The European Commission is to take Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Portugal to the European Court of Justice for allegedly failing to fully implement the EU Basic Safety Standards Directive on protecting power plant workers, medical staff and patients against dangers from ionising radiation.

The legislation covers medical and industrial uses of radioactive material as well as energy generation. The directive reduces previously existing radiation exposure limits, sets new requirements for the justification for all practices involving ionising radiation, introduces the legal principle that exposures must be kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) and includes new requirements for the assessment of population exposure.

The deadline for EU member states to write these measures into national regulations was 13 May, 2000.