Europe constitutes the priority field of international action for ASN, which thereby intends contributing to the construction of a Europe of nuclear safety, of safety of management of nuclear waste and spent fuel and of radiation protection.
Chapter 3 of the Euratom Treaty concerns radiation protection and its articles 30 to 39 define the competences of the radiation protection in this respect. They constitute the legislative basis of the European directives on this subject and they define the Committees tasked with producing and following up the said directives. It is in this way that it many directives concerning radiation protection have been adopted.
The European Atomic Energy Community Treaty: created in 1957, the original purpose of the European Atomic Energy Community was to contribute to the creation and the growth of nuclear industries. Nevertheless, the Euratom Treaty does not in itself oblige the promotion of nuclear energy, nor does it contradict the current objective of openness and diversification of the energy markets. Today Euratom constitutes the framework for an abundance of secondary legislation that governs the functioning of nuclear energy, notably with regard to the radiation protection of populations and the regulation of nuclear materials, which has undoubtedly helped establish a high level of nuclear safety and security in the member states of the European Union, whatever their choices of energy sources. Chapter 3 of Euratom stipulates that "basic standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionising radiation are instituted in the Community"; these standards are drawn up by the European Commission after consulting a group of experts instituted by Article 31 of the Treaty and ruled by the Council of Ministers after consulting the European Parliament.
Five directives on radiation protection currently constitute the foundation of the French legislation and regulations with regard to radiation protection:
Directive 96/29/ Euratom on May 13, 1996 setting out the basic standards for the health protection of the general public and workers against the dangers arising from ionising radiation;
Directive 97/43/Euratom on June 30, 1997 relative to the health protection of persons against the hazards of ionising radiation during exposure for medical purposes, replacing directive 84/466 Euratom;
Directive 89/618/Euratom on 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;
Directive 90/641/Euratom on December 4, 1990 concerning the protection of outside workers exposed to the risk of ionising radiation during their activities in controlled areas;
- Directive 2003/122/Euratom on December 22, 2003on the control of high-activity sealed radioactive sources and orphan sources.
Un texte d’une nouvelle directive Euratom relative aux normes de base en radioprotection qui regroupe dans une seule directive les 5 directives précédentes en prenant compte de dernières recommandations de la CIPR (103) a été adopte le 30 mai 2013 par la Commission Européenne et le 5 décembre par le Conseil de l’UE. La nouvelle Directive a été publiée le 17 janvier 2014 dans le Journal officiel de l’Union européenne.