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Earthquakes and nuclear safety

Motion for a recommendation | Doc. 12928 | 09 May 2012

Mr Latchezar TOSHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Anne BRASSEUR, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Mr Márton BRAUN, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Igor CORMAN, Republic of Moldova, SOC ; Mr Kirtcho DIMITROV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Joseph FALZON, Malta, EPP/CD ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Charles GARDETTO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Mr Joachim HÖRSTER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Chiora TAKTAKISHVILI, Georgia, ALDE ; Lord John E. TOMLINSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

  • takes into account the fact that 20% of current nuclear power plants in the world are operating in areas of high seismic activity;
  • stresses that many nuclear power plants are built on sea or ocean coasts or other water basins carrying a high risk of radioactive pollution of large areas in the event of a nuclear accident;
  • bears in mind that the earthquakes in Japan and the Fukushima nuclear disaster raise serious doubts about the effectiveness of probabilistic seismic hazard assessments advocated by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the recommended preventive measures;
  • underlines that the protection of human beings, human society as a whole and human health in particular, as well as of biodiversity, agricultural areas and water resources should be given the highest priority over any economic interest;
  • stresses that nuclear pollution would have a very serious and long-lasting negative effect on large areas;
  • considers that the building of nuclear power plants in areas of high seismic risk is not acceptable for the common interest of society and humankind as a whole.

The Assembly should therefore:

  • propose measures to ban any construction of nuclear power plants in areas with a high seismic risk, above the 7th degree of the Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik (MSK) scale or the European Macroseismic Scale (EMS);
  • establish criteria for the prevention of radioactive pollution of sea basins in the event of accidents in nuclear power plants and to adopt a common agreement for a designated area inland where no nuclear reactors may be built;
  • call upon the Committee of Ministers to invite member States to co-operate actively and diligently in implementing such measures.