BRUSSELS (AP) — EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said Thursday the cost of necessary improvements at the 145 nuclear reactors in the European Union could be as high as €25 billion ($32 billion) over the coming years.
A European Union report released Thursday says stress tests carried out in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan show that almost all the plants need safety improvements. Officials said earlier that the tests did not reveal the need to close any plants immediately.
EU leaders agreed last year to put the reactors through the toughest security checks possible to gauge their ability to withstand accidents and natural disasters.
Oettinger said that “nearly everywhere” there was potential for improvement to reach the highest level of safety, ranging from ensuring more time to react to an electricity blackout to adding more seismic equipment to detect earthquakes.
“At least €10 billion will need to be invested in the EU and possibly up to €25 billion,” Oettinger said.
The report also called for more consistency across the 27-nation EU in assessing and managing safety threats.
“Hundreds of technical upgrade measures have been identified,” the report said. EU leaders will now assess the report at their Oct. 18-19 summit in Brussels to chart the way ahead.
The report criticized the authorities for not taking the latest standards into account to assess risks.
For earthquake and flooding risk, standards now called for an assessment based on occurrences of the past 10,000 years, while many nuclear power plants use a shorter timeframe.
Equipment to fight severe accidents is not stored for quick retrieval in 56 percent of cases, and almost everywhere equipment to alert for earthquakes should be upgraded, or installed.
In case of an electricity blackout, five reactors would not be able to cope for more than an hour without intervention.
European nuclear plants are already regularly checked, but under the stress test system, the checks were toughened up and coordinated across the EU before facing peer review by a multinational teams of experts.
More Related Stories
- Here come the tornado truthers. Already
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Moore officials: Funds for "safe rooms" were held up by red tape
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- Rescue crews race to find tornado survivors
- Looting in Oklahoma?
- Hundreds of low-wage federally contracted workers strike in D.C.
- Okla. mother's tearful reunion with her 8-year-old son
- New campaign compares gun control to anti-LGBT discrimination
- Study: Salt Lake City is gay parenting capital of the U.S.
- Inhofe and Coburn: Red state hypocrites
- Teen activist to meet with Abercrombie CEO
- Watch: Family emerges from storm shelter after tornado
- Must-see morning clip: Barackalypse Now
- Okla. tornado survivor reunited with dog trapped in rubble live on camera
- Is Pope Francis an exorcist?
- Oklahoma death count confirmed at 24, 9 children
- Frantic parents search for children in tornado's wake
- Crews dig through rubble after deadly tornado
- 51 killed in massive Oklahoma tornado
- Don't cry climate-change wolf
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11