Brussels, 21 December 2005
The Commission has adopted today a proposal for a Directive on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The new Commission proposal extends existing rules for authorising the trans-border movement of radioactive waste and extends them to spent nuclear fuel. It will make the rules easier to apply and more consistent with other EU and international provisions. Andris Piebalgs Energy Commissioner, said: “This user-friendly Directive takes into account the concerns that have been expressed by those involved in authorising movements of radioactive waste. By expressly covering shipments of spent nuclear fuel, it now makes clear that the same strict controls are required when moving such nuclear materials from one country to another”.
Radioactive waste is radioactive material for which no further use is foreseen (resulting from activities carried out in hospitals, industry, nuclear power plants, etc.). Because of its nature, strict rules are applicable in the EU every time that such waste has to be moved from one country to another. These movements need to be expressly authorised and controlled, to ensure that the population and environment are adequately protected and to reduce the possibility that materials are lost or stolen.
While the existing rules are satisfactory in practice, the Commission considers that they need to be simplified and that they should cover additional types of nuclear material. The new Directive will:
The proposed Directive will put an end to this situation by expressly stating that its provisions are applicable to shipments of spent fuel.
 Council Directive 92/3/Euratom of 3 February 1992 on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste between Member States and into and out of the Community, Official Journal L 035, 12/02/1992
 See more information on Radiation Protection issues at
 Commission Decision of 14 June 2005 (OJ L 185 of 16/07/2005, p.33).