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EURATOM: FRANCE BLACKLISTED FOR POOR PUBLIC INFORMATION ON RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCIES.

The Commission complained that France's transposition of the definition of "radiological emergency" was incomplete and the scope of transposition measures was therefore more restricted than that of the Directive. Second, they only applied to nuclear reactors with over 10 MW of power, whereas the Directive clearly applies to all nuclear reactors. Third, they only applied to emergencies involving facilities and activities situated in France. The second complaint concerned the terms "significant release of radioactive material" and "abnormal levels of radioactivity which are likely to be detrimental to public health", which were not defined in French legislation. In the third complaint, the Commission concluded that certain sections of the population likely to be affected in the event of a radiological emergency were therefore not covered by the national transposition measures. The fourth complaint relates to the absence of guarantees that the population actually affected by a radiological emergency would be informed "without delay". The fifth complaint referred to the requirement of legal certainty established by the Court's case-law. The sixth and final complaint concerned the identification of the authorities responsible for implementing the measures and concluded that the practice in France of indicating the responsible authorities in the media through which information is transmitted (e.g. brochures) cannot be deemed sufficient. France is currently facing other complaints before the ECJ concerning the transposition of Euratom legislation on radiation protection.

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Council Directive 89/618/Euratom of November 27, 1989, on informing the general public about health protection measures to be applied and steps to be taken in the event of a radiological emergency, aims to ensure that the general public likely to be affected or actually affected in the case of a radiological emergency is provided with the information set out in the annexes to the directive. This information is to be provided as a matter of course, without any prior request having to be made (Article 5). Where a radiological emergency occurs, the prescribed information is to be provided to the affected population without delay (article 6). Persons who may be involved in providing emergency assistance must be given information on the possible effects of their intervention on their health (Article 7). In all these cases, it must be indicated which authorities are responsible for implementing the emergency measures (Article 8). The scope of these information obligations is determined by the term radiological emergency, which is defined in Articles 2 and 3 of the Directive. The deadline for transposing the Directive expired on November 27, 1991.

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Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jul 3, 2004
Words:415
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