Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Europe contemplates 'nuclear free' world in wake of Japan disaster -- all European nuclear reactors to be reviewed

All Europe's atomic power reactors will be subjected to natural disaster tests in the wake of a the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant.

Tuesday's EU decision came after Germany moved to shut down seven aged atomic plants amid panic over the safety of nuclear power as the Japanese crisis worsened.

Guenther Oettinger, the EU's energy commissioner, warned that a third explosion and fire at the Fukushima plant on Tuesday heralded the world's worst nuclear disaster.

"There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen," he said.

Mr Oettinger said that "stress" testing was needed to ensure that Europe's 143 reactors could withstand earthquakes and other emergencies.

"We want the safety of all reactors to be reviewed in the light of events in Japan," he said. (read more)