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Brussels, 27 June 2007

European Commission requests legal action against Portugal over failure to apply Euratom requirements

Today the European Commission decided to refer Portugal to the Court of Justice for failure to comply with a number of Euratom obligations regarding compulsory administrative procedures in connection with the activities of the Instituto Tecnológico e Nuclear research reactor at the Sacavém Campus in Lisbon.

The Commission considers that the administrative procedures related to the authorisation of the research reactor and, in particular, the examination and approval of plans for the discharge of radioactive effluents, were not in line with EU rules.

According to these each Member State must ensure the best possible protection of the population and apply the fundamental principles governing its operational protection. Member States must therefore ensure the detection and elimination of the factors which, in the course of any operation involving exposure to ionizing radiation, could create a risk of exposure for the population.

Having examined the reply of the Portuguese authorities to its Reasoned Opinion – the last step before referral to the Court of Justice - the Commission established that the current provisions were still not adequate, and decided to refer the matter to the Court of Justice.

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