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Parliamentary questions
19 November 2003
WRITTEN QUESTION by Maurizio Turco (NI) to the Commission

 Subject:  Sudden unilateral decision by the Italian Council of Ministers to locate a national radioactive waste storage facility in the municipality of Scanzano Jonico

Knowing that:

on 13 November this year the Italian Council of Ministers approved a decree-law for the immediate disposal of radioactive waste produced on the territory of Italy by creating a national dump in the municipality of Scanzano Jonico in the province of Matera. About 60 million cubic metres of second and third category nuclear waste, i.e. waste which decays in the medium or long term and has accumulated as a result of the decommissioning of Italian power stations and research activities, would be transported to the site;
the decision was taken suddenly and unilaterally by the Italian government;
Council Directive 89/618/Euratom(1) of 27 November 1989 was transposed into Italian national law under Title X ("Nuclear emergency") of Decree-Law No 230 of 17 March 1995, but no implementing decrees have yet been issued as regards:
(a) the creation of a standing committee on information to be given the task of drawing up precautionary information and stating the appropriate channels of communication for disseminating such information (envisaged in Article 133);
(b) indicating the authorities and entities which should arrange for the dissemination of the precautionary information (envisaged in Article 134);
(c) the cases in which the emergency plans applicable to the transport of radioactive materials are to be applied and the procedures for doing so (envisaged in Article 125).

the European Commission is contributing funding of EUR 743 million to the Objective 1 programme in the Region of Basilicata during the period 2000-2006. Chapter 2 — "Development Strategy" of the ROP (Regional Operational Programme) for Basilicata states that sustainable development is the underlying aim of the ROP and therefore makes the policies which most directly and on an inter-sectoral basis protect environmental health (protection of ecosystems, soil protection, water use and waste management) particularly important, since the environmental character of the region creates a positive image and intrinsic economic value. Furthermore, the description of the area points out that most jobs are in the agricultural processing industry (fruit, vegetable and animal products).

Can the Commission say:

what steps it will take in response to Italy's sudden and unilateral adoption of the decision and its failure to adopt the decrees implementing European Directive 89/618/Euratom?
what steps it will take if the Italian government's move to concentrate the nuclear waste in Basilicata proves to be in conflict with the region's natural character as described in the documentation justifying the funding and in the development guidelines funded by the European Union?

(1)OJ L 357, 7.12.1989, p. 31.

Original language of question: ITOJ C 782 E, 27/03/2004 (p. 231)
Last updated: 21 January 2005Legal notice