Official Journal of the European Union

C 154/19

Action brought on 25 April 2006 — British Nuclear Group Sellafield v Commission

(Case T-121/06)

(2006/C 154/48)

Language of the case: English


Applicant: British Nuclear Group Sellafield Limited (Sellafield, United Kingdom) (represented by: J. Percival, A. Renshaw, J. Isted and G. Bushell, Solicitors and R. Plender, Barrister)

Defendant: Commission of the European Communities

Form of order sought

to annul the contested decision; or

in the alternative, to annul the measures contained in Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the contested decision;

to order the defendant to pay the costs of the proceedings; and

to take any other actions that the Court considers to be appropriate.

Pleas in law

The applicant contests the Commission's Decision of 15 February 2006 on a procedure in application of Article 83 of the Euratom Treaty (BNG Sellafield Limited). By the contested Decision, the Commission issued a warning under Article 83(1)(a) EA. The Commission alleges that the applicant infringed certain provisions of the Euratom Treaty and Regulation 302/2005 (1), which relate to its particular reporting obligations and the provisions of access to certain facilities. The Commission accordingly requested that the applicant implement specified measures within the periods prescribed in the contested decision.

In support of its application, the applicant submits, first, that the Commission lacks the competence to adopt the contested decision and the measures imposed on the applicant. According to the applicant, the Commission does not have the legal authority to adopt the measures imposed, including the measures dealing with principles of quality assurance and standards for nuclear accountancy and control, which exceed the scope of existing safeguards legislation.

The applicant submits also that the defendant infringed the principle of subsidiarity since the imposed measures encroach on the competence of the relevant national authorities.

According to the applicant, the contested decision is furthermore based, in whole or in part, on safety concerns, rather than on safeguard concerns, and accordingly Article 83 EA would not be the appropriate legal basis for the adoption of the contested decision.

The applicant submits, second, that the Commission committed an infringement of an essential procedural requirement by failing to conduct a full and proper procedure under Article 83 EA. The applicant states that the Commission did not inform it of its objections, did not offer a hearing and has violated its right of defence.

Third, the applicant invokes that the Commission, in finding that the applicant had breached its safeguards obligations, infringed the Euratom Treaty and the rules of law relating to its application by committing a manifest error of assessment and infringed the principle of legal certainty.

Fourth, the applicant invokes a violation of the principle of proportionality and legitimate expectations.

Finally, the applicant submits that the Commission infringed the applicant's right of defence and the right to a fair hearing, by breaching its duty to inform the applicant of the essence of the measures imposed by the sanction in sufficient time to afford the applicant an opportunity to comment on them before the contested decision was adopted.

(1)  Commission Regulation (Euratom) No 302/2005 of 8 February 2005 on the application of Euratom safeguards (OJ L 54, p. 1)