Written by Marcin Szczepański,
Euratom was created in 1957 to further European integration and tackle energy shortages through the peaceful use of nuclear power. It has the same members as the European Union and is governed by the Commission and Council, operating under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Euratom regulates the European civil nuclear industry, which produces almost 30 % of energy in the EU. Euratom’s work safeguards nuclear materials and technology, facilitates investment, research and development, and ensures equal access to nuclear supplies, as well as the correct disposal of nuclear waste and the safety of operations. Its main instruments are the Euratom Supply Agency, and its research and nuclear safeguard activities. Notably, Euratom is involved in developing atomic fusion technology which has the potential of delivering abundant sustainable energy in the future.
In March 2017, the United Kingdom officially notified the EU of its intention to withdraw from the Union and the Euratom Community. In the context of the negotiations which commenced in June 2017, the Commission has published a position paper outlining the main principles of the EU position concerning Euratom. Possible impacts on both Euratom and the UK nuclear industry are yet to be determined.
Read this briefing on ‘Understanding the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom)‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.