Tuesday, October 2, 2012

EU nuclear reactors need 10-25 bln euros of safety spending

BRUSSELS, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Europe's nuclear reactor fleet needs investment of 10 billion to 25 billion euros, a draft Commission report said, following a safety review designed to ensure there is never a repeat of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The report is expected to be finalised by Thursday and debated by EU ministers later this month.

After that, the Commission intends in 2013 to propose new laws, including on insurance and liability to "improve the situation of potential victims in the event of a nuclear accident", the draft seen by Reuters said.

Of the 134 EU nuclear reactors grouped across 68 sites, 111 have more than 100,000 inhabitants living within a circle of 30 kilometres.

Safety regimes vary greatly and the amount that needs to be spent to improve them is estimated at anywhere between 30 million euros and 200 million euros per reactor unit - or a total of 10-25 billion across the fleet.

The lesson of Fukushima was that two natural disasters could hit at the same time and knock out the electrical supply system of a plant completely, so it could not be cooled down.

The stress test findings include that four reactors, located in two different nations, have less than one hour available to restore safety functions if electrical power is lost. More


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