Thursday, 4 March 2004

Questions (17)

Emmet Stagg

Question:

13 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress he expects to be made during the Irish Presidency in regard to the proposed Council directive setting out basic obligations and general principles on the safety of nuclear installations and on the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7161/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

During its Presidency of the European Union, Ireland has sought actively to advance progress on these two proposed directives which collectively comprise the nuclear safety package. The two directives are under discussion in the European Council's Atomic Questions Working Group and to date have been addressed at three meetings of the group under the Irish Presidency. In the latter role, Ireland is seeking to find a sound consensus on this package which will enable its adoption at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Irish Presidency will continue, through dialogue, to seek and develop consensus on the directives. While there will obviously be a need for flexibility to accommodate the different views of member states, the Presidency will be guided by the need to ensure that nuclear safety is not compromised. If satisfactory consensus on the matter can be found it will be brought to the appropriate Council at the earliest possible date.