The Environment Ministers of Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Norway supported by Luxembourg and Iceland meet in Vienna today, in order to enhance cooperation and contribute further to the discussions on the role of nuclear power in the climate change and energy efficiency debates.

The principal issues discussed were nuclear safety and security, the need for more and better information to be provided to countries neighbouring nuclear states; issues of transparency regarding nuclear projects, transparency regarding the true costs of nuclear power as well as alternatives to nuclear power and the need to ensure the development and provision of sustainable energy supplies and services.

In their discussions, Ministers
    * Reaffirmed that it remains the sovereign right of each country to decide on its energy mix.

    * Reiterated that the inherent safety, environmental and proliferation risks associated with the nuclear energy option remain.

    * Emphasised their view that nuclear power is not compatible with the concept of sustainable development and that they are convinced that nuclear power does not provide a viable option to combat climate change.

    * Called upon all governments to ensure that all aspects of nuclear power, including its risks, are clearly articulated to their citizens, in order to enable a balanced and informed debate to take place.

    * Emphasised that the transboundary nature of the risks associated with nuclear power and their collective responsibility towards the health and environment of their citizens dictates that their interests and concerns are taken into account by nuclear states in relation to all nuclear projects and installations.

    * Underlined that nuclear and non-nuclear states should make full use of the pertinent provisions of European as well as international law, including the Euratom Treaty, regarding public participation and consultations with countries which are likely to be exposed to adverse transboundary impacts of nuclear installations or projects. Furthermore, nuclear countries were invited to jointly work on the improvement of such provisions.

    * Agreed to cooperate at regional and international level in order to secure the highest common safety standards for nuclear installations with due regard to the interests of all states.

    * Called on the EU to continue their work in the field of nuclear safety and to promote transparency, inter alia by encouraging the recently established High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management to identify effective measures to support these goals.

    * Reemphasised their commitment to articulate their shared concerns regarding nuclear power and - once again - called upon nuclear countries to take decisive action on addressing the unresolved issues arising from the operation of nuclear facility namely, safety and security concerns, pollution risks, radioactive discharges, nuclear liability, waste and proliferation risks.

    * Voiced their concern that a global growth in nuclear power would severely increase proliferation risks, and called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to enhance its supporting role for national regulatory functions, including emergency preparedness, safety, facility and material security, and safeguards.

    * Underlined their conviction that an increase in energy saving and efficiency combined with a switch to renewable sources of energy as well as concerted efforts to reduce deforestation and to develop other environmentally sound non-nuclear low greenhouse gas technologies, is the more sustainable way to meet the climate and energy challenges we face.

    * Agreed that the Vienna meeting had been very productive and worthwhile, and that a further meeting of the Ministers and those of other interested States will take place in Italy in 2008.

    Weitere Informationen:

    Pressemitteilung vom 01.10.2007 [/pressemitteilungen/aktuelle_pressemitteilungen/pm/print/40059.php]: Umweltminister sehen in Atomenergie kein Mittel gegen den Klimawandel

    Source: 01.10.2007, 15:20:19 © Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU)