Parliamentary questions
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20 April 2011

Question for oral answer O-000103/2011

to the Commission

Rule 115

Richard Seeber, Libor Rouček, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Leonidas Donskis, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Zigmantas Balčytis, Vytautas Landsbergis, Algirdas Saudargas, Gianni Pittella, Adam Gierek, Louis Grech, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Bogusław Sonik, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Jo Leinen, Proinsias De Rossa, Alexander Mirsky, Kyriakos Mavronikolas, Theodoros Skylakakis, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Ivari Padar, Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, Indrek Tarand, Rolandas Paksas, Juozas Imbrasas, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Elisabeth Köstinger, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Miroslav Mikolášik, Antonyia Parvanova, Anna Záborská, Bas Eickhout, Oreste Rossi, Kristiina Ojuland, Peter Liese, Satu Hassi, Marisa Matias, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Chris Davies, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Elmar Brok, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Krišjānis Kariņš, Bendt Bendtsen, Alajos Mészáros, Fiona Hall, Tunne Kelam, Inese Vaidere, Marita Ulvskog, Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Sandra Kalniete, Vittorio Prodi, Anna Rosbach, Andrzej Grzyb, Konrad Szymański, Mario Mauro, Alf Svensson, Valdemar Tomaševski, Viktor Uspaskich

  Subject: Nuclear safety in the EU neighbourhood

The nuclear tragedy in Japan has triggered obvious concerns over the safety of existing and future nuclear power plants. The Council concluded on 25 March 2011 that the EU will also promote internationally the highest standards for nuclear safety and will request neighbouring countries to carry out ‘stress tests’ on existing and planned plants. Two nuclear power plants (NPPs) are currently planned in close proximity to the EU’s borders. The lack of transparency and cooperation with the EU Member States affected raises major concerns already at an early development phase as to possible violations of the provisions of numerous international conventions on nuclear safety and poses threats to the marine environment of the Baltic Sea area. The European Parliament in its resolution of 6 July 2010 on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the role of macro-regions in the future cohesion policy emphasised that EU countries have to follow the strictest safety and environmental standards and the Commission has to watch and monitor whether the same approach and international conventions are followed in neighbouring countries, especially in those that are planning to build nuclear power plants near external EU borders.

Does the Commission agree that the EU and its Member States have a joint responsibility to ensure and strengthen nuclear safety in the existing and future nuclear power facilities, both in the European Union and in the third countries in its close neighbourhood? Is the Commission considering including nuclear safety issues in its external policies with neighbouring third countries? Does the Commission plan to use any other instruments in cooperation with the IAEA and other relevant international bodies to facilitate safe nuclear expansion at the EU’s external borders? How will the Commission ensure monitoring of such NPPs at the EU’s external borders in cooperation with the IAEA, Espoo and other relevant international bodies? Will the Commission seek an official reassessment of the projects, in case they fail international standards? In the Commission’s opinion, could the rules on EU electricity imports, such as banning imports of nuclear power which do not meet recognised safety standards (‘dirty power’), become an active leverage to implement the highest nuclear security and safety standards in NPPs outside the EU?

Tabled: 20.4.2011

Forwarded: 26.4.2011

Deadline for reply: 3.5.2011

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