European Atomic Energy Community


European Atomic Energy Community
(abbr EURATOM)
an organization started in 1957 with the aim of developing the use of nuclear energy within the European Community and ensuring that member countries have a supply of nuclear fuels. Euratom has no control over nuclear materials that are used for military purposes.

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      international organization established by one of the Treaties of Rome in 1958 to form a common market for the development of the peaceful uses of atomic energy (nuclear energy). The original members were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands. It subsequently has come to include all members of the European Union. Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom joined in 1973, Greece in 1981, and Portugal and Spain in 1986; the former East Germany was admitted as part of reunified Germany in 1990. In 1994 Austria, Finland, Norway, and Sweden were accepted into the European Union (and hence into Euratom), to become effective Jan. 1, 1995.

      A major incentive for the creation of Euratom was to facilitate the establishment of a nuclear-energy industry on a European rather than a national scale. Other aims of the community were to coordinate research in atomic energy, encourage the construction of nuclear-power installations, establish safety and health regulations, encourage the free flow of information and the free movement of personnel, and establish a common market for trade in nuclear equipment and materials. Euratom's control was not extended to nuclear materials intended for military use.

      The treaty establishing the community developed out of the Messina Conference of 1955 and became effective Jan. 1, 1958. The Common Market for Trade in Nuclear Material, which eliminated import and export duties within the community, came into existence in January 1959. From the beginning, Euratom has shared a Court of Justice and a Parliament with the European Economic Community (now European Community) and the European Coal and Steel Community; in July 1967, the executive bodies (the Commission and the Council of Ministers) of all three communities also were merged.

      Research has been undertaken at Euratom's own Joint Research Centre, as well as under contract with various research bodies in member countries and under agreements with other countries and international organizations.

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Universalium. 2010.

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