EU Calls for Nuclear Stress Tests…

unknownEU Calls for Nuclear Stress Tests Alert: 144 Sites in EU Region to Be Assessed for Safety Risks

The EU's Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Tuesday that he wants nuclear plants to undergo stress tests to prove their safety, not only in the EU27 countries but also in neighbouring states, according to Reuters. The comments followed an emergency meeting of nuclear experts in Brussels convened in response to the Japanese nuclear accident.

There will need to be a process to agree the criteria on which the tests will be based. Mr Oettinger referred to the tests as voluntary, but under such close public scrutiny we would expect all EU sites to submit themselves to this initiative.

There are currently 144 plants located in Europe, producing around 30% of the region’s electricity output. A programme of safety testing and any subsequent upgrading work required at EU nuclear sites would represent new business for companies involved in nuclear design, testing and equipment provision.

The counter-argument is that any new work in relation to stress-testing may simply offset delays or cancellations for new nuclear projects that will now inevitably face additional political and public opinion hurdles.

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