Nuclear stress test map reveals alarming gaps in results

Press release - October 27, 2011
Brussels, 27 October 2011 – Greenpeace today presented a map [1] allowing citizens in every European country to see how nuclear plants fared under ‘stress tests’.

After the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Brussels told all nuclear power plant operators to carry out tests, hand over and publish the results by 31 October. They are meant to see whether plants can stand up to extreme scenarios, including earthquakes, floods, loss of power and cooling.

To date, several regulators had failed to disclose the results to the public, despite being urged to do so by European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group, the group that designed the tests [2].

Early Greenpeace analysis of the 10,000 or so published report pages [3] revealed missing results. Multiple-reactor failure that struck at Fukushima was supposed to be examined, but is missing from results. The threat of airplane crashes were also a promised part of tests, but are largely ignored.

Greenpeace EU nuclear policy adviser Jan Haverkamp said: “Fukushima taught us to think the unthinkable and these tests have forced plant managers to do a little of that. But there are major blind spots - why are evacuation plans for towns and cities ignored; why is reactor age not properly considered; why did the authorities promise, but fail to look at the danger of multiple-reactor failure and large airplane crashes?”

Where national regulators are more independent from operators and therefore more rigorous, tests were more thorough. Others have failed to publish substantial information, including the Czech Republic, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Czech Republic submitted a seven page report on its six reactors, compared to Slovenia’s 177 page report on its single reactor.

Following the Monday deadline, the European Commission will prepare an interim report for the meeting of EU energy ministers of 9 December 2011.

Ends

Notes
[1] The map is available for publication here http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=216439168024541302060.0004b03025c31b94269a1&msa=0&ll=49.296472,9.536133&spn=14.68678,28.256836

[2] The European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group stress test specifications, adopted unanimously by national regulators in May 2011, urges the publication of all operator and regulator reports. See www.ensreg.eu/node/286.

[3] The map is based on an initial analysis of >10,000 official report pages, partly interim operator reports submitted by 15 August, but mostly interim regulator reports submitted by 15 September.

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