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EU energy chief ‘satisfied’ with nuclear safety despite critical report via the guardian

‘Stress test’ of 145 nuclear reactors expected to reveal hundreds of defects, with Güenther Oettinger likely to adopt upgrades

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Almost all of the EU’s nuclear plants need some form of upgrade or repair, ranging from minor updates to substantial overhauls, but none requiring closure, according to the tests. One issue found in some plants was insufficient preparation for what could happen if the cooling systems were compromised, as happened in Fukushima. This is potentially serious as it could lead to meltdown.

Some of the plants do not have sufficient safety measures in place to cope securely with a serious natural disaster, the tests found. But some other changes needed can be carried out relatively easily.

Guenther Oettinger, the energy commissioner, said: “Our stress test was strict, serious and transparent. It reveals bluntly and objectively what we are good at and where there is a need to improve. Generally the situation is satisfactory but there is no room for complacency. We must work together to ensure that the highest safety standards are in force in every single nuclear power plant in Europe, for the safety of our citizens.”

Some of the defects involve basic safety and monitoring measures, such as the lack of seismic monitors at reactor sites in several countries including France and the Czech Republic.

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But campaigners and MEPs said the nuclear industry had been let off too lightly and demanded to know how the commission would enforce standards.

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