News / Europe

EU Nuclear Plants Fail to Meet International Safety Standards

Dukovany nuclear power plant in Dukovany, Czech Republic, Sept. 27, 2011.  Dukovany nuclear power plant in Dukovany, Czech Republic, Sept. 27, 2011.
x
Dukovany nuclear power plant in Dukovany, Czech Republic, Sept. 27, 2011.
Dukovany nuclear power plant in Dukovany, Czech Republic, Sept. 27, 2011.
Selah Hennessy
Europe is in need of at least $13 billion worth of improvements to its nuclear power plants, according to a series of reviews carried out across the European Union.  The EU energy commissioner says regulators and operators should act immediately.

The EU commissioner in charge of energy, Gunther Oettinger, spoke in Brussels.
He says nearly everywhere in Europe there is need for improvement.  He says the commission should work with operators and regulators to reach the highest standards as soon as possible.

The Europe-wide tests were ordered after Japan’s Fukushima disaster in March of last year, which was triggered by an earthquake and a tsunami.

Europe’s review investigated whether plants would be able to withstand natural disasters, aircraft crashes and management failures.  It also checked to see if they would be able to cope with power disruptions.  

The review concluded the region’s nuclear plants have “satisfactory” safety, but many fail to meet international standards.  It says nearly all the European Union’s 143 plants are in need of improvements.

The review was done on a voluntary basis and the commission has no authority to force the improvements.  But Oettinger says national governments should make timetables for action and in 2014 Brussels will review whether plants have been upgraded to fulfill safety requirements.

Some European parliamentarians in Brussels said they were disappointed the commission had not pressed for stronger action on the nuclear industry.
European parliamentarian Rebecca Harms said she thought the review had avoided some of the tough questions, but that she was happy it had revealed security vulnerabilities.  

She says the review has demonstrated the need for stronger security standards in every country that runs nuclear power plants.

The review was made in 15 European Union countries along with Switzerland and Ukraine.  A British government spokesperson said there is no evidence that British nuclear facilities are unsafe.

France's nuclear safety authority said it had reservations about the report, but that the country is taking action to improve safety.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid