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EU to Conduct Stress Tests on Nuclear Plants

Member of the European Commission in Charge of Energy Guenther Oettinger, (l) and Hungarian Minister of National Resources Tamas Fellegi during an informal meeting of EU energy ministers in Grassalkovich Palace in Godollo, Hungary, May 3, 2011

The European Union has announced it will begin performing stress tests on all of the nuclear power stations in member nations in June.

The announcement came Tuesday, following a meeting of European energy ministers in Godollo, Hungary, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger says nuclear safety is a concern for the entire continent. He promised the tests will be objective and severe, and he expects the results to be available by December.

The exact criteria for the testing will be defined next week at a meeting in Brussels.

In the wake of Japan's recent nuclear disaster, the stress tests will examine the effects of earthquakes, tsunamis or other natural disasters on nuclear power plants. But there has been no decision on whether other scenarios, such as a plane crashing into a power plant, will also be examined.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.