The European Commission, DG XII, has published a "Handbook on decommissioning of nuclear installations", compiled within the framework of the European Atomic Energy Community's research programme on the decommissioning of nuclear installations (1989-1993). The aim of the handbook is to provide an authoritative compact compilation of the technology used in the decommissioning of nuclear installations (ie. the set of administrative and technical actions which are taken to retire a nuclear installation from service after its useful life, with adequate regard to the health and safety of members of the public, of decommissioning workers and or the environment). Issues covered by the handbook include: - Characterization of radioactivity; - Surface decontamination; - Dismantling and segmentation; - Management of materials from dismantling; - Radiation protection and safety techniques; - Installation design and operating features. Given the speed at which decommissioning techology is evolving, it is envisaged to update this handbook after a period of approximately five years.