Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-09-Speech-3-225"

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". – Madam President, this is a unique report on a unique petition and Mrs Wallis has dealt with it excellently. Legal matters aside, the petition on which the report is based raises some important points. I shall briefly mention three of them. Point one. Even with the greatest of safety precautions, a nuclear weapons accident is always possible. In a way, the US B-52 crash in Greenland was very fortunate. Imagine the effects of it happening in a highly populated area, for example near a US base in central Europe. So anybody who claims nuclear weapons are absolutely safe in peace time is not telling the whole truth. Point two. After a nuclear accident, well-prepared plans should immediately be put in action which would minimise the short-term and long-term effects to human health and to the environment. It seems that the relevant authorities, in this case the US air force and the Danish Government, were ill-prepared and did not deal with the problem properly, especially as regards protecting the civilian personnel and providing them with long-term health surveillance and monitoring. This shortfall has led to numerous premature deaths from cancer in cases where early detection could have provided a much better chance of survival, so anybody who claims that the relevant authorities can deal most adequately with the after-effects of a nuclear weapons accident is also not telling the whole truth. Point three. After a nuclear weapons accident, one expects that the government concerned would display a spirit of transparency and cooperation in dealing with the affected population. This was not the case with the Greenland crash, as the Danish Government refused to provide access to the relevant environmental radiation records needed to estimate the radiation doses received by affected workers. Furthermore, the information given by the Danish authorities was dangerously misleading. So even scientific reports issued by governments after a nuclear weapons accident cannot be trusted. The overall message is therefore clear. Nuclear weapons can cause death and suffering even in peace time, so the best way to deal with them is not to have them at all. After listening to the Commissioner, my final observation would be that petitioners who have endured years of suffering and struggle seem only to receive a lot of sympathy from the EU, but no practical assistance."@en1

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