Fukushima lessons must be learned

Scotland doesn't need nuclear

The European Parliament will debate the risks of nuclear power plants today - on the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has welcomed the debate as showing that the EU is taking steps to tighten up safety legislation around the nuclear power industry.

Alyn said:

"Two years on from the Fukushima explosions we still don't know the full impact and the harrowing images of the destroyed nuclear reactors are still very much in our minds.  While the strengthening of safety regulation around power plants in Europe is very welcome we won't ever be risk-free with nuclear power.

"The only way we can make sure we won't see Fukushima repeated in Europe is by decommissioning and cleaning up nuclear power stations and their sites.  We need to properly learn the lessons of Fukishima; the 'stress tests' ordered across Europe showed that there are serious deficiencies in the safety of nuclear power stations.

"The tests have done nothing to diminish the risks of nuclear power and little to reassure us about the long-term safety of nuclear power stations.  This is high risk technology which can have extreme damaging effects and very long-term consequences; the risks of nuclear catastrophe and the effects of that are, quite simply, too much to accept.  It's a sobering thought that if the ancient Greeks had built nuclear power stations instead of the Acropolis we'd still be dealing with the waste from them.

"We need to get rid of nuclear power stations across the world and we should start at home; that's why the SNP has a long-held policy of opposing existing nuclear power and any new nuclear power stations and that's why there will be no more built in Scotland while the SNP is in Government.

"Scotland has massive reserves of energy, traditional and renewable, and we have no need for nuclear power stations; we can lead the world in getting shot of these wasteful, expensive and dangerous buildings with their deadly contents.  Until we can rid Scotland and all of Europe of them, though, we can upgrade the safety standards they have to operate under."