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Austria urges stress tests on European nuclear reactors

14 march 2011, 09:31
Photo courtesy of rosenergoatom.ru
Photo courtesy of rosenergoatom.ru
Austria Sunday called for tests to be conducted on nuclear power stations in Europe to assess their resistance in the light of a possible major incident in Japan after Friday's earthquake there, AFP reports.

The country's Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich said he would urge the European Union (EU) on Monday to carry out "a stress test of nuclear plants" similar to checks on the continent's banking system after the 2008 financial crisis.

The request will be made at an EU environment ministers' meeting in Brussels, Berlakovich said in an interview with public-sector broadcaster ORF2.

The test should include "the safety of nuclear plants in the event of an earthquake and the state of their cooling system and reactor confinement," he said.

He said Europe should review its position over nuclear energy.

"We want security to be reviewed or (plant) closure," he said.

Austria is a strong foe of nuclear energy and criticized the decision by neighboring Germany in 2009 to extend the life of 17 nuclear power stations.

Austrian environmentalists regularly call for the closing of nearby reactors in Slovenia and Slovakia.

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