The Institute for Transuranium Elements of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre has published its 1996 Annual Report. The Institute's major work during 1996 continued to be on the safety of actinides in the nuclear fuel cycle, as part of the Nuclear Fission Safety RTD programme. Within this field, the main research areas were basic actinide research, safety of nuclear fuels, mitigation of long-lived actinides and spent fuel characterization. Other research work undertaken by the Institute in 1996 included the provision of scientific and technical support for Community policies in the area of nuclear safety and safeguards, predominantly related to the implementation of on�site laboratories at Sellafield and Cap la Hague, but also relating to nuclear safety in Eastern European countries and the Russian Federation. The Institute also carried out contractual work for a number of customers on the basis of competitive bidding.