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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

EU: No shipment of nuclear waste to ACP countries

For the first time, the European Union has committed itself to the final disposal of its nuclear waste. Heads of government adopted the radioactive waste and spent fuel management directive, "in order to avoid imposing undue burdens on future generations." […] The directive will enter into force at the latest in September of this year. Member States will have two years to transpose its provisions into their national laws. By 2015, governments must submit their first national programs to the European Commission, the EU's executive branch, which will examine them and can require changes. […]

In its most controversial provision, the new law allows export of nuclear waste to countries outside the EU […] but only under strict and binding conditions. The third country must have a final deep geological repository in operation when the waste is shipped. At present, such deep geological repositories do not exist anywhere in the world nor is a repository in construction outside of the EU. It takes a minimum of 40 years to develop and build a deep geological repository, the Commission said today in a statement on adoption of the new directive. According to already existing EU laws on the shipment of spent fuels and radioactive waste, the export to African, Pacific and Caribbean countries, as well as to Antarctica, is explicitly ruled out.

Source: ens-newswire.com