The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has outlined a series of steps governments should take to improve the safety of nuclear power stations in Europe and minimize the risk of accidents or terror attacks. This was reported on PACE official website, where the full text of resolution was also published.
Parliamentary Assembly at its session held a discussion on nuclear safety, noting the concerns existed since the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and the Fukushima accident. PACE said Europeans needed greater reassurance that they were being effectively protected against a nuclear accident.
"Nuclear safety concerns have been looming ever since the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and further escalated as a result of the Fukushima accident in 2011…Because the consequences of a nuclear accident – be it due to a malevolent act or a system failure – can be so widespread and very serious, the European public needs reassurance that the authorities in charge of nuclear safety and security are protecting the population effectively," the resolution stated.
The PACE also noted the need to increase preparedness for such cases, including in cross-border situations:
"As many nuclear power plants in Europe operate in close proximity to large cities and densely populated areas, including those beyond national borders, the Assembly considers that European States should provide unquestionable and “reasonably achievable” protection to these strategic objects, where appropriate in close co-operation with the neighbouring countries concerned, especially for old and dilapidated plants. It believes that emergency preparedness capacity and contingency plans should be enhanced across Europe, in particular in cross-border situations; they should be based not only on minimalistic technical considerations but also on socio-economic imperatives, realistic scenarios of meteorological conditions, local specificities and lessons drawn from recent major nuclear accidents (such as Chernobyl and Fukushima)," the message says.
The Assembly called for more frequent safety reviews for reactors over 40 years old, stronger and more independent national nuclear regulators, a wider protection zone around nuclear plants, better information for locals on emergency.
The parliamentarians urged the authorities of Belarus not to issue an operational license for the Ostrovets nuclear power plant, currently being built 45km from the capital of neighbouring Lithuania, until it meets certain international safety standards.
They also expressed deep concern at the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in an earthquake-prone region of Turkey only 85 kilometres from the border with Cyprus.
As it was reported earlier, Oleg Lyashko, the leader of Ukraine’s Radical Party, in a speech at PACE made the Assembly exclude the issue of Russia’s return to the institution from consideration.
Georgy Logvinsky, the MP and representative of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE claimed that delegation of Russia can return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) only in January as it is necessary to file the documents on the ratification of the authorities at the last week of the month.
Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary-General of the EU said Russia did not intend to return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in January.
The next consideration of the resolution on the return of the delegation can take place in January after the deadline of the documents filing. Accordingly, Russia will not be able to file these documents upon a new procedure until 2020.