Report of meeting of Council Working Party on Atomic Questions, 27 February 2002

March 12, 2002

Brussels, 11 March 2002

Meeting of the Working Party on Atomic Questions on February 2002. Memorandum. Brussels, 4 March 2002 (07.03) (document 6813/02 ATO 34). Full text

1. Draft Council Resolution on the establishment of national systems for surveillance and control in the recycling of metallic materials in the Member States

Delegations continued examining the above draft on the basis of 5868/1/02. Although most paragraphs were broadly acceptable to delegations, a number of comments were made on the basis of which the Presidency would prepare a revised version of the draft.

2. Proposal for a Council Decision on extension of the Joint Undertaking status of Hochtemperatur-Kernkraftwerk GmbH (HKG)
Proposal for a Council Decision on extension of the advantages conferred on the Joint Undertaking Hochtemperatur-Kernkraftwerk GmbH (HKG)

With regard to extension of the status, the Chairman noted delegations' agreement; the proposal would therefore be added, as an "I/A" item, to the agenda for Coreper/Council once the formalities were completed.

With regard to extension of the advantages conferred, apart from a scrutiny reservation by the United Kingdom delegation, the only issue outstanding was the seventh recital, for which the Irish delegation (supported by DK/GR/I/A) proposed replacing "and the future development of nuclear energy in the Community" by "in the management of radioactive waste arising from decommissioning. This experience is particularly important in the light of the increasing number of decommissionings which will take place in the Community in the future.".

B/F/NL/UK preferred a more balanced wording which would reflect both aspects (development and decommissioning).

The Presidency would distribute a revised version of the text, incorporating a balanced wording of the recital in question.

3. Protocol amending the Paris Convention on third party liability in the field of nuclear energy

The Commission representative reported that the written procedure begun in the Commission had been suspended on 25 February. Given the uncertainty with regard to resumption of the procedure, the Commission representative was not in a position to say either what the legal basis would be for proposing any negotiating brief or to what extent and under what terms the specific position of the three Member States not party to the Convention would be taken into account.

Since the Chairman was able to confirm that the text annexed to 6262/1/02 could be circulated as a Presidency Note, the Irish delegation withdrew its reservation. The document, which set out the support for option (iii) in 15571/01 and asked the Commission to agree to that option, could provide input for the discussions of the Council's Committee on Civil Law Matters and would be forwarded to the Commission.

4. Proposal for a Council Decision to approve on behalf of the European Atomic Energy Community the "International Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management"
Proposal for a Council Decision to conclude for the European Community (EC) the "International Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management"

The Commission representative presented a non-paper stating for each Article whether it applied to the two Communities and/or if one and/or the other Community had competences in respect of it. The non-paper took account, inter alia, of the different interpretations of the term "environment" in the two Treaties (EC, EURATOM). Delegations were asked to submit any comments on the non-paper in writing.

5. Other business - Euratom-Japan

The Commission representative said that since the text had been initialled by the Japanese authorities, it could be circulated within three working days of the meeting.

With regard to the linguistic arrangements for the Agreement and the examples of simplified arrangements referred to by the Japanese side during the negotiations, the Commission representative mentioned an Agreement relating to the Treaty of Tlatelolco. The Netherlands delegation pointed out that at the time of conclusion of the Agreement, it had been agreed that the simplified arrangements would be implemented on an exceptional basis. The Commission was asked to supply other examples.

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