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Nuclear waste

MEPs vote for dumping nuclear waste in third countries and burying the rest underground

The European Parliament energy committee today voted a proposal on EU rules on nuclear waste. The Greens hit out at the vote, which included endorsing the burial of nuclear waste in seismic areas, as well as proposals to export highly radioactive waste to third countries. After the vote, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:

“Safety was definitely not the first concern for the majority of MEPs in their vote on EU nuclear waste rules. The energy committee has voted in favour of exporting highly radioactive nuclear waste and spent fuel to third countries, in spite of major concerns with this approach. Even EU energy commissioner Oettinger has called for a ban on the export of radioactive waste but, clearly, the nuclear industry has convinced a majority of MEPs to vote for the cheapest, and not the safest, option for dealing with its dangerous waste.

"Scandalously, MEPs also rejected a proposal to ban the storage of nuclear waste in seismic areas, showing that they have learnt nothing from the Fukushima disaster. Burial is no solution for nuclear waste even in non-seismic areas. Unfortunately, it seems that MEPs are content to keep their heads in the sand and do the bidding of the nuclear industry. We hope that this vote will be overturned when the EP plenary votes as a whole."