The safety of spent fuel and radioactive waste management, decommissioning and remediation are areas of high importance for the IAEA and the European Commission (EC). On these topics, the IAEA and the EC have collaborated for several decades to continually strengthen and improve cooperation and synergies.
EU Member States have also taken steps to further the safe and responsible management of spent fuel and radioactive waste generated by nuclear applications, research, education, medical and industrial activities. This included agreeing on a EURATOM Directive in 2011, so called "waste directive", which establishes a "framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste".
Joint effort to enhance the safe management of radioactive waste and spent fuel
The IAEA integrated peer review service for radioactive waste and spent fuel management, decommissioning and remediation programmes (ARTEMIS) plays a key role in providing a cross-cutting peer review service for Member States worldwide, as well as in relation to the peer review obligations stemming from the EU Directive on waste management.
The comprehensive nature of ARTEMIS review service makes it a suitable avenue for those IAEA Member States, that are seeking to meet the obligations of the European Union 2011 Waste Directive, which requires peer reviews in these nuclear areas every ten years (Council Directive 2011/70/EURATOM).
Memorandum of Understanding
In 2013, the IAEA and the EC signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Nuclear Safety to reinforce collaboration between the two organizations. The Memorandum outlined an enhanced framework for their continued future activities. Among the specific areas of cooperation listed in the document is the following:
" Provision of IAEA peer reviews of radioactive waste and spent fuel management of the IAEA Member States which are Member States of EURATOM, that so request, in accordance with IAEA Safety Standards and in line with the Council Directive 2011/70/EURATOM of 19 July 2011 establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste."