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Monday, 27 June 2011

Nuclear waste: exports to non-EU countries should be banned, say MEPs

Nuclear waste exports to countries outside the EU should be prohibited, unless exported for recycling and imported back into the EU, and even within the EU should be permitted only when governed by bilateral agreements, said Parliament on Thursday. MEPs also backed stricter rules for protecting and training workers, called for stronger investigatory powers for national authorities, and said research on alternatives to burying the waste deep underground should be stepped up. Under the proposed directive, each Member State would have to devise policies and programmes to ensure that spent fuel and radioactive waste is processed and disposed of safely. National policies would have to include inventories and management plans for all facilities, even after they close down. Romana Jordan Cizelj (EPP, SL), who drafted the resolution, said during yesterday's debate that "The European Parliament has several times called for a directive on the processing of radioactive waste and spent fuel and events in Fukushima showed we were right to do so. We are positive about the idea of a directive and we want this directive to be stronger and clearer". The resolution was passed with 489 votes in favour, 52 against and 75 abstentions.

Source: European Parliament