European Union to Conduct Stress Tests on All Nuclear Plants in Wake of Japan Crisis
BRUSSELS—EU member states agreed March 15 to carry out stress tests on the 143 nuclear installations in the European Union to determine if problems similar to those experienced in Japan could be avoided in the wake of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
In a meeting of nuclear energy regulators from EU member states, industry executives, and European Commission experts, European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said a conference will be held in the coming weeks to draw up the nuclear power stress test standards, with the tests to be conducted in the second half of 2011. The European Union also will push to have neighboring countries, including Turkey, Switzerland, and Russia, carry out the stress tests, Oettinger said.
In addition, Oettinger said the European Commission will accelerate work on new nuclear safety laws to adapt them to lessons learned from the Japanese crisis. The energy commissioner said the European Union needs to reassess its long-term energy policy priorities in light of Japan’s nuclear power station problems.