Report of Council group on atomic questions, 9 September 2002

September 18, 2002

Brussels, 17 September 2002

Full text of Document 11991/02

Proposal for a Council Decision approving a Commission Regulation on the application of Euratom Safeguards. Outcome of proceedings from Atomic Questions Group (Experts) on 9 September 2002

13 September 2002

No. prev. doc.: 11334/02 ATO 100 CONOP 15; No. Cion prop.: 7549/02 ATO 42 CONOP 6 ( COM(2002) 99 final)

The Commission representative elaborated on the waste reporting aspects of the Commission proposal, indicating in particular that, in response to developments since the adoption of Regulation 32/76 , the current proposal seeks to:
- clarify definitions on different categories of waste (e.g. irrecoverably discarded vs. stored or conditioned waste),
- improve the monitoring of waste transactions (e.g. retransfers to inventory),
- take into account the Euratom waste policy (in particular Annexes XIII and XIV of the proposal) as well as the Additional Protocol (Annexes XII and XV).

Delegations' interventions mostly related to the understanding of the coverage of the proposal, the definitions, the envisaged changes in reporting and consistency with the Treaty and the Additional Protocol. Further to earlier discussions (doc. 10993/02 ) and in response to queries by delegations, the Commission representative offered following clarifications:

- the proposal only covers materials involved in nuclear fuel cycle;

- "measured discards" (LD) category of the existing regulation has been split into two, whereby a new category "discards to the environment" (TE) has been introduced; in this context, it could be noted that, in accordance with definition (8) of Article 2 and in contrast to "retained " or "conditioned" waste, such waste irrecoverably discarded to the environment has no owner;

- the following key waste transactions are envisaged in the proposal:

a) concerning retained waste (subject to inventory change report, ICR):

i) in waste producing installations:
- "transfer to retained waste" (TW)
- if shipped out: "retransfer from retained waste" (FW) and "shipment" (SD)

ii) in waste receiving installations:

- "receipt" (RD), followed by "transfer to retained waste" (TW) or "transfer to conditioned waste" (TC), as appropriate;

b) concerning conditioned waste (not subject to ICR):

i) in waste producing installations:
- "transfer to conditioned waste" (TC)
- if shipped out: reporting in accordance with Annex XIII

ii) in waste receiving installations:
- no report required except in case of receipt from abroad or from a site with no material balance area (MBA) code, in which cases Annex XIV applies;
- it follows from above that a "lighter" regime of declarations is proposed for conditioned waste;
- pursuant to Article 12, the initial inventory of waste needs to be reported; however, for conditioned waste no new measurements would be necessary;
- Thorium is included in the proposal (Annex III, point 14) as this was considered to be in line with the Euratom waste policy although not referred to in the Additional Protocol in this context;
- repackaging will only fall under full safeguards reporting if it involves separation of isotopes;

As to the procedure, it was agreed that:
- experts will transmit their written questions and comments to the co-ordinator, the Presidency and the Council Secretariat by September;
- in parallel, the Commission will provide, where feasible, further information in response to questions already raised, which could include illustrative examples from countries where a system similar to the one proposed is already in place;
- the co-ordinator will present his report for discussion in the Group on 16 October (it is recalled that in the similar approach followed for group 1 and 2 technical questions (doc. 11334/02 ), the co-ordinator integrates the experts' questions and observations and transmits them to Commission, Presidency, and Council Secretariat; the Commission then transmits answers and clarifications and the co-ordinator finally integrates Members States views and Commission answers into a reference document containing results and open issues to be discussed by the Group).

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