The European Commission has announced plans to simplify European Union (EU) rules on a range of nuclear topics, part of a major overhaul of EU legislation that has been unveiled by the current commission.

In a bid to make European laws more user-friendly, Brussels has said it would:

  • Recast ten directives, decisions and recommendations on nuclear safety into one directive on “the protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation.” This would incorporate directives on nuclear worker health and safety, public radiation protection, radioactive waste shipments, dealing with radiological emergencies, controlling radioactive sources, medical radiation, indoor radon, and others.
  • Combine four regulations on maximum levels of radioactivity in food and animal feed following a nuclear accident.
  • Marry two regulations restricting food imports potentially contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster.
  • Simplify rules for supplying Euratom institutions with ores, source materials and fissile materials.

EU industry commissioner Günter Verheugen, who has promoted this initiative, said: “It will greatly simplify the EU rulebook. This will have a positive effect on the competitiveness of our economy. But better regulation is not deregulation. The policy objectives do not change, but the way to get there will be much easier, cheaper and more effective.”

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