ENERGY : IMPROVE EU NUCLEAR SAFETY STANDARDS, SAYS ITRE.

Parliament's Committee on Energy (ITRE) votes to amend Directive 2009/71 EURATOM on nuclear safety advocating stronger roles for EU institutions

With the Fukushima disaster still fresh in the mind, stronger roles have to be given to the EU institutions to enhance safety standards in the Union's nuclear industry. This feeling was evident during the final vote by members of the European Parliament's Committee on Energy (ITRE) on amending the directive on nuclear safety, on 18 March. The result was 37 votes to 15.

The amendments to the current directive, initially proposed by the European Commission in June 2013, include enhanced safety in areas such as on-site emergency preparedness, periodic self-assessments and peer reviews, security definition levels and increased transparency.

However, in the preceding debate, some divisions were evident especially regarding the extent to which the Commission can exert control. Some MEPs expressed concerns over maintaining optimum independence for national regulatory authorities (NRAs), whereby an increased role for the Commission would not be necessary.

ITRE's rapporteur Romana Jordan, (EPP, Slovenia) advocated the increased involvement of the European Parliament, despite it not legally being able to exercise co-decision in this area. "It is very clear that the legal basis for this lies with EURATOM but I personally agree that we have to fight for a stronger role for the...

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