European countries meet on nuclear policy

European energy ministers, and nuclear experts, are meeting to coordinate EU’s policy, in the light, of Japan’s nuclear crisis. The EU Energy commissioner, questioned, what future role nuclear power should have.

Shocked into action by Japan’s atomic crisis, the European Union has agreed to apply stress tests to see how its 143 nuclear plants would react in an emergency.

The decision was reached at an emergency meeting of energy ministers and nuclear regulators in Brussels on Tuesday.

European energy ministers, and nuclear experts, are meeting to coordinate EU's in the light of Japan's nuclear crisis

At a news conference afterwards, EU Energy Commissioner Guenter Oettinger said the stress tests would begin “as soon as possible,”but “after proper preparation.”

He said that the stress tests will be devised using the “strictest” nuclear standards in the bloc and be applied in second half of the year. He added that plants that fail the tests would have to shut down.

Oettinger also called for a reassessment of the EU’s energy policy, and questioned what role nuclear power should have in the future.

Guenter Oettinger, European Union Energy Commissioner, said, “We want together to create a common European standard for nuclear power plants and perhaps something can be derived from that for European legislation.”

Energy policies in the EU are still driven independently by member nations and vary hugely.

The director of Hungary’s atomic energy authority stressed that the responsibility of energy policy lies with member states rather than the European Union. Jozef Ronaky said Hungary will reassess its nuclear programme because of the Japan nuclear crisis.

Poland and Bulgaria however plan to go ahead with their nuclear programmes, according to government representatives.

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