Emergency Preparedness Must Be Integral to Global Sustainable Development Strategy

To the chagrin of many, nuclear energy will most likely remain a part of the world’s future energy strategy. As such, we must redouble our efforts after Japan’s crisis to make nuclear energy safer. And as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recently addressed in his remarks at the recent “25 Years after the Chernobyl Catastrophe: Safety for the Future” Conference, in Kyiv,  moving forward, the world needs international standards for construction, agreed guarantees of public safety, full transparency and information-sharing, among other safety protocols at nuclear facilities.

“The unfortunate truth is that we are likely to see more such disasters,” the UN Secretary-General said. “The world has witnessed an unnerving history of [near] accidents. We have seen in Japan the effects of natural disasters, particularly in areas vulnerable to seismic activity.”

After having recently visited the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Ban spoke about the long-lasting effects of nuclear disaster and the need for improved safety initiatives.

“This moment and this place also compel us to look even further ahead. Yesterday, world leaders gathered at the Kyiv Summit on the Safe and Innovative Use of Nuclear Energy, and I highly commend the visionary leadership of President Yanukovych for organizing this meeting, even a long time before we had seen this Japanese tragedy,” he said. This is really foresight, how we can work together to safeguard nuclear energy from this disaster.”

Ban pointed out that a global debate on the future of nuclear energy is needed now more than ever: “We owe it to our citizens and the world to practice the highest standards of emergency preparedness and response, from the design of new facilities through construction and operation to their eventual decommissioning. Further, we agreed that these standards must be an integral part of the international community’s global strategy for sustainable development.”

Ban also discussed weighing the risks and costs of such facilities against the benefits of nuclear energy as a “relatively clean and logical choice in an era of increasing resource scarcity. Are we doing all we can to keep the world’s people safe?” he asked. “Looking to the future, we need international standards for construction, agreed guarantees of public safety, full transparency and information-sharing, among others.”

For more information about the UN Secretary-General’s remarks on nuclear safety and disaster preparedness, read the full article: http://www.iewy.com/24115-highest-standards-of-emergency-preparedness-must-be-integral-to-global-sustainable-development-strategy-secretary-general-tells-conference-on-nuclear-safety.html