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EU/JAPAN : TECHNICAL TEAM READY TO HEAD OUT TO CRISIS-HIT JAPAN.

The European Commission has announced that a technical evaluation and logistics coordination team of ten people from the MIC (the European civil protection system's information and monitoring mechanism), with a radiological and nuclear' component, is ready to head out to Tokyo. In its announcement, on 16 March, the Commission also confirmed that the Japanese government had requested humanitarian aid: mattresses, covers, water bottles and water tanks. The EU's aid will be very targeted, says the Commission, which points out that France and Sweden were the first two member states to respond to the request received on 15 March.

Even more than the earthquake and the tsunami, the impending nuclear disaster is a big concern for Europe, where the debate on nuclear energy will be kick-started at the highest level. In a meeting with the presidents of the political groups of the Parliament, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has said that the Union's heads of state and government will debate the situation in Japan and nuclear safety at their upcoming meeting, on 24-25 March. Whilst conceding that it is not possible to exit nuclear energy from one day to the next, Rebecca Harms, co-president of the Greens group (Germany), has asked for the dismantling process to "start immediately". "The stress tests of nuclear power stations requested by the European Commission are based on feet of clay," said Jo Leinen (S&D, Germany), the president of the Committee on Environment (ENVI), who noted that there is no legal basis for what to do after the tests, be that to adapt or possibly close the power stations. "The EU subsidises nuclear energy with up to 500 million per year but has no competence to impose minimum standards of security for plants," stressed the MEP, who is calling for an "urgent" revision of the Euratom Treaty.

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Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Mar 17, 2011
Words:303
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