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Europe needs a rigorous and transparent approach to nuclear safety

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls on Europe to stick to a rigorous and transparent approach to nuclear safety. Expecially with tthe stress tests on nuclear plants across the EU due to start tomorrow.

The expectation, or perhaps we should better say the hope, is that all Member States will be doing the stress tests. “Unfortunately we cannot foresee all extreme events” said Staffan Nilsson, EESC president. “A secure, sustainable, low-carbon energy mix is not only essential to Europe but to global development as a whole.”

“The Committee welcomes the extension of the criteria to include all man-made failures and actions and the renewed commitment to transparency through full evaluation, peer review and publication. The stress tests should not be seen as a weapon against nuclear energy but a response to the concerns of civil society which could lead to greater understanding of the need for a diverse energy mix minimising fossil fuels,” commented Stephane Buffetaut, President of the Transport and Energy Section of the EESC.

Transparency is a basic factor in promoting ad winning nuclear safety. Richard Adams, an EESC Member, chairs the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) working group on ‘Transparency’ and suggested that clear leadership from the Commission, fully supported by the Member States, is essential.

“We believe that meeting the EU climate change targets depends on positive support from civil society for a range of low carbon energy sources. The debate about the future energy mix is ongoing and a sustainable outcome depends on public understanding and confidence. These safety tests need to generate a high level of trust.”

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