The nuclear accident in Fukushima warrants a reassessment of the Euratom R&D framework programme (2012-13 period).
The Committee considers it vital that the level of knowledge about nuclear technologies, their use and their consequences be maintained and developed.
The EESC makes the following recommendations:
- research on fission reactor technology should concentrate on improving reactor safety, reducing and disposing of long-lived radioactive waste, monitoring fissile material and radiation protection;
- expertise in dealing with incidents beyond design and tests on existing facilities should be developed;
- development work on energy production from nuclear fusion should be pursued vigorously in view of the potential safety and other advantages of this technology, with the international partnership-based ITER project playing the central role;
- appropriate training should be provided to ensure that there are enough highly skilled specialists and that enough basic knowledge is taught in schools about these technologies and radioactive emissions, the risks they pose and how they are measured.
The Committee suggests that the Commission check whether sufficient resources have been allocated to meet the goals it has set or whether they need to be bolstered.
Finally, the Committee supports the Euratom R&D framework programme and its instruments as a key element of the European Research Area.
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