materials as are on the same site and are directly related to the operation of the nuclear power plant) aim at the protection operators, public and environment from radiation hazards. This aim is realised via the promotion of best practices in operation, accident prevention or mitigation. Appropriate measures are also aimed at helping Central and East European countries (CEEC) and Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (NIS) to reach this common objective. This is done in close colloboration with the Directorates General for external relations.

The Euratom Treaty does not address the particular aspects of nuclear installation safety. As a result, regulatory activities in these areas have developed along national lines under the responsibility of national authorities. However, in the past, Community added value has been recognised in building common views on nuclear safety issues, and two Council resolutions have paved the way for co-operation between Member States and the Commission.

In its Resolution of 22 July 1975 (OJ No C 185/1 of 14.08.1975) the Council considered that the technological problems relating to nuclear safety, in view of their environmental and health implications, called for appropriate action at Community level which would take into account the prerogatives and responsibilities assumed by national authorities.

The Resolution of 18 June 1992 (OJ No C 172/2 of 08.07. 1992) encouraged the continuation of the process of consultation and co-operation established by the resolution of 1975, and recommended its extension to third countries, notably to the CEEC and the NIS.