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Regulatory Issues - Europe

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Europe, General


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European Union   flag


European Commission seeks views on revision of notification requirements under Euratom Treaty

"This public consultation seeks the views of stakeholders and other interested parties on the need for a revision of the existing information and procedural requirements under Articles 41 to 44 of the Euratom Treaty. Under the current legal framework, the Commission reviews nuclear investment projects scheduled in EU countries and examines their compatibility with the Euratom Treaty. Projects which must be notified to the Commission include mining of uranium ore, manufacturing of nuclear fuel elements, production of enriched uranium and nuclear reactors of all types and for all purposes."
Submit comments by January 25, 2016.
> View Public Consultation: Revision of the information and procedural requirements under Articles 41 to 44 of the Euratom Treaty
> Download Consultation Document (268k PDF - in English)
> Access Consultation questionnaire

 

European Union enhances cooperation with IAEA

> Download: New cooperation mechanism established between the EU and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , Jan. 25, 2013 (PDF)

 

European Commission seeks views "where the existing Euratom nuclear safety legislative framework could be further reinforced"

The European Commission is currently assessing areas where the existing Euratom nuclear safety legislative framework could be further reinforced. This public consultation (from 21 December 2011 to 29 February 2012) seeks the views of stakeholders and other interested parties on the need for additional nuclear safety legislative measures at Euratom level.
> View Notice of Public Consultation

 

Council of the European Union adopts new statutes of the Euratom Supply Agency

Council Decision of 12 February 2008 establishing Statutes for the Euratom Supply Agency (2008/114/EC, Euratom) , Official Journal of the European Union, L 41, p.15-20, 15 Feb 2008

 

Russia demands EU to drop import quota for Russian uranium

Russia is demanding the European Union to drop its policy of importing not more than 25% of its uranium requirements from Russia. (RIA Novosti Nov. 19, 2007)

 

New Radiation Protection Standards in European Union

A new directive on basic standards for radiation protection of workers and the general public has been adopted by the European Union. The directive includes revised standards taking into account the 1991 ICRP recommendations. Although it is still to be implemented by EU member states, it is to take effect no later than May 2000. [UI News Briefing 96/20]

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 96/29/EURATOM of 13 May 1996 laying down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation, 114 p., JOL1996/159-2EN
> English text: View (no tables - 82k - EUR-LEX) · Download (TIF image)
> German text: View (no tables - EUR-LEX) · Download (incl. tables - 780k PDF - BMU)

> See also:
Communication from the Commission concerning the implementation of Council Directive 96/29/Euratom laying down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of the workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionising radiation (98/C 133/03), Official Journal of the European Communities, C 133/3, April 30, 1998
Download full text (94k PDF)

See details on the revision of the the German Radiation Protection Regulations

> See also:
Practical Use of the Concepts of Clearance and Exemption :
Part I: Guidance on General Clearance Levels for Practices,
Part II: Application of the Concepts of Exemption and Clearance to Natural Radiation Sources,
Recommendations of the Group of Experts established under the terms of Article 31of the Euratom Treaty, Radiation protection 122, European Commission, Directorate-General Environment, 2000

 


Czech Republic   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

In surprise move, Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade abstains from proposal for new uranium mines

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) will not propose new uranium mining in the Czech Republic, said Deputy Minister of Industry Jiří Koliba at a public hearing on the mineral policy of the Czech Republic. After the meeting, the mayors of the four municipalities opposing the Brzkov uranium mine project said they remain vigilant. (Deník Feb. 7, 2017)

Czech government invites comment on new raw material policy

The Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade has prepared a new mineral policy. The environmental NGOs Calla and Naše budoucnost bez uranu, z. s. (Our future without uranium) fear that it opens the door to the mining of new uranium deposits, in particular at Brzkov.
> Submit comments by February 11, 2017.
> View NGO's release Jan. 25, 2017 (in Czech)
> View example comments for submission to the ministry (in Czech)
> Download new mineral policy MZP244K (in Czech)

 


Denmark   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

> See also: Greenland

 


France   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

CRIIRAD denounces plan to allow radon concentrations in homes impacted from former uranium mining at levels that would exceed 1 mSv/a dose standard 10 - 20 fold

The independent radiation laboratory CRIIRAD opposes government plans to issue a decree that would allow radon concentrations up to 300 Bq/m3 in homes that are impacted from former uranium mines. Such concentrations would cause doses of 10 - 20 mSv/a to inhabitants, 10 - 20 fold the applicable 1 mSv/a standard.
> Download CRIIRAD communique Oct. 5, 2015 (311k PDF - in French)

French authorities invite comment on revised guide for the management of sites potentially contaminated by radioactive substances

Comments are due by January 31, 2011.
> View ASN release Nov. 10, 2010 (in French)

France plans weaker regulatory scheme for uranium mill tailings

The French government plans to have deposits of radioactive mining residues, including uranium mill tailings, no longer licensed as installations nucléaires de base (INB), but as the less tighter regulated installations classées pour la protection de l'environnement (ICPE).
On Feb. 19, 2010, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) issued a favourable opinion on the proposal.

 


Finland   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

European Commission probing uranium supply contract with Russia for planned Pyhäjoki nuclear power plant

The European Commission is probing the contract between the Finnish energy consortium Fennovoima and the Russian provider of raw material for its planned nuclear power plant.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy, which recently re-approved the project, says it is not concerned by the investigation. If approved by Parliament, the plant in Pyhäjoki will be built, serviced and supplied by the Russian state-owned company Rosatom.
Earlier in the day, the business paper Kauppalehti said the Commission wants to ensure that new nuclear plant investments would not increase dependence on Russian uranium and that plants will not be dependent on Russia for fuel deliveries. According to the Commission, an opportunity to switch suppliers must be a condition for all new investments. (YLE Sep. 26, 2014)

Legislative proposal for new Mining Act brought before Parliament

"On 22 December 2009, the Government brought its legislative proposal for a new Mining Act before Parliament, to supersede the current Act, which entered into force in 1965. While securing the preconditions for mining and ore prospecting, the new Act takes account of environmental issues, citizens' fundamental rights, landowners' rights and municipalities' opportunities to influence decision-making." (Ministry of Employment and the Economy Dec. 22, 2009)
> Download press release Dec. 22, 2009 (PDF)
> Download Mining Act proposal (703k PDF - unofficial English translation)

Finnish local councils may be given veto right on uranium mines

A Finnish government working group tasked with proposing amendments to the Mining Act of 1965 said in a report that local councils should have the right to veto uranium mines. According to economic affairs minister Mauri Pekkarinen, the veto right was justified. He hopes to have an amended piece of legislation in force by 2010. (STT Oct. 8, 2008)

 


Germany   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

New European Union Basic Safety Standards may water down standards for cleanup of remaining Wismut uranium mine sites in Germany

"In December 2013, the Council of the European Union adopted new Basic Safety Standards for radiation protection which Member States are required to transpose into national law by 6 February 2018."
"In several items, the new EU Basic Safety Standards are less stringent than currently applicable regulations in the framework of the WISMUT Project. That pertains to the: Source: The New European Radiation Protection Safety Standards as Basis to Assess the Radiological State Achieved at Remediated Uranium Legacy Sites (WISMUT Sites) in Germany, by Peter Schmidt, Jens Regner, in: Broder J. Merkel, Alireza Arab (Eds.), Uranium - Past and Future Challenges, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Uranium Mining and Hydrogeology, 2014, p. 469-476

The new reference values are of particular concern for the effective dose to members of the public in certain areas of Niederschlema, where doses from radon releases of Wismut's reclaimed waste rock piles reach values of 3 - 5 mSv/a.
> View here

Germany to regulate occupational exposure to uranium

Classifications for uranium and its inorganic compounds are now available in the 2011 MAK and BAT Values List compiled by the Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area, a Senate Commission of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The current list forms the basis for legislation on the protection of health at the workplace.
"Uranium and its inorganic compounds provide a fairly comprehensive example of the work of the Commission. Thus, not only were the uranium element and its slightly soluble inorganic compounds classified as carcinogenic in animal experiments (Category 2), but they were also classified as suspects for changing gametes. Too little data are available to date for the soluble inorganic compounds so that here only a suspicion of cancer-causing effect (Category 3B) can be noted. Nor can a MAK value [max. concentration in air at the workplace] be determined since it is not clear what uranium concentration – however small – no longer causes harm. However, the Commission does specify the level of atmospheric concentration corresponding to the limit value for nuclear radiation specified by the Radiation Protection Commission. In addition, the substances received the identification "H" because absorption through the skin can contribute to health risk. There is also no biological working substance reference value (BAR value) based on scientific investigation in this case because there were large regional differences. BAR values are not threshold values but they give the "background exposure" of a material in the body – as measured, for example, in the blood – and thus set the exposure at the workplace at a level comparable to that already preexisting." (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft July 19, 2011)
> Download Liste aller Änderungen und Neuaufnahmen in der MAK- und BAT-Werte-Liste 2011 (149k PDF - in German)

German goverment throws cloak of secrecy over uranium imports

In a reply to a parliamentary question, the German government has denied to disclose the origin countries of the uranium used in Germany's nuclear power plants. Earlier, such questions had been answered appropriately using data obtained from the Euratom Supply Agency (see here).
Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ute Koczy, Sylvia Kotting-Uhl, Hans-Josef Fell, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN – Drucksache 17/5858 – Herkunft des Urans in deutschen Atomkraftwerken, Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 17/6037 , 01.06.2011 (86k PDF - in German)

In the reply to a further parliamentary question, the German government explained that the origin of the uranium could not be disclosed due to the confidentiality of the supply contracts.
Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Niema Movassat, Jan van Aken, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE – Drucksache 17/6165 – Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Umweltzerstörung durch Uranabbau in Niger, Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 17/6310 , 27.06.2011 (72k PDF - in German)

German radiation protection authority releases guideline for calculation of mining-related radiation exposures of the public and of workers

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz - BfS) has issued a guideline for the calculation of mining-related exposures of the public and of workers to radiation.
"Abstract
The present 'Calculation Bases Mining' serve to determine mining-caused radiation exposure of members of the public and of workers. They are applicable for the use, decommissioning, remediation, and reuse of mining plants and installations as well as for the use, remediation, and reuse of land contaminated as a result of mining plants and installations.
The 'Calculation Bases Mining' describe procedures and parameters to determine effective dose indoors, at underground workplaces, and outdoor, as well as for consumption of breast milk and locally produced foodstuff. The following exposure pathways are considered: external exposure due to gamma-radiation from the soil, exposure due to inhalation of dust, exposure due to inhalation of radon and its short-lived decay products, exposure from ingestion of breast milk and locally produced foodstuff (drinking water, fish, milk and milk products, Meat and meat products, leafy vegetables, other vegetable products), and exposure due to direct ingestion of soil.
In order to account for the natural level of environmental radioactivity involved in measurements, the 'Calculation Bases Mining' include levels of natural background for all relevant environmental media."
> Download: Berechnungsgrundlagen zur Ermittlung der Strahlenexposition infolge bergbaubedingter Umweltradioaktivität (Berechnungsgrundlagen - Bergbau) , BfS-SW-07/10, Mai 2010 (BfS - in German)
> Download English edition: Calculation Guide Mining: Calculation Guide for the Determination of Radiation Exposure due to Environmental Radioactivity Resulting from Mining , BfS-SW-09/11, Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS), Berlin, Sep. 5, 2011

Germany: Suit against weaker protection standards in former uranium mining area dismissed

On Dec 2, 1999, the German Federal Constitutional Court dismissed a suit against the split radiation protection regulations which are in effect in the western and eastern parts of the country. The suit had been filed by residents of Wismut's uranium mining area in Eastern Germany, where less stringent regulations than in the western part of the country are in effect.
Bundesverfassungsgericht Pressemitteilung 11.1.2000
Beschluß vom 2. Dezember 1999 - Az. 1 BvR 1580/91 -

Germany: Still no public participation with Wismut cleanup

On Oct. 2, 1997, the Federal Parliament of Germany turned down a motion of the Social Democrats proposing to submit the cleanup of Wismut's uranium mining sites in Eastern Germany to environmental assessment legislation. This means that the decommissioning of the Wismut sites is the only large scale project without opportunities for public involvement, continuing a sad history of secrecy that accompanies Wismut's activities from its beginning in the Cold War era.

Source: Woche im Bundestag, No.16, 7 Oct 1997

 


Slovakia   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Slovak parliament strengthens legal position of local authorities opposing uranium mining projects

> View here

 

Slovak NGOs file complaint with EC over reductions of their role

Twenty Slovak non-governmental organisations dedicated to the protection of human rights and the environment have filed a complaint with the European Commission over certain new pieces of legislation in Slovakia. The legislation adopted in 2007 ended the participation of civil associations in the licensing process for mining, the construction of new power plants, hazardous waste repositories and chemical factories. Current controversial projects include planned uranium mining in Jahodná (Košice region), gold mining in Kremnica (Banská Bystrica), and a plan to build a coal-fired power plant in Trebišov (Košice region). According to Peter Wilfling of the Citizen and Democracy Association, the adopted legislation falls foul of EU rules and the international Aarhus Convention on public participation in decision-making. (SK Today Feb. 7, 2008)

 


Spain   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Parliamentary groups propose uranium mining ban in Spain

On the day the deadline ended, the parliamentary groups of Unidas Podemos and PSOE jointly presented this Wednesday (Oct. 14) a text of amendments to the Climate Change Law. In it, they not only contemplate increasing the cut in greenhouse gases by 2030, but also introduce a veto on uranium mining in Spain. If the proposal goes ahead, it will foreseeably mean the end of the controversial and worth millions Berkeley project in Retortillo (Salamanca), where the Australian company planned to open the largest open-pit uranium mine in Europe. (ABC Oct. 14, 2020)

Miner Berkeley appeals to Spain's Supreme Court over nuclear watchdog nominees

Berkeley Energia has appealed to Spain's Supreme Court against the nomination of new members to the country's nuclear safety council (CSN ), which is due to assess the Australian company's uranium mine project near Salamanca.
The court, in a document released on Thursday (Apr. 4), said it had rejected a request from Berkeley to urgently suspend a government decree last week which named four new members to the CSN's five-strong board, which rules on the safety of nuclear and radioactive facilities.
The proposed new members include an ecological activist, who has campaigned against Berkeley's mine project.
The court gave the government 10 days to offer its side of the story before deciding how to proceed. (Reuters Apr. 4, 2019)

 


Sweden   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Swedish ban on uranium exploration and mining

Aura Energy lodges compensation claim for loss of Hggn mining project due to Sweden's uranium ban:
> View here

Swedish parliament establishes ban on uranium exploration and mining: On May 16, 2018, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdagen) passed an amendment to the Environmental Code banning uranium mining in the country. There will also be no exploration permits issued for uranium. The ban will be in effect from August 1, 2018.
> View: Swedish Parliament release, May 18, 2018 (in Swedish)
> Download: Swedish Parliament document: Prohibition of uranium extraction (NU13) (609kB PDF - in Swedish)

Swedish government proposes ban on uranium: The government proposes that all extraction of uranium in Sweden be prohibited by amendments to the Environmental Code. (Dagens Nyheter Mar. 2, 2018)

 


Switzerland   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Bern Canton government demands full disclosure of origin of uranium used in Swiss nuclear power plants

For the Bern Canton government it is unacceptable that utility BKW FMB Energie AG cannot fully trace back the origins of the uranium used in its Mühleberg nuclear powert plant. In response to a parliamentary initiative, BKW only was able to identify the process steps of enrichment and fuel fabrication, but not the origin of the uranium itself. This meant that the uranium might have originated from dubious sources. Therefore, the Canton government now plans to press for an obligation for all Swiss power plants to declare the origins of the uranium used and to abstain from purchasing uranium from dubious sources. (Handelszeitung Dec. 20, 2010)

 


Ukraine   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Residents of areas near nuclear facilities in Ukraine to receive risk compensation

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has passed a bill proposing to create a mechanism for the payment of social and economic compensation for risks to residents of surveillance areas near nuclear facilities. A total of 310 of the 384 MPs registered in the hall voted for amendments to some laws of Ukraine on April 6.
The bill proposes to entitle the residents of areas close to enterprises extracting and processing uranium ore, nuclear plants, and facilities treating radioactive waste to receive social and economic compensation for their exposure to risks from the activity of such enterprises, nuclear plants and facilities treating radioactive waste.
The document proposes to establish a duty that would be collected as a percentage proportion to the cost of construction of nuclear facilities, which will be paid by national enterprises or contractors for the construction of new nuclear plants or facilities treating radioactive waste. (Kyiv Post Apr. 8, 2011)

Ukrainian President signs earlier vetoed law on social protection of population living near uranium ore processing plants

Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has signed amendments to legislation on the social protection of people living near uranium ore processing plants, nuclear plants and facilities designed to hold nuclear waste, the presidential press service reported on Dec. 1. The law deals with financial and economic issues concerning operating organizations' fulfillment of the law on the use of nuclear energy and nuclear safety, with regard to improving the living and labor conditions of citizens living near uranium ore processing plants, nuclear plants and facilities designed to hold nuclear waste. (Kyiv Post Dec. 2, 2009)

 


United Kingdom   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

UK government says providing information on origin countries of imported uranium would be "prohibitively expensive"

"Uranium: Imports

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much uranium has been imported from each country for civilian uses in each year since 1997. [320983]
Mr. Kidney: Uranium comes in many different forms. Providing a list of all forms, from all countries, would be prohibitively expensive."
[UK House of Commons, Daily Hansard - Written Answers, 6 Apr 2010 : Column 1229W]

 


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