Procedure : 2011/2650(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0237/2011

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 06/04/2011 - 12
CRE 06/04/2011 - 12

Votes :

PV 07/04/2011 - 6.2
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0236/2011

to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the Commission statement – Lessons to be drawn for nuclear safety in Europe following the nuclear accident in Japan

Marita Ulvskog on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on the Commission statement – Lessons to be drawn for nuclear safety in Europe following the nuclear accident in Japan  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Council Directive 2009/71/EURATOM of 25 June 2009, on establishing a Community framework for the safety of nuclear installations,

–   having regard to the European Parliament's report on nuclear safety,

–   having regard to the European Parliament's report on maximum permitted levels for foodstuffs and feedingstuff, of 16 February 2011,

–   having regard to the European Parliament's resolution on the problem of nuclear safety fifteen years after the Chernobyl accident, and its health consequences, of 3 May 2001,

–   having regard to the Energy Council's conclusions of 28 February and 21 March,

–   having regard to the European Council's conclusions of 25 March,

–   having regard to the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in Japan,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the nuclear accident in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant subsequent to the earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Japan on 11 March, has had far reaching consequences, beyond the material aspects, impacting on human health and the environment, the full extent of which is yet to be determined,

B.  whereas the actual cause of the failure of the cooling systems, which lead to the various hazardous situations in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants, was the blackout of the power supply; and that power blackouts can occur in all the Member States due to a variety of factors,

C. whereas despite major concerns raised by the accident in Japan, nuclear energy will likely remain part of the current energy mix in the future, including in many EU member states and therefore the highest available levels of safety must be ensured in all power plants in order to prepare for unexpected hazardous situations in the best possible way,

D. whereas the Energy Council's conclusions underline the importance of a comprehensive energy strategy to ensure EU citizens, industry and economy with safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy, contributing to European competitiveness, and recognise in this respect the importance of a fully integrated energy market and energy infrastructure,


E.  whereas the nuclear accident has reiterated the need for a major shift in Europe's energy paradigm with the call for a rapid introduction of measures such as increase in renewable energies, a binding energy savings target, together with the appropriate tax and financial incentives,

F.  whereas there is a need to analyse how this major shift in Europe's energy policy is to be achieved and for continued and consistent support schemes for renewable energy sources, namely renewable energies, and for effectively addressing any barriers to their wider deployment,

G. whereas security of supply should not be achieved at the expense of the safety of energy production-related activities, and priority must be given to demand side measures for energy and ensuring that the means for the production of electricity are diversified,

H. whereas in parallel with further deepened research into nuclear waste management solutions, it is necessary to pursue research into the effects of radiation, and also research aimed at improving the safety of existing power plants. Stresses however that this must not come at the expense of the research into alternative forms of energies, such as renewables and calls for a rapid increase in the financing of R&D&I into other sustainable forms of energies,

I.   whereas the consequences of a nuclear accident go beyond national borders, and therefore close cooperation, coordination and information within the European Union and with neighbouring third countries needs to be pursued in order to better manage an eventual nuclear accident,

J.   whereas neighbouring countries plan the construction of nuclear plants in areas of high seismic and floods risk,

K. whereas, there is a clear need for an open public dialogue on nuclear energy in every Member State in order to stimulate public awareness of the effects of nuclear power before any political decisions are taken,

L.  whereas a stepping up of democratic procedures based upon transparency and a high level of information need to be ensured with the involvement of all stakeholders, including citizens,

M. whereas the organization of labour in the nuclear industry in Europe today takes the form of large-scale subcontracting, with training that is not always adequate, dangerous exposure levels for the workers concerned, and probably a loss of ultimate control over reliability at the most critical stages of processes,

N. whereas the EURATOM treaty was signed in 1957 and expectations with regard to nuclear energy, to which the Euratom Treaty gave expression five decades ago, have to be reassessed,

1.  Extends its full support and sympathy to the people of Japan affected by this nuclear accident and to the energy workers who are at the frontline in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant;

2.  Recognises that it is important to learn any immediate lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and to aim for the highest levels of safety in line with the fundamental principles of nuclear safety;

3.  Welcomes the Commission's proposal to introduce a comprehensive risk and safety assessment ("stress tests") of all EU nuclear power plants, but regrets that these are only to be carried out on a voluntary basis; additionally, calls upon the Commission to quickly come forward with a concrete proposal outlining the specific requirements and elements of the above mentioned "stress tests" which must be conducted by independent entities; highlights the need to involve neighbouring third countries in a similar safety and risk assessment for existing and eventual future plants;

4.  Stresses that the "stress tests" should take into account the wider situation of multiple and complex causes, as the earthquake in Japan was not in itself the cause for the nuclear accident in Japan; furthermore, "stress tests" should include the whole production chain, including transport and waste treatment and storage;

5.  Calls for results of those "stress tests" to be made public and for the whole exercise to be conducted in an open and transparent way; insists to be informed in the same manner on the eventual measures taken by the Commission and the Member States in the aftermath of those tests;

6.  Criticises the decision of the European Council at its meeting on 24/25 March 2011 that stress-tests should take place under the auspices of national authorities and through peer review instead of by a common European approach;

7.  Calls on the Commission to propose a front runner model for existing nuclear power plants, where every nuclear power plant should be modelled to the best available techniques and safety standards; stress tests should identify these front runners among the Member States and help provide a structured overview of a possible phasing out of nuclear plants;

8.  Calls on Member States to prepare possible strategies for a medium or long-term phasing out of nuclear energy and to inform cross-border regional and local authorities of their national programmes at the earliest possible date, if implementation is likely to have cross-border effects;

9.  Calls on the Commission, the Council and the Member States to take any appropriate measures in order to ensure that nuclear plants will not be constructed in areas of high seismic and floods risk in the EU and in neighbouring countries; construction of nuclear power plants on the EU's external borders shall be in compliance with international nuclear safety environmental standards;

10. Urges the Member States and the Commission to undertake joint responsibility in strengthening international nuclear safety standards and their proper implementation, in close cooperation with the IAEA, Espoo and other relevant international organizations; invites the Commission to present by June 2011 an inclusive action plan with concrete steps on how it will be achieved;

11. Stresses that a stepping up of democratic procedures based upon transparency and a high level of information need to be ensured with the involvement of all stakeholders, including trade unions and citizens;

12. Demands that public authorities receive direct online access to the operating data of nuclear facilities, i.e. data about the functioning of the power plant; in the case of nuclear power plants near national borders, the same shall apply to the authorities of the neighbour regions;

13. Calls upon the Commission to come forward with proposals on the completion of the regulatory framework for nuclear safety and investment plans for all nuclear installations throughout the lifecycle and the entire production chain such as nuclear power plants security, transport, waste treatment and spent fuel storage facilities with the purpose to introduce maximum binding safety standards across the EU;

14. Calls, with regard to the proposed directive on the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste (COM(2004) 526 final), for the introduction of the polluter pays principle, taking due account of the responsibility of radioactive waste producers;

15. Calls on the Member States to maintain and bolster human resources skills and working conditions necessary for the lifetime of power plants, for the decommissioning phase and for nuclear waste management;

16. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to reflect on the EU’s energy policy by considering the introduction of new climate legislation incorporating higher targets, binding energy efficiency standards; rapid increase of the amount of renewable energy sources in Europe with the investments into appropriate grid and storage infrastructure, incentives for research and innovation and introduction of energy and CO2 taxation at the EU level; further calls on the Commission and Member States to encourage significant investment into energy efficient infrastructure through public procurement rules which favour energy efficient solutions;

17. Calls on the Commission and the Council to increase the legally binding renewable energy target to a share of 30% renewable energies by 2020, to set long term objectives to enable a profound switch towards 45% renewable energy production by 2030 and 95% renewable energy production by 2050;

18. Calls on the Commission to examine and propose various scenarios of a future European energy mix without nuclear energy, by doing so indicating the consequential steps to be taken to still meet the medium and long-term energy and climate targets;

19. Calls upon the Council in its future revision of the Lisbon Treaty to include matters related to nuclear energy under the heading of Article 194 of the treaty;

20. Calls for the abolition of article 1 of the EURATOM Treaty and the inclusion of radiation protection and of chapter 7 of the EURATOM Treaty on safeguards, including non-proliferation, into the Lisbon Treaty; Urges to find a unified and comprehensive institutional set up for the EU's energy policy primarily in the framework of the Lisbon Treaty;

21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the EURATOM and ENSREG.

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