Parliamentary question - O-000062/2016Parliamentary question

    State of safety of nuclear installations in Belarus


    Question for oral answer O-000062/2016
    to the Commission
    Rule 128
    Bronis Ropė, Rebecca Harms, Claude Turmes, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
    Algirdas Saudargas, Krišjānis Kariņš, Jerzy Buzek, on behalf of the PPE Group
    Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the ALDE Group
    Zigmantas Balčytis, on behalf of the S&D Group

    The safety and security of nuclear installations in the Member States as well as in neighbouring countries is of paramount importance for European citizens. The role of the Commission in ensuring European Union cooperation with third countries in this field is therefore of great political significance. The utmost importance of this mission has repeatedly been emphasised by the European Council, and it becomes even more significant in cases such as the Ostrovets nuclear power plant (NPP), currently being constructed by Belarusian authorities, at the very border of the European Union, in a way that ignores fundamental international nuclear safety and environmental regulations.

    The lack of transparency on matters pertaining to the construction of Ostrovets NPP urges us to ask the Commission the following:

    – What is the current status of the Ostrovets NPP stress test assessment foreseen in the joint declaration by the Commission and the relevant authorities of seven partner states, including Belarus, of 23 June 2011, which, inter alia, foresees the carrying out of stress test of their respective NPPs?

    – What has the Commission done to ensure that construction of the Ostrovets NPP meets the high safety standards that are applicable in the European Union? Likewise, what has the Commission done to ensure that the operation of the Ostrovets NPP, following possible commissioning, also complies the EU’s high safety standards?

    – What means does the Commission have at its disposal to verify all the information provided, or to be provided, by the Belarusian authorities?

    – What particular actions does the Commission plan to take to ensure the timely completion of the Ostrovets NPP stress test, given the expected commissioning of the plant in 2018?

    – How does the Commission plan to ensure that the stress test is performed in strict accordance with the methodology developed by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group? Is the Commission considering taking a more proactive approach in this regard by foreseeing concrete actions during the stress test process, such as following it up with a peer review, and offering to participate directly in order to speed up the process and ensure its compliance with the methodology attested as safe by the European Union?