Motion for a resolution - B7-0243/2011Motion for a resolution
B7-0243/2011

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on lessons to be drawn for nuclear safety in Europe following the nuclear accident in Japan

4.4.2011

to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Bairbre de Brún, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Nikolaos Chountis, Elie Hoarau, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Marisa Matias on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

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

Procedure : 2011/2650(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
B7-0243/2011
Texts tabled :
B7-0243/2011
Texts adopted :

B7‑0243/2011

European Parliament resolution on lessons to be drawn for nuclear safety in Europe following the nuclear accident in Japan

The European Parliament,

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

A. whereas more than 12 000 people were killed in Japan as the tsunami triggered by Friday 11 March earth-quake surged across the coastline, struck whole towns and the nuclear power plant of Fukushima Daiichi,

B.  whereas the international nuclear safety standards should be strengthen,

C. whereas, besides the nuclear accidents at Windscale in Britain in 1957, that sent a radioactive plume into the air showering radio nuclides across the country and into northern Europe, or the well known accident at Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979, at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986 or the manipulation of security data at the English reprocessing plant in Sellafield or in the Japanese nuclear energy station in Tepco, during the last 12 years France, Germany, Sweden and Hungary had relevant nuclear accidents that have not to be neglected,

D. whereas in 2007 Japan already faced a similar accident due to a serious 6.8 earth quake that damaged the reactor complex in Kashiwazaki, resulting in transformers catching fire, leakage of radioactive liquids and finally obliged the Tokyo Electric Power Co., the same operator in the Fukushima plant to shut down the massive seven unit power plant for lasting years,

E.  whereas the accident in Japan shows that the Japanese national safety regulatory authority is not sufficient and therefore it should be reinforced and all the national safety regulatory authorities should be publicly owned and accountable,

F.  whereas the Energy Council on March 21st agreed that the European Commission will lay down by next June in cooperation with Member states common standards and criteria in order to submit the existing 143 nuclear installations in the EU to a comprehensive risk and safety assessment, so called stress tests since nothing has been done so far in this field,

G. whereas these stress tests to be carried out by the second half of 2011 are only on a voluntary basis and there are not yet envisaged neither which are the precautionary measures to be taken during the ongoing tests nor which will be the binding decisions regarding the future of those nuclear installations not responding in a safe way to such stress tests,

H. whereas the European Council reiterates on March 25th that these tests will be carried under the responsibility of the Member states while, taking into account that a lot of nuclear installations are located near national borders, an European common safety approach and cooperation is needed to ensure a EU wide level of protection,

I.   whereas the consequences of a nuclear accident, taking into account that no other technology is faced with a similar threat in term of risk of irreversible contamination of air and natural resources, foodstuffs, feeding stuffs and human beings, are not limited in their dramatic impact within the national border of countries hosting nuclear installations where eventual accident could happen,

J.   whereas there is an urgent need to further reinforce all the three pillars of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), namely non-proliferation, disarmament and the control mechanisms for civilian use of nuclear energy, stepping-up of efforts to secure the universal and effective implementation of non-proliferation rules and instruments, in particular by improving and reinforcing means of verification,

1.  Reiterates its supports to the people of Japan affected by this nuclear accident which was the most important tragedy with severe consequences for people and the environment as well and therefore stresses that lessons have to be drawn from this catastrophe around the world;

2.  Affirms that a phasing out strategy of nuclear energy in the medium and long term is necessary , as already occurred in Germany and in Spain;

3.  Calls for a moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants in accordance with the precautionary principle and insists on the fact that no nuclear power stations should be built on seismic areas;

4.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to rethink their energy policy after the accident and to increase the target for renewable energy and heighten energy efficiency standards and to ensure proper funding for energy from renewable sources, energy efficiency and energy savings measures and also provide the incentives for research and innovation in this field;

5.  Insists that the stress tests should be compulsory with common highest standards taking into account multiple and complex factors from the geological safe location of nuclear power plants and their exposure to hazardous risk events up to the review and update of emerging procedures, thus including such assessments in the national legislative nuclear safety framework as requested by the directive 2009/71;

6.  Asks that the stress tests should assess the reliability of the whole production chain of nuclear production, the lifecycle of the installation starting from assessing the planning, construction requirements, production, transport and waste treatment and measures undertaken for safe spent fuel storage;

7.  Urges the European Commission and the Member States to ensure a high level of information and transparency to all citizens, relevant stakeholders, trade unions, and environmental associations regarding the calendar and the output of the stress tests, including the consequent decisions to be undertaken when the tested installations showed critical and unacceptable safety issues for their present and future operation, in this regard urges the need for a public debate about the way to fulfil the needs of energy to come in the future and the necessity to increase the safety, the diversity and the fight against climate change;

8.  Suggests Member States, in the meanwhile of preparing a comprehensive risk and safety assessment regarding their nuclear installations, to undertake when appropriate eventual decision of temporary closing those nuclear plants already operating for more than 25 years, as a precautionary measure waiting for a definitive and safe assessment of their lifecycle; Member states should undertake appropriate measures, by means of cooperation, to avoiding that such temporary provisions could imply an additional unsustainable financial charge to the final consumer;

9.  Stresses the need to involve by means of using funds provided in the Reg.300/2007 our neighbouring countries, in particular the accession countries and the ones more affected by earth quake risk as located in seismic areas, to apply to similar safe tests to their existing nuclear installations or to reassess their planned installations and requirements for the on going calls for tender in order to comply with updated stricter safety provisions;

10. Stresses, that strengthening the NPT as the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime is of vital importance and that every effort should thus be made to implement the treaty in all its aspects; affirms that for multilateral efforts to be effective they must be pursued within a well developed vision of achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world at the earliest possible date;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Member state governments and parliaments, the Euratom and the ENSREG.