EU to Stress Test Nuclear Reactors

The EU President announced on Wednesday, following a meeting with European energy ministers, that stress tests will be conducted on the nuclear stations in the European Union starting in June.

The tests are being conducted to ease public anxiety in regards to Europe’s nuclear power stations in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan.  

The exact criteria of the test, which will be released and defined next week, will probably consist of six points and be “objective and severe” said European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.  

The tests are designed to examine the effect of a disaster like an earthquake or tsunami on the nuclear reactors, like the disasters that hit the Fukushima reactors in Japan.  The scenario of a plane crashing into the reactor is also being decided upon as well, added Oettinger.  

Austria’s Environmental Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich complained that the test was not comprehensive enough, saying that the lack of testing against cyber attacks, terrorism or plane crashes was a major flaw.  
Berlakovich was also critical of the manner that the tests would be carried out, saying that it was unfortunate that “the heads of state and government did not decide to make them mandatory”.  He also insisted that the tests be carried out by independent experts, adding that “it makes no sense if the nuclear plants test themselves”.

As of right now, it is undecided on who will evaluate reports from each nations nuclear authority.  
The two options being discussed right now are having countries swap reports and doing a cross analysis, or to take a pool of experts from a couple of countries to take a look at another country.  

Photo Credit: insp.pnnl.gov/inspmedia/Pocketbook2001/photoDukovany.jpg

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