Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Samuel B. Angus


The accumulation of radioactive waste is increasingly becoming a world environmental crisis. Radioactive waste poses a special problem to the countries of the European Community. Europe has committed itself to nuclear power and has become one of the world's largest producers of nuclear energy. Moreover, with the 1992 unification of the European Community, nuclear energy output will increase, resulting in a growing production of radioactive waste. Within the European Community, the disposal of radioactive waste is governed by the Euratom Treaty. However, its effectiveness is sharply limited. Individual Member-states retain significant discretion under the Treaty to direct their nuclear energy policies. As a consequence, radioactive waste regulation operates in an ad-'hoc and uncoordinated manner on the Community level. Regionally, severe problems have emerged concerning radioactive waste disposal. These problems range from direct contamination of Memberstates' and third party countries' environments, ineffectual tracking of radioactive waste transported within the European Community, to the failure to respond adequately to emergency situations. This Note proposes modifying specific provisions of Euratom Treaty in order to centralize authority to govern more effectively radioactive waste in the Community.