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Europe atomic stress tests a charade via The Japan Times Online

OSAKA — Stress tests being carried out on European nuclear power plants are a political charade designed to reassure the public that the reactors are fundamentally safe, a member of the European Parliament and a prominent Bulgarian atomic expert said Monday at a seminar in Osaka.

Rebecca Harms, president of the Green Group in the European Parliament, and Gueorgui Kastchiev, a senior nuclear physicist at the Vienna-based University of Natural Resources, said a warning about this practice is needed in Japan, where many of those attending were from towns in Fukui and Niigata prefectures that host nuclear plants. These facilities are also currently undergoing stress tests, they noted.

“The stress tests in Europe are somewhat similar to the virtual stress tests for European banks that were implemented after the euro crisis. But Europe’s politicians decided to make stress tests for real facilities,” said Kastchiev, who was formerly head of the Bulgarian Nuclear Safety Authority.

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