After more than 50 years of a Euratom Community and despite detailed and wide-reaching European rules in neighbouring fields such as radiological protection, the European Union (EU) has so far been unable to adopt rules on the safety of nuclear installations and the management of nuclear waste. After highlighting the limitations of the existing international law in this field, this paper shows that the EU not only has the competency to act, but that such action is highly desirable. It then looks at past and current efforts to produce such EU regulations and analyses their characteristics and the reasons why they are being blocked by a minority of Western member states. A method is proposed to analyse the varying proposals and their inherent usefulness and desirability.
Keywords: nuclear safety, nuclear waste management, spent fuel, Euratom, EU regulation, European Union, nuclear energy, nuclear power