EURATOM treaty and radioactive waste disposal

A recent decision by the European Court of Justice has provided the first interpretation of a provision in the EURATOM Treaty which requires Member States to consult the European Commission on plans concerning radioactive waste disposal which may affect other Member States. The decision in Saarland and others v Ministry of Industry, Posts, and Telecommunications and Tourism and others (Case 187/87, Judgment 22 September 1988) suggests that similar requirements on international consultation in EEC environmental Directives cannot in future be treated lightly by individual countries.

The case arose out of joint ministerial decrees adopted in France in February 1986 authorising the disposal of liquid and gaseous radioactive waste from the Cattenom nuclear plant in Moselle.

Article 37 of the EURATOM Treaty requires Member States to provide the European Commission "with such general data relating to any plan for the disposal of radioactive waste in whatever form as will make it possible to determine whether the implement

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