EC has decided to send reasoned opinions to Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Lithuania, Poland and Romania for failing to adopt a national programme for radioactive waste management compliant with the requirements of the Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Directive (Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom), and has also sent another reasoned opinion to Romania for failing to transpose correctly certain requirements of the same Directive.
Radioactive waste is generated from the production of electricity in nuclear power plants or from the non-power-related use of radioactive materials for medical, research, industrial and agricultural purposes. This means that all Member States generate radioactive waste. The Directive establishes a Community framework for ensuring the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste to ensure a high level of safety and avoid imposing undue burdens on future generations. In particular, it requires Member States to draw up and implement national programmes for the management of all spent fuel and radioactive waste generated on their territory, from generation to disposal. The aim is to protect workers and the general public from the dangers arising from ionising radiation. Member States were required to transpose the Directive by 23 August 2013 and to notify their national programmes for the first time to the Commission by 23 August 2015. The Member States concerned have three months to act. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer these cases to the Court of Justice of the EU.