Spain calls for more stringent tests at nuclear plants

Antonio Hernández García, director general of Spain’s Energy Policy, today called for much stricter resistance testing by the European Union to certify the safety of nuclear power plants.

Hernández, who is taking part in an informal meeting of EU energy ministers in Gödöllö (Hungary), said that despite the already strict requirements “we must not make decisions without having enough technical knowledge”.

“The Spanish government has already asked the Nuclear Safety Council to develop a test, that covers not only incidents such as earthquakes, but also possible flooding and other phenomena”, he said.

The stress tests were approved last March by the European Union and are scheduled to take place during the second half of 2011.

These tests are Brussels’ response to the increasingly hot debate on nuclear safety after the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima plant.

Commenting on the possibility of closing plants that do no pass the tests, the general director said that “the most important thing is the safety of people and the environment” and stressed that this alone requires tests to be much more stringent.

He added that it was important to keep in mind what happened in Japan to “help us to improve safety”.

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Spain calls for more stringent tests at nuclear plants