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Draft EU nuclear report shows failure to implement safety measures agreed decades ago

A leaked European Commission report shows nuclear safety within the EU needs investment of between €10 billion and €25 billion.

Some of the cooling towers of the Dukovany nuclear power plant rise high into the sky in Dukovany, Czech Republic
Some of the cooling towers of the Dukovany nuclear power plant rise high into the sky in Dukovany, Czech Republic
Image: Petr David Josek/AP/Press Association Images

A LEAKED DRAFT report regarding safety measures at European nuclear plants has revealed that some reforms agreed upon several decades ago have still not been implemented.

The European Commission report assessing safety at EU plants was ordered in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi disaster in March 2011 – the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Almost all of Europe’s nuclear reactors are in need of urgent overhaul according to the stress-test report, which is due to be finalised tomorrow and debated by EU ministers later in the month.

The draft reveals that nuclear plant safety varies greatly from state to state, and calls for an investment of between €10 billion and €25 billion across all reactors in the EU. There are 134 nuclear reactors across the EU, grouped across 68 sites, with 111 of these have more than 100,000 inhabitants living within a 30 km radius, reports the BBC.

The lesson of the Fukushima disaster, as pointed out in the draft, is that two natural disasters can strike at the same time – and can knock out a plant’s electricity and remove the ability to cool down the reactors.

The stress-tests found that four reactors in separate different countries had under one hour available to restore safety functions if electrical power was lost, EurActiv reports. The Commission intends to introduce new laws in 2013 that will included insurance and liability to “improve the situation of potential victims in the event of a nuclear accident”, according to the draft.

The report’s main point was that “continuing differences” remained between member state’s safety regulations, and it pointed out that some measures agreed upon up to 30 years ago had still not been implemented.

Read: EU proposes another €500m to decommission Soviet-style nuclear plants>

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